Don't Eat That!

How many times have you heard that? When?

Usually what I hear is "Can you eat that?" or "Are you allowed to eat that?" It often comes from the (sometimes well-intentioned) diapolice. But it absolutely drives me NUTS.

People must just know me better than to tell me what to do

My experience is, if anything, quite the opposite. Other than sugar (which I stopped eating long before diabetes) and being a vegetarian for the last ten years, people are more inclined to suggest I can eat things I know I can't, or at any rate would prefer not to. Like when the family was all meeting at a good Italian restaurant and my nephew, well intentioned, said "they have really good pizza for you, Zoe". Meaning, it was vegetarian. They get the vegetarian part but not the carb (diabetes) part.

When I stopped eating sugar 17 years ago I got lots of people saying "well, it really isn't very sweet" - not understanding the concept of no sugar.

A lot and I will tell you this. If someone says; "Don't eat that" I gurantee that I will eat it just to tick them off.

Wow. I have mixed feelings about your story, Chadd. On the one hand, I don't like being treated like a "food leper", being patronized or excluded. I'm a grown up. I can make my own food choices, thank you! On the other hand, I'd appreciate a healthy-food potluck. I guess it would never occur to your Type Zero co-workers to serve healthy food at all the food-related gatherings? ;0)

Nope LaGuitariste...they don't give us a second thought. I have gone to "breakfasts" where all they serve is pastries. Lunches at diners with no choices. I have even asked them what it would cost for some fruit salad. Buy it in the can and I will open it myself.

T0's don't think at all about our diabetes. But do we always think of people with allergies?

Stuff like this goes on all the time.

Yesterday at the hairdressers, she gave me choc fish with my coffee and then she came back and said "Oh you can't eat those can you"

Chocolate fish???

Though I think the "D Police" are interfering idiots, I do wonder if sometimes people are just trying to be helpful. Everyone knows I don't eat sugar, so if someone was passing around a box of cookies and said, "Oh, sorry, Zoe, I forgot you don't eat those" I would consider it considerate of them.

Since most non-D's think the only thing we have to avoid is sugar and that all diabetics "can't" eat sugar, it would be considerate to say, "Oh, you can't eat those can you?"

And....chocolate fish???

I hear that all the time from my g-mother who by the way makes all this carb rich stuff for our family get togethers.

There are about 3 of us diabetics who go to her house all the time and there are 6 ppl at them who aren't. My daughter & I and my 2nd cousin (who's a Type 2 herself me & my daughter are the Type 1's out of the bunch) EVERYTIME we start to eat she's the food police going around to all our plates and telling us what we can have & what we can't. Gotta love her though.

Zoe, my experience is the same as yours. Usually, it's people telling me that I should try something I don't care to eat. Was the same when I was vegetarian. The soup is just vegetables, the beef broth doesn't count. It's Thanksgiving, you have to have turkey on a holiday.

When I was a kid eating at someone's house, I had the perfect excuse for not eating what I didn't like. Sorry, my family's kosher & I don't think I'm allowed. No one argues when it's a religious prohibition by saying a little pork won't hurt you. If only PWD had something similar.

Chadd, when we have potlucks at my work I always bring the veggies. That way if there is nothing else I can eat then at least I have something. After a few potlucks people started bringing in healthier dishes and looking forward to my apple walnut blue cheese salads! Healthy eating is contagious.

Ironically, Gerri, long before I got diabetes I got tired of telling people I didn't eat sugar, and really didn't want to share that I had an eating disorder with strangers. One day at a restaurant when I said no sugar, they said "oh, do you have diabetes?" And I just said "yes". After that I sometimes just said I had diabetes if someone asked why I didn't eat sugar. Yep, it was But they always accepted a "medical condition" as a reason.

The problem though is sugar is the only thing people think they know about diabetics. I even mentioned low carbs once to an RN and she said, "you mean for diabetes?" Well, yeah, carbs are what raise blood sugar so doesn't it stand to reason that the less you eat, the less your blood sugar gets raised?

Maybe we could create an imaginary (and severe) allergy to carbs which is called PWD (which stands for something long and latin). Only insiders would get the joke and everyone else would acquiesce out of fear of our throat closing up in their restaurant/house!

Well, part of it is educating them, I'm afraid. When I cook for a work potluck, I always make something low carb and delicious and make sure that I mention why it's good for me. I'll make a big salad and say, "See, the dressing is vinaigrette on the side and there are no croutons, so this is good for me." Or I'll bake chicken drumettes marinated in lemon, olive oil and minced herbs, and I'll say, "I can have this because it doesn't have the usual sticky-sweet sauces that store-bought chicken wings are coated with."

Sometimes, if I know it's going to be a big company-paid wall-to-wall pizza, soda, chips and cookie fest, I'll make a really yummy meal just for me -- like a mixed vegetable salad with diced chicken and toasted almonds added -- and people will gaze longingly at my food.

That's great, Jet, that your contributions have encouraged people to eat healthy!

That reminds me years ago my boyfriend and I were staying for a couple weeks with a young couple with a 3 year old daughter. They were the original junk food junkies, and Niel and I needed a break from the non-stop junk. So we got in the habit of offering to cook to pay them back for their hospitality but also to eat something decent ourselves. Their 3 year old had little experience with fresh vegies and we expected she wouldn't eat them. Well, she ate all the vegies we made and I'm sure it was because her body was starved for the vitamins. She called broccoli "trees" and would say, "would you please make me some more trees?"

My recent story with a pleasant twist : we had Lunch at the Hilton Hawaiian Village this past week , took my glucometer out of by backpack and proceeded to check my BG when the waitress came over and asked if I was a type 1 or 2 , I responded , she shared that her son of 13 years was diagnosed 3 years ago ( an avid surfer , not a pumper ...I shared with Mom about the OmniPod( tubeless ) !! ) I ordered my meal with a bit of discussion with the waitress : Greek Salad ( loads of tomatoes ) with a slice of local bread . Mom Waitress served and asked how many carbs I would bolus for the bread ( she thought 20 )I added a bit more for all the other ingredients thought : nice to have such a knowledgebale person I get to talk with in Paradise

Ooo, I like your idea, Zoe. Sorry, can't eat that. I have ACS, anaphylatic carb syndrome, with hand to throat & swallowing hard.

Pitiful that simply saying no thanks isn't sufficient. People aren't owed an explanation about not eating sugar or anything. Somehow, because it's not the usual, we feel compelled to offer a reason.

People are always surprised when I say I don't eat any starch, even though they all get the no sugar bit. Even close friends have trouble keeping that one straight. I don't fault them for that though, my diet is not exactly mainstream. If someone seems surprised I sometime add "My meter says I can't eat that", which takes me out of the "follower of strange fad diet" category.

Every time my family has a gathering. I have this one obnoxious cousin that says, loudly, "You aren't supposed to be eating that!"

I grew up with "Natalie, don't eat that -- you'll get diabetes!" because my grandmother had diabetes and the family was terrified of it. This does NOT leave a sweet taste in the mouth of a child, and as soon as I could, I rebelled and gave myself permission to eat all the carbs and sweets I wanted. And, as the years passed, I DID gain weight, although I never hit the obese point. And as my mother got older and older, and got round (but also, never obese), and never got diabetes, nor any sign of any metabolic or autoimmune disorder in her 70's (she died at age 80, of COPD), I thought I was home safe.

So when I started showing the signs of oncoming diabetes, and was told I was hyperglycemic (old standards -- would have been diagnosable these days), all I could do was bawl, and listen to all the voices in my head saying "I told you so, I told you so!" BAAAAD VIBES!

So at this point, NO ONE tells me I can't eat something. I'M the only one who can do that. I'm lucky in that my friends respect my choices, and I readily admit that I don't always follow my own ideals for what I SHOULD be eating. But at least it's a conscious choice, and the only proviso is the deal that I made with myself which is that I MUST take ENOUGH insulin to cover what I eat, and if it means staying up all night correcting (like I did on Tuesday), then so be it.

I know that my family treated me like that because they cared about me and my health, but what a burden to put on a child!

Terrible burden to heave on a child & a sure fire way to cause rebellion. Anything I was told not to do as a kid, I immediately did. Admit, I do this to a lesser degree as an adult also.

I have supportive friends also. They ask if I can go to a particular restaurant, if I can eat things they'e preparing for dinner & offer to pass on dessert, which I insist they eat. Hate anyone limiting themselves to be nice, but is touching they're caring. Never once had any be the food police.