How do I make everyone around me understand that I can't eat sweets?

By John_10065 Latest Reply 2010-08-11 14:27:39 -0500
Started 2010-08-06 18:50:54 -0500

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 2002. My father and his brothers are all insulin diabetics and when my doctor wanted to do blood work I asked him to also check my A1C. It was a good hunch and got me trying to keep my sugar under control before it was bad enough to show symptoms.

I am married into a family of Norwegians who love sugar at every turn. I always heard they had the biggest sweet tooths in the world and my experience with the extended family of inlaws confirms that. My wife literally measures her sugar for her coffee with a measuring cup. The family reunion tables are typicall filled with desserts. They don't know what a meal is without sugar.

I try to do my best but I came from a southern family who loves sweets too and my best defense is not having them in the house. I give into temptation at times and eat brownies, icecream, etc. and it drives up my sugar for days at a time. I almost have to fast 12 to 18 hours to get my sugar back down. I prefer a piece of pome or stone fruit as a sweet treat but they aren't always around. Besides, my wife tends to take a bowl of fruit and turn it into a sweet pie or cobbler if it sets there for a day or two. We typically buy 8 to 10 lbs of sugar a month and I never eat refined sugar on purpose.

I just can't seem to make those around me understand that I don't care if they eat sugar or not, just don't leave trays of sweet treats laying around! If I don't want a starchy food with dinner, don't scowl at me like I am ruining their life!

I've been pretty good about keeping my A1C level down. It has only been above 8.0 a few months in the past couple years and it was 6.8 this past check up. But what bothers me is that my medication keeps going up and up and I do sometimes suffer from symptoms when my sugar level changes too fast late in the day. I know part of it is the progression of the disease and my age but I also know part of it is being bombarded daily by those around me how don't understand that having sugary and starchy foods in front of me all the time doesn't help.

How have all of you dealt with your family making them understand that it's hard to deal with diet issues when they partake in sugar all the time and don't understand your issues?

17 replies

ddr 2010-08-11 14:27:39 -0500 Report

I don't understand the question, do we have any cookies???? no but I have no sugar ice cream. SOOOOO go get it, why should I go to the bakery. I wish my husband could understand how hard it is to go grocery shopping. Help !!!!!

Diane987 2010-08-07 09:37:38 -0500 Report

I resorted to full color pictures of diabetic amputations taped onto everything I should not be eating to get my point across when being understanding and kind did not work. Before you take that route you might try diabetes nutrition classes for you and your wife. Maybe then she will get the message. Good luck.

WJG67 2010-08-06 21:55:40 -0500 Report

Sometimes it's best to be brutally honest. I tell everyone up front I'm a diabetic and apologize for not enjoying treats they offer.

RAYT721 2010-08-06 19:49:58 -0500 Report

Believe it or not your question is a common one. I responded to one such question with "tell them that sugar gives you gas." Sometimes it's hard to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. I know that people show love through food (or so they think) and while their intentions are noble, there are people with food allergies… milk, nuts and other kinds of things. It is best to decline the abundance of sweets/carbs with a simple, "oh, I am dreadfully allergic, but thank you." You can try something like that before resorting to wielding dinner forks and steak knives at loved ones and in-laws.

monkeymama 2010-08-06 19:15:10 -0500 Report

Hello there John! For me, I still have to deal with the kids and my husband asking me "why can't you eat this or that" and at times my husband rolls his eyes. I took enough of all of the garbage they were all eating, how much they were eating, and how often and I put my foot down with it all. I sometimes do cave myself but I set a LIMIT and boundries too. I do ALL of the grocery shopping in our house and have made changes to EVERYONES eating habits. I allowed them each 2-3 things I would not take away from them (within reason). I portion control meals and it is a 3 meal 3 snack thing in our house. I will occasionally allow them indulge but wisely and carefully. I have learned the word "no" and have had to get stern with this when they push too much. I don't care if they get upset! This is my diabetes, they are not the ones having to go through all of the testing, injections, and illnesses that come with it. There comes a time when you have to rise above everyone and do it for YOU. There will be times when it will be hard but YOU can do it…YOU will do it. You gotta live for YOU. I know that might sound a little selfish but you have to with this. It is not going to hurt them physically; just you. If my family does not like something I make, oh well, tough garbage, it's good for them. They can either eat healthier and improve themselves or pay a price later. I am a very stern and firm person in my house. I've just had to learn to give on "some" occasional things but not all. Life is too precious to just waste it all away and hurting yourself. You can do this…with or without them. Have faith in YOU and know YOU can do it. Rise above…

John_10065 2010-08-06 20:32:28 -0500 Report

Actually one of the greatest battles I have won at home is about sodas. I usually drink water, hot green tea, black coffee and on rare occasions a diet soda. My wife primarily drinks coffee with enough sugar in it to make the cup stick to the saucer and sodas. I started bringing home different diet sodas and she actually prefers Coke Zero to anything else now. I didn't do it with a club, I did it with persuasion.

The big argument typically is when she gets a wild hair and wants to make 3 or 4 different chocolate desserts at the same time. I am standing there asking her why do we need a double chocolate chocolate cake, chewy brownies with chucks and tollhouse cookies all at the same time?

One of the things I finally figured out about my blood sugar and her eating habits is about when we like to eat. I eat more in the morning and less in the evening. She often doesn't eat anything until well after noon and tends to want to snack after a big supper. I have spent many mornings on the weekend waiting on her to decide she is hungry enough to eat when I am famished. I also found myself eating larger meals in the evening and later than I prefer just so we could eat together.

Now I don't worry about it, I do what works for me. I eat a decent breakfast (when I want to eat), a balanced lunch and a light dinner. I also don't snack in the evenings just because she wants to. I get a few raised eyebrows eating a dinner than fits on a 7" plate but the leftovers make a decent lunch.

monkeymama 2010-08-06 21:26:48 -0500 Report

There you go, it is a little start there. I do get some resistance in my house. They want sugary treats and snacks every night. I do not allow it! I am now down to 1 diet soda a day, lots of purified water, propel, and diet green tea. I use a toddler divided plate/small plate, and the plating method. When it comes to breakfast, i make theirs and then I have MY way of eating a breakfast. i cut back on how much I make at dinner time now. We have little to no leftovers. if there is, it goes to work with my hubby. Otherwise, lunch is a protein/luna bar or protein shake. Sometimes I might have a salad or half sandwich. I have gotten VERY CAUTIOUS but i do have a special snack 1-2 times a month with a carb limit of nothing more than 40g. I make maybe 2-3 special homemade desserts per month in our house. I try to make them low carb/low sugar (Splenda) when I do though. Best of luck and if I can help. Just let me know.

kdroberts 2010-08-06 19:09:17 -0500 Report

If its your house that they are leaving tempting things around, just throw them away. You will get a harsh reaction the first couple of times but they'll quickly learn.

kdroberts 2010-08-06 19:09:08 -0500 Report

If its your house that they are leaving tempting things around, just throw them away. You will get a harsh reaction the first couple of times but they'll quickly learn.

monkeymama 2010-08-06 19:17:19 -0500 Report

Here here on this!!! I full heartedly agree on this. I have the edge on them with me being the one who shops for the groceries and does ALL of the cooking. Stinks to be them at times.

Harlen 2010-08-06 19:00:07 -0500 Report

Just sey No and when they push ask if they are trying to kill you??????
It worked for me lol
Best wishes

John_10065 2010-08-06 20:18:09 -0500 Report

I have tried to tell my wife that it isn't about her health but it's about mine. It's helped a little but not enough.

RAYT721 2010-08-07 10:29:20 -0500 Report

I'm lucky. My wife is a gastric bypass patient who is more in touch with counting carbs than I am. We keep each other on path with trying to eat healthier. The reality of your situation, John, is that whether your wife or family is diabetic or not the "diabetic diet" is actually healthier for everyone because while there are no rules to the diet, it's about watching carbs and getting more protein and portion control and paying attention to serving sizes, sodium, etc. You can't change her lifestyle but you can change your own. You may end up sleeping on the sofa saying "NO" but to thine own self be true.