Freaking Over the Holidays

by Angi Ingalls, PCOS in ConnecTion

It’s always amazing to me when I walk through the aisles of any store in the middle of August and see Halloween and autumn-dedicated candy. I am then reminded that the next five months are filled with sweets, goodies and the unending freshly-baked-goods surrounding my every move. And there’s no escape!

Sure, I could avoid the ear-marked aisles in the stores and not buy any ingredients to make such sinfully sweet edibles. I could even decline all invitations to parties, weekend gatherings and events filled with confections. But what about the co-worker who insists on bringing in “delectables”? How do you politely say “no” to the friendly neighbor bearing tasty gifts? And what do you do when you bust out in a full-blown craving attack?!

The holidays are hard to enjoy for anyone on a diet or venturing into a new, healthy lifestyle. It can be difficult to find ways to stay on track. With these tips, hopefully you can make it through the toughest part of living a diabetic lifestyle – menu control.

First, it’s very important to have a consistent meal plan. People with blood sugar or insulin problems, like those of us with PCOS, often find that they feel better eating 5-6 small meals a day. A good rule of thumb is to have something to eat every two hours. At first, you may need to force yourself into this pattern, but eventually your body will take over and start desiring the need to eat more often. You may have heard of the “body like a car” scenario. As with a car, our bodies need fuel to run. Take the fuel away and the car starts to die down. Our engine is our metabolism. If we don’t eat often enough, we deprive our bodies of the necessary energy to keep our metabolism running.

Keep a daily diary. It should consist of your thoughts, your feelings and the foods you eat. When you do write down your foods, note your emotions and what events may be surrounding the time of consumption. This can help pinpoint any problem areas you may need to address.

Next, don’t be afraid to reach out to another person. You can never have too many “diet buddies.” They are a wonderful asset to your ultimate goal. A friend will listen, encourage you to make the right choice, be your shoulder-in-need and offer you alternatives when you can’t think of any for yourself. A therapist is always a wonderful asset to your circle of health. Even your pet can offer some peace.

Make sure you keep plenty of quick-grab foods around you. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and cottage cheese are just a few of the foods I keep around me on a daily basis. These snacks come in very handy when you have allowed yourself to go too long without food. In fact, when you find yourself starving, grab one of these or another similar tidbits while you prepare yourself a meal or before you go shopping. Doing so will help prevent you from overeating, inhaling your food or making poor choices.

There may be times that you are completely over powered with those nagging feelings for comfort food, pastries, and chocolate. It’s these times that we struggle with the most. Think about what you desire. Often times, the food you want has something in it your body needs. For instance, if you yearn for chips, usually that means you need salt. Find a healthier alternative and see if the need subsides. If that doesn’t work, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a mental break. Go for a walk, listen to some music, call up a friend, try to watch a movie, read a book – all activities that can help get your mind off your cravings for just a little while. Hopefully you can work through your urges.

If all else fails and your fixations just won’t dissipate, it’s ok to give into them. Just make sure that you do so cautiously. Make sure the food portion is small, very small, just enough to get the taste in your mouth and subside your craving. After eating it, write in your diary and really examine the “how” and “why” you wanted that divine morsel. Once completed, immediately brush your teeth to get the taste out of your mouth which can prolong the desire.

When presented with a “sticky” situation that you just cannot avoid, find ways to adhere to your self-made promises in a polite manner. If someone offers you a treat, there are several options you can take. I have no problem letting people know I am pre-diabetic. Everyone completely understands and often opens up an educational opportunity. Another option is to admit you have chosen a healthier lifestyle that doesn’t include sweets. This statement often opens up a wave of conversation about how the other person can also improve their life. For many, a simple “no, thank you” will do. If you run into that stubborn person who can not comprehend your decline, find an excuse to walk away – such as you see someone you need to speak with, or my favorite, you can pretend you feel your phone buzz.

These are just a few ideas to help you get through those unbearable moments. Do you have a trick that works for you? What other options have you heard in the circuit? Any recommendations you would like to contribute? Feel free to share! We’d love to hear from you.
Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion
PCOS Consultant for Insulite Laboratories
Educator for over 18 years (PCOS Info Center) (Public PCOS Forums)
[email protected]

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article and the Insulite Labs website is for the sole purpose of being informative. Information obtained is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment, take any medication, supplements or other nutritional support, or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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