Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management.  

One thing I know I am going to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season is my will power that I have built over the years. Unfortunately, my will power falters a bit when it comes to the delicious, carb-loaded Thanksgiving and other holiday dishes that I have grown up enjoying every year. I decided it's time to finally let go of the emotional hold that holiday food has on my psyche. Not to mention the hold it has on my taste buds. I can enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years without the carbs. After all, it should be about the people we spend the holiday with not the food, right?

I have heard all the tips and tricks for having a low-carb holiday, but the problem is implementing them. How do I actually make myself follow through when the social pressure hits and the delicious aromas start wafting in? Well, let’s make an action plan that can help all that struggle with the temptation of the carb-filled meals involved with the holidays.

The Action Plan

Get Support

First I will need some support. Even though I have strong determination, it isn’t enough to take on Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. I am going to need back up. My family will need to know my plan so that they can help. Not only will I notify friends and family to help me keep the high-carb dishes to a minimum, but I will also need someone to hold me accountable. If they all know that I am not supposed to be eating that second piece of pie, and my husband reminds me of this, there is no way I will get away with it this year.

Find Decoys

Next I will need some decoys. If I am going to not focus on all of the food, I will need something to focus my attention on instead. The holidays are about spending time with people you love, so why not go out of my way to spend some one-on-one time with family and friends that I may not have kept up with well enough over the year? Since I have a big family, catching up with all of them will take all day and there may not be enough time left to stuff my face anyway. If this decoy doesn't work for you, find one that does.

Create New Traditions

Lastly, I will need to create some new traditions. My whole life has been filled with traditions that are centered on food and feasts during the holiday season. It is time to create some new traditions that don’t involve food so that in years to come I will have something to look forward to instead of dreading the anxiety, stress and guilt that holidays bring.

If I can stay focused on my action plan, I think that I will be able to hold up pretty well. If I have the right attitude I can enjoy myself while avoiding all of the carb-filled, diabetic-unfriendly food. The holidays are a wonderful time and everyone deserves to be happy. We are the ones that create the memories that last, and I plan to start making memories that are worth remembering this holiday season.

To learn more about controlling your blood sugar this holiday season:

Surviving the Holidays without Blowing Your Blood Sugar Control
Dealing with the Holidays with Diabetes
Holiday Eating Strategies