Can we start a social movement?

I want to start a social movement, and I think the TuDiabetes community is the crowd to kick it into gear. Here's my slogan: "Celebrate with your body, not your mouth". Admittedly, it needs work.

Here's the idea: our special events, occasions gatherings etc. are largely based around food, and I think we'd all be better served to focus them on some sort of physical activity or experience, and let food/drink be something of a happy afterthought, rather than the other way around. What if, for Thanksgiving (oh, I'm being ambitious here) instead of eating until we all feel sick and then trying to force ourselves to take an extremely uncomfortable walk around the block, we planned a great hike or stroll, someplace beautiful and interesting, and THEN went home with an appetite for some well-earned and appreciated sustenance?

Do you think we can do it? Anyone else want to give it a try with me, for your next few social occasions? I'm going to give it a shot and post the results (like, whether or not my friends abandon me) in the thread below.

Join me and let's compare notes!

I'm Game Emily. How about our next family greathering???? EASTER???? Atleast here around my house.

I have walking "dates" with some likeminded neighborhood friends--instead of coffee dates. Since we all work & have kids, these tend to be impromptu. (One of us sends out a Facebook inviting the others & 2 or more of us set out for an hour.) This has been a great glue for us.
Honestly, I don't see my less active friends so much anymore.

It certainly sounds like a good idea to build our social events around activities other than food, but I's like to share another viewpoint.

I for one, actually value the sharing of food with loved ones in a social setting. I think sharing food has been a special way for humans to connect since before history began from religious and community activities and celebrations, down to a traveler in sparsely populated areas being provided a place to stop and share a bowl of soup, and people who have little themselves sharing what they do have with others who are hungry or alone.Culture is expressed through food and we evoke our roots in Russia, or Italy or New Orleans when we eat foods traditional to our families who came from there. We nurture each other with food, what better way to nurture than providing sustenance! It's a very basic human way of connecting.

I love being a part of this long history of "breaking bread", and as a "foodie" I love exploring different cuisines with like-minded people, while traveling, in restaurants and at home. I love to cook and making good food for people is one important way I connect.

That being said I don't subscribe to the kind of mindless over-eating and poor food choices of say a traditional Thanksgiving-stuff-yourself-till-you're sick and lethargic or of "all you can eat/stuff restaurants where people feel obligated to over-eat to get their money's worth. Food can be healthy, diabetes-friendly as well as tasty and a delight for the eyes and palate. I don't plan on giving the joy of sharing food up any time soon. It's one of my greatest joys.

When I got into recovery from my eating disorder I gave a lot of thought to this very topic, realizing that I needed other ways to "treat myself", and I learned to replace things like ice cream sundaes with a new book. But I also learned that "enjoying food" wasn't off the table (pun intended!). On the contrary it was required, not to feel deprived. Mindless "all you can stuff" eating is not particularly enjoyable. Nor is eating things that send us onto a blood sugar roller coaster. But sitting around a dining room table by candelight drinking good red wine and eating good home cooked food is.

Great idea! I sort of do this already, to ‘cheat’ and make room for food. I think a lot of people, not just PWD would certainly benefit from exercise. Plus, of course, all of our relatives are at risk…

This is a wonderful idea. Too bad I am far to lazy to participate. My only too much food and not enough of anything else day is Christmas, and I managed to eat reasonably last year. Sometimes, In Minnesota it is difficult to go for a walk after a big meal, even if there is a genuine desire! :)

Count me in! Fabulous project. Many ways to celebrate & enjoy being alive. Your idea would make occasions memorable.

I have a long-standing tradition of going someplace beautiful in nature on Christmas morning -- far from gift-wrap, tinsel and "treats" -- hiking until I finding a peaceful, pretty spot, and stopping to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. It makes me happy, burns some calories, puts me in touch with "the reason for the season" and (perhaps) entertains any squirrels, birds or other critters within listening range.

I also buy a SMALL, living evergreen tree still in its pot, lightly and carefully decorate it, enjoy it over the holidays, and then donate it to some group that will plant it outside (perhaps a water-shed restoration project.) I'm open to the idea of hiking somewhere with a folding shovel, a portable watering "can" and my little tree on my back to plant it myself.

Maybe instead of tree cutting we could make tree planting our tradition?

My birthday usually goes quietly as everyone seems to be out of town when my birthday rolls around in August. However, I have had some success organizing outdoor picnics with lots of frisbee, softball and games. Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day seem like the most likely candidates for extreme make-overs.

The thing is, people LOVE to feast and it's hard to get very many motivated to move all at the same time in the same direction once we pass the magic age of 30. What a bunch of schlumps we are! ;0)

I think soccer parties, frisbee parties, dancing parties, hiking parties and the like should be the tradition until we start slowing down at about...oh...say 85 or so. It will take quite a culture shift to make it so, but hey, I'm game.

#DOC and #DSMA on twitter are great people and have a discussion every Wednesday night on twitter.

check them out...they are wonderful!

Absolutely! What I need is support. It is much easier to be consistent if I have a bike buddy, or hiking companion.

EASTER!! I have an Easter hearbreak story from my childhood, involving, of course, a comparison of my Easter basket to those of my (non-diabetic) siblings. My poor parents tried so hard, but there was so little sugar free candy back then...

How about an wide-ranging Easter egg hunt, involving much walking and hiking and climbing? Maybe even treasure-hunt style with instructions to hop, skip, trot your way to the next clue. I think that sounds like fun!

I'm glad you're in, Doris!

I love that idea. I'm the coffee date type (although I have very little time for it these days), but I actually enjoy walking and chatting more than sitting and chatting.

I forgot but we used to work out on New Year's Day with one of the Tae Kwon Do groups I studied with and taught at. Our group would have a "who wants to work out on New Year's Day?" session that was always well-attended and had an extra bit of "oomph" knowing that you were going ON A HOLIDAY!! I feel the same way about the Turkey Trot, running on xmas, etc. It's good to get out, get some fresh air and then the junk food tastes better.

When you first mentioned a social gathering not involving food, I thought of this, the annual New York City "No Pants Subway Ride". It's exactly as it sounds. Originally designed to catch people off-guard and capture their responses to people riding the subway without pants, it's morphed into more of a well-publicized event for gawkers.

I assume this isn't what you had in mind!

I'd ASSume (ha ha!!) that "No Pants Diabetes Day" would 1) get us a lot of PR and 2) make it easier for thigh injections for 24 hours!

Somehow I think that riding the New York subways without pants and sticking needles in your thighs could definitely have unwanted results!

Diabeteass!!

I'm with you Zoe. Besides, Turkey dinner is usually D-friendly. After all the summer BBQs with the sugary ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers,corn on the cob, potato salads etc., I am always so excited when the turkey dinners arrive and there is something I can eat. It always feels so good to finally be able to sit down and join the party.Cheers! Joanne


Emily I've actually already started what you're suggesting and, ironically, I started on Thanksgiving 2011. I am an Amateur Radio operator - or "Ham" - and I work three major races a year and the last one falls on Thanksgiving morning. Although I don't run, I still get a nice workout setting up equipment, taking participants to different locations, etc. Then, when it's over and I get home, I can eat in moderation and not feel guilty. It must be working too because I've lost almost 20 pounds since I started and went down about four sizes in the waist!

Thank you very much! That's really an awesome thing to do! All races need volunteers and I totally appreciate everyone who has ever waved a cup of gatorade, water or Gu at me! The volunteers at the Chicago marathon last year were amazing, not just passing it out but yelling and motivating for 5-6 hours, almost as much work as running.