Use your past experience with the holidays to create a plan for your diabetes

diabetes managment holiday food holidays Oct 17, 2023

We eat for comfort. Many of us have certain foods we turn to when we feel bad about ourselves or when we're depressed or when we're anxious. We comfort ourselves with those foods. The comfort lasts for a little while, but then once it wears off, those feelings will come back.

We eat for avoidance. This is a case where we might want to avoid feeling anger, depression, anxiety, or anything that's uncomfortable. So we end up - through food - stuffing those feelings deep down inside so we don't have to deal with them. But they don’t go away so eventually we have to deal with them.

We eat for connection, often times with our past. Favorite foods from our childhood or some favorite meal that a beloved and trusted grandparent or family member made for us might connect us with feeling loved or safe.

We might eat to punish ourselves. This might be from painful, harsh self-talk where our mind tell us: “You are not enough” “You don’t deserve…” “You aren’t worthy enough” – all old, ingrained conversations that you might not even recognize or realize you can change because they feel “normal” because they’ve always been there.

We eat on some level because of addiction - when we crave food! Sugar is a great example, and many of us have issues with that. There's this sense of 'I have to have it now!’ This gives us that sought after dopamine hit. The thing with sugar is that we're wired for it. It's in our DNA to eat sugar because it's a carbohydrate that breaks down fast and gives us energy quickly. But, in our modern life, it can create bigger problems.

With the holidays coming up, all of these reasons to eat may come up for you. I recommend you have a plan. Think about holidays of the past. What thoughts, feelings and emotions came up for you in years past? What issues around food did you have? Did you have difficulty avoiding certain foods? If so, why? What were the meals like for you? Were they relaxed and joyful or strained and difficult? What were your family/friend interactions? Were they easy, kind and celebratory or painful?

Thinking about all this now, before the holidays get closer, will help you develop a plan that works for you. How will you handle the food issue? Will you bring your own meal or a few dishes you can eat? How will you handle being around certain family or friends? What boundaries can you create to keep yourself centered and grounded? How and who might you ask for support if you need it? I encourage you to take the time to create a plan that will get you through the holidays in the best way possible.

Dr Elaine


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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


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