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How to manage Easter with diabetes

Easter with diabetes is a challenge for all of us… Diabetes guilt can be particularly difficult around big holidays like Easter and Christmas, even if you don’t celebrate them, because there are so many ‘illegal’ treats on offer.

How do you approach Easter? Do you eat Easter eggs or try for healthier alternatives? Do you give yourself a break or maintain strict blood glucose control?

Treating vs cheating

In Rosemary Flynn’s book, The emotions of children with diabetes, she talks about treating versus cheating. Cheating feels like doing something wrong and comes packaged with guilt. But treating is different: you plan it and take the right amount of insulin to cover the treat. It’s a form of self-care.

If you know that it’s Easter and you love chocolate and want to eat a couple of Easter eggs after lunch with your family, you can plan for that treat. You’re not wrestling with yourself, or depriving yourself, you’re not setting yourself up for failure and feeling guilty when you cave in, or – worse yet – pretending you didn’t eat the treat and not taking proper insulin for it. If you proactively deal with a treat by injecting the right amount of insulin beforehand, you can enjoy it without worry. It’s all about awareness and accountability. 

Awareness and accountability

Being aware of what you want, and accounting for it: that’s the goal. If you practice treating as a form of self-care, you’re focusing on how you feel when you eat certain foods and only eating those that make you feel good. You can be more connected to your diabetes, and have it as part of your identity without it taking over. 

The goal here is to live with diabetes, not fight against it. You’re not locked in a constant battle of deprivation and denial. You’re taking ownership and living with your condition in a way that works for you.

How will you celebrate Easter?

  • What would make the day feel really special?
  • How would you like to treat yourself?
  • What do you need to do to treat yourself without messing up your blood glucose?
  • Do you give yourself permission to enjoy this treat?

What to read next?

Just diagnosed: Your best and worst food choices. When someone is newly diagnosed with diabetes, it’s helpful to start with very simple dietary advice as they come to terms with the necessary lifestyle changes.

The Type 1 diabetes toolkit: what you need to carry at all times.

Diabetes myths: These are absolutely not true and we all know how dangerous fake news is, and diabetes myths are the original fake news when it comes to living with diabetes.

Photo by Anna Bratiychuk on Unsplash

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.