Monday, December 1, 2008

That thing we diabetics have in common with vegetarians

So Thanksgiving was awesome. My family was on their best behavior (even with my Dad and his endless pontificating), my sister's boyfriend was positively delightful. And I ate. A lot. And didn't see my blood sugar go out of range. Not only that, I exercised like a mofo. My sister, her boyfriend, and my brother are all athletes. They run and play tennis was love being actives. It was great to just hop out of bed, get ready and play tennis without the making plans that usually happens.

The eating was great. I am really developing the ability to know when i am satisfied. Not full to bursting, but satisfied. Thanksgiving dinner itself was a joy. We had turkey, stuffing that my mom made, cauliflower puree, asparagus, and roasted carrots. I had to be pretty intentional about eating lots of stuffing because my mom supplemented it with shitake mushrooms and ground turkey. I had three servings because there was a whole lot less carbs per serving than the box said. Thanks Mom! On top of that, we bought a nice chocolate ganache cake in honor my my aunt who joined us for the holiday. It was really easy to say no because i made a batch of sugar free chocolate mousse (from a box). How easy is that? I had to guard it jealously because everyone wanted a taste of the mousse.

Saturday, I drove up to LA to visit two friends who are vegetarians. We spent a lot of time sharing eating stories. Like vegetarians, those of us following a diabetic diet get lots of questions and concerns about what we're eating. The best thing to do is not make it a big deal. Like vegetarians, I don't want to be asked if I miss pastries or sugar or whatever. Vegetarians that I know are pretty comfortable having other people eat meat in front of them. They just wouldn't eat it themselves. Same with me as a diabetic. I have alternatives. I make alternatives. I eat alternatives. You eating sugar in front of me isn't going to make me desperate for sugar, if I am snacking away at my sugar free chocolate mousse. Conversely, I don't feel violated or freaked out that someone is eating something in front of me I can't eat. My vegetarian friends feel the same way. The biggest breakthrough I realized in talking with my vegetarian friends is that I'm not living a lesser life, a second rate life, because of this disease. They certainly don't because there are things they choose not to eat.

If I could ask anything of the people who care about me, I ask that you not treat this as some kind of punishment. This is my life.


Stef said...

Sounds like you've made a great breakthrough, as well as eating some good stuff over the holiday.

It's not exactly the same, but your insights made me think about how I still refuse to drink any alcohol in front of my dad, who's now almost 9 years sober. He's never asked me not to drink near him, but I sort of have done it out of respect and thinking that it makes him more comfortable if people with him aren't drinking. But I've never asked how he feels... none of us make a big deal about it or talk about alcohol, but your story is good food for thought. Not that I *need* to drink in front of him, but I wonder if he'd be bothered if he knew my reasons.

DC Food Blog said...

I remember reading a great blog post in Losing the Cow where she was talking with an alcoholic and the alocoholic said that being alcoholic might be easier because you can't stop eating. Whether you drink or not in front of your Dad, I think the key is not making a big deal. I see people who try and lose weight and eat healthy whose families totally make a big deal about what they are eating and it drives their eating underground. They'll eat like three sticks of celery at the family meal and then have a bag of potatoes chips at midnight.