I had the usual struggle today. Someone wanted to feed me. Someone NEEDED to feed me. Someone pushed to feed me.
So, some etiquette rules on Feeding a Diabetic.
1 - I have made a choice to NOT eat sugar and stay off medication. Please don’t tell me, “one bite won’t hurt” because, well, it will.
2 - When I reply respectfully, “No thank you” please don’t make me explain why I decline. Please respect my answer. Please don’t repeat several times because repetition isn’t going to change my answer. (I think that should be true for offering food to anyone)
3 - Please don’t try to explain to me that you used brown sugar in the cookies so it’s ok and not sugar. Its sugar. And many other ingredients are carbs. Also, I personally react to eating sugar substitutes so again, I appreciate the offer but, no thank you. And don’t you think the frosting on the cookies counts?
4 - IF you really are trying to be considerate and you know I’m a diabetic, maybe you could include a veggie tray with the tray of desserts. That would be amazing.
5 - Please don’t guilt trip me about all the time you put in baking. I’m sure someone else will enjoy that treat but my declining is nothing personal, is not my guilt trip, it’s yours? I feel like I have to apologize for wanting to stay healthy. Don’t you value that I will be healthy?
6 - Be a listener to whatever dietary restrictions a person is following. Choices are made for therapeutic reasons, general good feeling, battling inflammation, battling bloating, heart-healthy – whatever the reason, listen and respect personal choices.
7 - Not every diabetic is the same. We all have trigger foods, we all have variations to what works. Please don’t challenge my understanding of my own body and how it functions. I know what that cookie will do to me, it doesn’t matter what it will do or not do to your cousin’s friend. Been there, ate the cookie, got sick.
8 - If you ever start feeling like it’s an argument, you are being a bully, it is confrontational, please stop and think. Then go back to #6 (listen).
9 - Etiquette or good manners seem to be lacking sometimes, so good old fashion kindness is always a good idea. Sometimes the discussion on whether I want that cookie or not is an embarrassment. Always try to make the person you are with feel comfortable vs. embarrassed. I’m more interested in conversation than arguing if you are feeding me. I know that hospitality often falls to offering and serving food, but I think it, more importantly, goes back to feeling welcome and being kind.
Thank you for listening. I was cornered at work today and told that they were going to have a party could I please eat the treats and I’ve never said so many no thank you’s. I’ve never felt so embarrassed. And, in the end, I probably stood my ground and also stood in a puddle of angry. Nobody said being diabetic was fair. Is there a scavenger hunt where you get bonus points if you can get a diabetic to eat sugar?