You're Not The Only One

Student Blog

You're Not The Only One

Candy, candy, candy. Why does every holiday involve copious amounts of eating? You could put blinders on and it would still be impossible to avoid the isles upon isles of Halloween-themed candy at the grocery store.

I was diagnosed with T1D in April of 2009 when I was 11. The following October was my first Halloween with diabetes, which any diabetic will tell you is always an interesting “first.” You dread it because you know the sugar will be everywhere and hard to resist. And I learned a lot that Halloween, like how to carb count and bolus for candy that doesn’t have a nutrition label on the wrapper (pro tipP: it requires a lot of help from Google).

I’ve always liked to pretend that diabetes doesn’t affect the way I live my life, but holiday season seems to remind me that’s not true. My blood sugar is a constant thought in the back of my mind. Diabetic guilt comes with every cookie, every Laffy Taffy, and every festive holiday cocktail, even if I did give myself insulin.

Diabetic guilt is a real thing, but women in general experience the same sort of guilt when they indulge themselves on the holidays. The second we treat ourselves, we wind up feeling bad about it. I’ve noticed that the voice in my head that makes me feel bad about an hour of high blood sugar is the same voice that makes me feel bad about my non-flat stomach.

Don’t limit yourself JUST because of diabetes, and especially don’t feel guilty about living your life normally. If you ask your friends, they’ll tell you they also have to limit themselves for various reasons – be it weight, health, or allergies. Everyone experiences moderation.

Do whatever you feel comfortable doing while still keeping your health in mind. If you want the cake, eat the cake. If you want to have a drink with friends, do it. You CAN eat candy on Halloween, if that’s what you want to do. The diabetic guilt might kick in, but there are ways to silence that voice that’s been nagging you since diagnosis.

Diabetes doesn’t excuse us from experiencing every moment of life the same way other people do. We crave sugar and carbs just like every other person, and we eat the sugar and carbs just like every other person. That’s important to remember.