I am a big fan of Ginger Vieira, not only because I consider her a friend, but because of her positive attitude and drive to help others. You can’t help but be motivated by her.
I shared with you Ginger’s first book Your Diabetes Science Experiment, which helped me to realize that there are ways to figure out why blood sugars sometimes behave the way they do. (Though diabetes has a mind of its own sometimes!)
Ginger’s newest book Emotional Eating with Diabetes intrigued me for a couple of reasons. First, I think that it is all too easy to develop food issues when you have diabetes because there is so much pressure about and emphasis placed on food. Second, I know that I don’t eat as well as I should and thought perhaps it would give me some insight into my own eating habits, even though I am not the one with diabetes.
It has been my philosophy not to make any foods be completely off limits for my daughter because that will only make her want them more. Rather, she can have sweets and chips sometimes…and with both insulin and our knowledge. I have heard many parents say that they have found candy wrappers in their d-kid’s pockets or that their d-kid had unexplained blood sugars in the 300’s only to find out it is because their child was sneaking food. By making nothing off limits–and I try to have the same philosophy for my child who does not have diabetes–I hope that my daughter can form a healthy relationship with food.
Ginger says in the book, “If you want to eat candy, say to yourself, ‘I’m choosing to eat this candy. I’ll take my insulin, and enjoy this candy.” Further, “A healthy relationship with food is about feeling proud of your choices, whether you choose carrots or ice cream.”
It’s ironic that I read this book right after having a conversation with my daughter. I remarked that her blood sugars must have been good at school that day because she didn’t have any lows (the nurse would have texted me). She said that she likes having lows. When I asked why she said it’s because she likes to eat candy.
You see, we normally use juice or glucose tablets to treat lows, sometimes Smarties (which in my opinion aren’t something I would eat as a sweet treat…give me chocolate!). But I sometimes stock up on bags of candy after holidays when they are on deep discount.
At that moment I began rethinking my decision to have candy for lows. I don’t want lows to be fun. It’s not like I deprive her of candy, though it’s not something she has every day either.
When reading the section about over-treating lows, Ginger says that she uses foods that she normally wouldn’t eat unless she was low.
Q is still young enough that she follows the “rule of 15’s” and there is normally an adult monitoring her, so we don’t typically over-treat lows. But I thought it was interesting that Ginger doesn’t use really delicious foods to treat lows. Something for me to think about for sure.
Like her Science Experiment book, Emotional Eating with Diabetes has worksheets at the end of each chapter where you can answers questions and help formulate a plan. There are contributions by adult members of the DOC talking about their own issues with food in relation to their diabetes. I read the book in one afternoon and came away with some “food for thought” regarding my own eating habits and ways to possibly change our approach to food with my own child with diabetes.
From her website: “In life with diabetes, we are constantly being told what we should or shouldn’t be eating. Inevitably, this can lead to a tremendous amount of guilt and confusion in our life around food. Over-treating low blood sugars, rebelling against the “rules” of how we’re expected to eat, and constantly struggling with crash-dieting–these are all common habits in people with diabetes. This book is an easy-to-read guide to untwisting your current thoughts and habits around food and creating a positive relationship with food. ”
Here is a video of Ginger talking about Emotional Eating with Diabetes:
(E-mail and feed subscribers click over for embedded video.)
Ginger Vieira’s website Living in Progress