If you are on any kind of special diet whether it be a diabetic one, an allergy one or just on a diet to loose or gain weight, you have probably heard comments from the “Food Police”. These comments I am referring to are those well meaning ones from friends and relatives that go something like this:
“Should you be eating that?”
“Before you eat that, have you checked your sugars?”
“That probably has too many carbs in it for you.”
“My (family member) had diabetes and they lost their (insert body part here).”
and my favorite, “I was watching Dr Oz the other day and he said……”
I know that in my heart these people are just trying to be helpful. They love me and just want to see me take care of myself, which I do, most of the time. However, these comments can sometimes leave me feeling like a child being told I can’t eat this and that and I should behave. I have found that some of the worst “offenders” are other diabetics, especially ones I have “met” online. That’s where it gets tricky.
So how do you deal with the food police?
Tips for dealing with the Food Police When You Are Diabetic
- Say, “Thanks for your concern.” and leave it at that. You don’t have to be snarky, either. Be genuine. Most likely, the people making these comments are being that way and they don’t know you hear it all the time.
- Check your blood sugar in front of people that might be the people that have said comments in the past. When they see you self caring, they may not feel the need to comment.
- Educate. Take this time to educate commentators on what causes diabetes to swing into high numbers. Some people still think sugar is complete Kryptonite to diabetics and we will die the second it touches our lips.
- When you meet new people, decide if it is something they need to know up front about you. Get to know people and educate them first so they won’t feel the need to comment.
- If the well meaning advice giver is another diabetic, explain that you are only doing what your Dr told you to do and that no two diabetics are alike.
- People often make comments because they want to help you. Instead of getting upset at these comments, think of ways your friends, family and co-workers can help you and be ready to tell them if the comments happen.
- If you will be going to a food event, such as a holiday meal, discuss food ahead of time or bring a dish that suits your dietary needs to share. This way, everyone already knows you are policing yourself and hopefully they won’t feel the need to comment.
Above all, remember that the way you react is very important. Take this as a time to practice patience with well-meaners and educate them if need be.