With the holidays approaching, the thought occurred to me today that I have an opportunity to face the Monster head on.  This will be a good challenge to see who comes away the winner.

I got myself through Halloween relatively unscathed although not without cheating myself.  I’ve had my unfortunate share of mini-Snickers bars.  Fortunately, I am able to stop myself at 1 or 2 of them.

Now, we have Thanksgiving and my daughter’s birthday upcoming.  Thanksgiving is not necessarily known for being all sweets but it may be the most carb-laden holiday there is.  There really isn’t ANYTHING as much of an alternative for us low-carb, Type 2 people.  With mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, brown-sugar sweet potatoes, stuffing and the pies; what does a Type 2 person have left to eat?  Seems like just turkey and green-bean casserole.

I have been studying up today and some other days to research diabetic-friendly recipes for these holidays.  Fortunately for me, there is a fount of information and good ideas as my fingertips in the form of a simple Pinterest search.

Within a 5-minute search, I found decent looking recipes for low carb corn muffins made with almond flour, bacon & cheese Brussels sprouts casserole and cinnamon roasted butternut squash.  I was especially surprised by the carb count in the muffins at 2 grams of carbohydrates per muffin.

Wha????  I can still enjoy Thanksgiving dinner?  Apparently, I can!  I’m actually excited about the prospects of the partnership with my lovely wife in creating a healthy and yummy dinner for myself and my family.

You see, I LOVE my food.  It is very difficult for me to lose weight.  Mainly because I love to eat.  Combine that with not enough exercise and here I am.

I try, I really do.  I try to do the right things.  It just isn’t a habit yet.  I’m making progress with my dietary choices but not making enough progress with an exercise regimen.  If I can get that habit in place, I believe I will see the weight start to drop.

But until that happens, the dietary diligence is where it will be.

I’m not terribly concerned about the sweets hitting home over the Christmas holiday.  I’m not a huge fan of sweets like the cookies, etc. that come with the Christmas holidays.  But, you know, it isn’t the overdoing of the sweets that gets us.  It’s the fact that they are EVERYWHERE.  It isn’t like we binge eat the things.  It’s more like the constant grazing at office parties and the seemingly daily pitch-ins (that’s what pot lucks are called in Indiana).  The sweets are there.  You have one or two.  Then a couple hours later, you have one or two more.  And by January 1st, you’ve put on 7-12 pounds.

It’s bad enough for “normal” people.  But for a diabetic, this can be a REALLY bad time.  The time to mentally prepare for it is now.  We all know it’s coming.  And we know what we need to do to combat the season.  The time is now!  Look for your recipes.  Look for your healthy snacks!  Get your head right!  You can do this.  It won’t be easy but it CAN be done.

What does it take?  I recently read an article basically titled, “Discipline? Or Motivation?”  It was a pretty interesting dissection of the differences between the two and if you can have one without the other.  The link to the actual article is here:

Discipline vs. Motivation

Jim Rohn states in the article, “It takes consistent self-discipline to master the art of setting goals . . .”  It also goes on to state that discipline and motivation are different than willpower.  That willpower is a finite resource that can be used up.  They all have very similar characteristics and can be easily confused with each other.  To me, willpower is the ability to resist the temptation of the French fries when I am out at a restaurant.  It can only be applied of I am sufficiently motivated to stay the course.

Discipline, on the other hand, can be trained.  It is the ability to do what you don’t want to do because you have trained yourself that doing the task is a better alternative than not doing the task.  Think military training.  These soldiers do whatever is necessary no matter what the circumstances.  Now, don’t be confused.  I’m not at all comparing the requirements for staying true to a diabetic friendly diet to the sacrifices of our soldiers.

What I am trying to impart is that successful management of our diabetes takes all hands-on deck.  It takes incredible self-discipline.  But that won’t work if you don’t also have the motivation to want to better your life.

All this is especially true now.  For anyone who wants to manage their diet and their health and their diabetes, this is a tough time of year.  But there are alternatives.  As I mentioned earlier, I found three pretty yummy sounding recipes that I intend to try on Thanksgiving.  All it took was about 5-10 minutes of research on a social media site.

I’m not going to promise that I have this.  But I do know that I have something to fight for.  And if I keep motivation and discipline top of mind, I have a shot at making this holiday season a culinary and dietary success.

What do you do to maintain discipline and your diet during the holidays?

Leave your feedback in the comments section.  As always, if you like this article, please feel free to share.  If I can help one additional person with their diabetes journey, this is all worth it.