A Bit of “Grinchiness”

Dear Birdie over at Aiming for Grace has unwittingly coined a new term: “grinchiness.” Here it is still early December and she’s dreading the Holidays — “feeling a low grade tension and resentment and grinchiness about the weeks of treats and temptation ahead.”Grinch_6

Birdie explains that she’s “kind of hating the fact that the impending holidays are all about sweets and food and sugary excess. I get the traditions and the cultural reasons why we stack plates high with sugar and candy and treats. I understand the ‘why’ of all the food. I also understand the temptation to test what I know will happen if I ‘taste’ a few too many of those treats at every turn, at every social occasion… For now, I’m bummed that I need to sit myself down and talk through what’s ahead and how I need to avoid the temptation that leads to the inevitable rollercoaster ride I know so well. For now, I’m wishing it was January 3rd and all this sugary, holiday sweetness was behind me.

I can so relate. I wrote my Straight Up column at dLife this month on this very same bah-humbug topic — how utterly infuriating it is to be constantly
forced to say “no” when everyone around you is saying “yes.”

Personally, I’m thankful that I’m not battling a weight problem, so it’s not even an issue of falling off a “diet.” But heck, when you’re controlling your blood sugar levels manually — even with the help of a fancy remote control device — the extra temptations this time of year can be hellish, let’s face it.

For those of you who feel don’t like the whining, let it go, will ya? Because being diabetic is a bitch, and we just need to acknowledge that sometimes. Ideally among our brethren online, who can empathize. And the truth is, even some of the established diabetes organizations that ought to know better are sticking our noses in those high-GI treats. (Read the column to get that full gripe.)

So while I am enjoying our family Hanukkah celebrations, I’m still gritting my teeth at all the meals to come, and the well-meaning friends and acquaintances who keep offering baked goods with sprinkles, and the pitches on new dessert cookbooks. Sheesh.

Just getting these grumbles out of my system here… which I wish were as easy to do with those excess carbs (!)

Grinchfully Yours,

*** UPDATE: ***

It seems the NY Times’ Well blog has a post up today about How to Boost Your Willpower. Among the suggestions: try improving your posture, or brushing your teeth with your opposite hand to practice your self-control. Brilliant, thanks.



16 Responses

  1. d2
    d2 December 7, 2007 at 8:17 am | | Reply

    I can totally agree and support your strong thoughts and feelings. It is a game and what can we do in this game of life. It was sooo hard when one only had two shots per day and urine strips. So, for the family and office parties, try bringing the veggie trays with your favorites, the special coffee, tea and me. What is the one item that each of us cannot avoid. Larry Byrd and Magic Johnson did an ad for TV and the challenge was … Bet you cannot eat one (potato chips). One of them lost the bet. It does help to be removed from such items. Here’s wishing you success in this holiday season.


  2. Kathy (araby62 on TuDiabetes)
    Kathy (araby62 on TuDiabetes) December 7, 2007 at 8:48 am | | Reply

    I kind of got over it, for the most part–I was dx’d at age 12 so it’s been a long time (25 yrs) and I was lucky to at least have a childhood with holiday treats. But it still makes me wonder when people who’ve known me for years give me the most lovely but untouchable gifts. This year’s winner is a Godiva gift tower that might as well contain arsenic, for all I can enjoy it :-( But then there are the ones who try, like my dear grandma who always made sure there was plenty of fresh fruit for me along with the cakes and pies. Or Mom, who crammed sugarfree gum into my Christmas stocking instead of candy canes.

    Wish I could say ‘so what, just count the carbs and cover it with insulin’, but for me at least, there never has been a magic formula. Hopefully it makes me healthier in the long run just to avoid the temptations altogether, and be grateful for what I can still enjoy about the season. I’d much rather have my mom and grandma back than be able to eat holiday foods.

  3. Karen S.
    Karen S. December 7, 2007 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    I love this time of year including the treats. I don’t let diabetes keep me from enjoying a few treats. I don’t let diabetes keep me from any food. I test, test, test and figure it out. I usually do figure it out but in the cases that I don’t I limit myself. I love the holidays and love Christmas and don’t want diabetes keep me from not enjoying it. It’s hard to expalin this without people thinking I’m a careless diabetic b/c I’m not. I should stay way from the “holiday food” more for the weight issue than the diabetes issue. :-)

    Happy Holiday’s Everyone! :-)

  4. Mandy
    Mandy December 7, 2007 at 9:32 am | | Reply

    It’s not just the guilt of a little over indulgence here and there. With diabetes, it’s the constant guilt of what damage have I just done to my kidneys, eyes, nerves… I know that just a cup of Splenda filled coffee and little flavored creamer landed me with a 252, because I didn’t think I needed the bolus for it. It’s just plain frustrating!

    Everyone should be able to enjoy the holidays.
    So, heres to a happy HEALTHY holiday!

  5. Amanda
    Amanda December 7, 2007 at 10:24 am | | Reply

    Mandy – I’m with yah. I can’t count the times I thought I was getting away with a freebie which two hours later wasn’t so free from consequences. Mine is mainly coffee beverages too. We can’t deny our boli (or whatever the plural for bolus is, haha!) I agree with the majority of you, set limits. Have a couple little goodies that maybe have a little more of a carb base than just sugar. And keep testing. I try to over test just a little during the holidays.

  6. Jay
    Jay December 7, 2007 at 12:24 pm | | Reply


    Today at work three different people brought in holiday treats. A plate of holiday cookies, a plate of home make cupcakes and a plate of home make fudge. Just punch me in the face already!Argh!

  7. Jonathan
    Jonathan December 7, 2007 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

    And we are the ones considered impolite sometimes when we don’t try the sweets that others have worked so hard preparing!! I remember a recent passover dinner where my aunt’s brother kept insisting that I try his brown sugar and raisin noodle kuggle, and then have more and more, and then getting grief because I did not have enough of the chocolate pie his wife brought.

    It’s the same thing this month — everyone wants us to try something that is going to mess up the blood sugars for the next three hours. OY!!!

  8. James
    James December 7, 2007 at 3:31 pm | | Reply

    Can I just pick up on the comment about coffee – is that what’s doing it to me? I didn’t think it could be having that big an effect – I thought it was my breakfast but is it the coffee? Do others get sugar spikes just from coffee?

  9. faye
    faye December 7, 2007 at 11:47 pm | | Reply

    haha, try being type 1 in a filipino family. we’re infamous for our HUGE holiday parties, where everybody takes home food and there’s still enough food for the next week.

    the good thing about my family though, is that there are a few type 2′s floating around (i’m the only type 1), so there’s always a wonderful assortment of healthy stuff right next to the not-so-healthy stuff.

    good luck with the holidays! =)

  10. Jayne
    Jayne December 8, 2007 at 4:23 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the comfort and joy! This may be the first Christmas I can laugh over the dilemma. You have me thinking already about how I can reward myself in January. That’s a nice thought, eh?

  11. AmyT
    AmyT December 8, 2007 at 8:20 am | | Reply

    Thanks everybody.

    And for James: goodness, yes. Coffee and a hundred other things that seem like they should be “free” food require insulin dosing! (I like a fair amount of milk in my coffee).

    This is what makes BG control so tricky. Even if you knew the EXACT carb count of everything that went into your mouth, you still wouldn’t get perfectly consistent results all the time. Aargh!

  12. Kendra
    Kendra December 8, 2007 at 1:41 pm | | Reply

    I think it’s important during the holidays not to deny yourself flat out because of diaebtes – as previous commenters mentioned, even a “low carb” treat can end up mucking up blood sugars (shoot, I get whacky blood sugars for no damn good reason sometimes…don’t we all?)

    My tips are to try to stick to foods you have eaten before (a familiar cookie Mom makes every year, versus mystery chocolate pie your Aunt Enid you see once a decade made) and as always…enjoy in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with one piece of cake, or a few cookies – if you know how to bolus or exercise or whatever it is you do to deal with carbs. The rollercoaster ensues for me when I’ve been eating all day with nonstop abandon.

  13. Adam
    Adam December 8, 2007 at 6:44 pm | | Reply

    I make my own treats; they’re all low-carb. Chocolate with walnuts. Cream cheese pudding. Yumm!!! Of the carbohydrate-laden foods, I only miss fruitcake. Guess that makes me strange. However, I can cope with parties as long as someone brought hard cheese and cured meat (pepperoni or salami or ham). It’s also egg-nog time. YUMMMM!!!!
    ( OOPS! I’m getting cravings for homemade chocolate chip cookies :( )

  14. Lili
    Lili December 8, 2007 at 11:07 pm | | Reply

    James – some people do get spikes just from caffeine and need to cover it with insulin.

  15. birdie
    birdie December 9, 2007 at 12:11 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for the nice shout out Amy, and especially thanks for the shared sentiment. It’s not that we can’t have a few tastes at this time of the year but rather that there’s so MUCH to taste and consequently, resist. We can taste and we do resist, but like your column on DLife so eloquently put it, it’s the constant “24-hour / seven-day-a-week frustrating effort required” to navigate through it all that gets tiring. But it helps to know there are others living the challenge too. Yours in “grinchiness”, Birdie.

  16. adam
    adam August 14, 2008 at 10:50 am | | Reply

    No, thank you.

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