"Use Your Words"

As a mom, I've used this phrase many times, while both of my girls were toddlers, and now again with my older daughter as she is working through complicated 7-year-old friend issues for the first time.

Together, we talk about how to talk about things. 

Then about a week ago, I read this beautiful post from Momastery.com about how to help your kids choose the right words to avoid peer pressure.

Because, as she writes, when we're put on the spot, we panic. 

Like everything that Glennon at Momastery writes, it is full of heart and raw emotion that everyone can relate to.

This applies to our low-carb lifestyle, too. 

As people who eat very differently from the general population, we face pressure every day. It's your kid asking, "Can you eat this Mommy?" or your parent, co-worker, friend or server at your favorite restaurant. How do we answer these everyday questions about food? What response do we have prepared when Grandma asks for the 10th time if you want a piece of her famous homemade lemon merengue pie?

(You might really WANT to eat that pie, but you're not going to, because one piece of sugar-loaded pie will send your blood glucose levels through the roof and create insulin resistance for days. Yes, one piece will do that. It's completely not worth it.)

We need to have a quick response ready so we don't have to think, just say it. We have to prepare and practice and use our words in the moment in order to avoid that on-the-spot-panic, which leads to accepting whatever it is they are offering. 

A simple, "No, thank you" would suffice in some situations, but is there a better response? 

Some people prefer the word "choose" as in, "I choose to eat this way" rather than "I can't eat that."  I personally use the phrase "I don't eat that" (rather than "I can't" or "I choose not to") but everyone will identify with this differently. 

It's a personal decision but here are some options to get you thinking about it:

  • "Grandma, thank you, it looks wonderful and you know I love your homemade pies, but I really need to avoid sugars to stay healthy and help my Diabetes." 
  • To your young child, "Honey, thank you for sharing, but I don't eat that. I need to stay super healthy and strong and be the best Mommy that I can be."

If these responses don't fit you, please develop your own that are exactly what you want to say. Then write it on a piece of paper and put it on your computer or bathroom mirror so you read it multiple times every day. Memorize it so it's always with you. 

Have this personal "mini-elevator pitch" prepared, so when you are caught off guard, you have something to fall back on that describes your needs. 

Thanks for the offer, but in order to take the best care of myself as a Diabetic, I don’t eat (fill in the blank). I stick to whole foods, such as meats, vegetables and nuts.
— Lisa at diaVerge Diabetes

At restaurants, don't be afraid to ask questions, and get exactly what you need. Call ahead if you don't feel comfortable discussing it in front of everyone at your table. Do whatever you are comfortable with, but talk.  This takes some getting used to, but with practice it gets easier.

You are in control. Advocate for your own best care.

And always remember to use your words.