Significant Others

Your lifestyle is your choice, but this effort can be made easier or more challenging depending on how your significant others respond.

Below are things to consider for supportive and non-supportive situations.

Supportive situations

  • Ask your significant others to read the Guide. This can help them understand what it is like to have prediabetes and the challenges in managing it and preventing type 2 diabetes.
  • Shop for groceries together and read nutrition labels. Reading nutrition labels can help you and your partner discover “hidden sugars”. Remember, subtract grams of fiber from total grams of carbohydrates to get Net carbohydrates, and then multiply by 3 to get an idea how much a serving of that food choice could raise your BG.

Total Carbs – Fiber = Net Carbs

Net carbs x3 = Increase in BG

  • Be involved with menus and cooking. Share the work and have fun together.
  • Find a physical activity you both enjoy, like hiking, walking the dog, tennis, and do it together.
  • Encourage your partner to be physically active in whatever way they enjoy, even if is something you aren’t going to do together.
  • Tell your partner how to give you feedback. Maybe you hate it when your partner says something like, “You should not eat that,” but you respond better if the partner says, “is that something you want to eat?” or something else you would respond better to.
  • When eating out, choose a restaurant that has options for each of you.

Challenging Situations

  • Food is associated with many complex emotions, and for some people offering food is their way of showing love. Others may want you to eat like they do so they do not feel badly about their food choices. It can be helpful to have some plans to deal with situations that are not supportive of your GEM efforts.
  • When you are full, but your partner takes a second serving, that is not a reason for you to eat more.
  • Don’t pressure other people to eat or drink what you chose as that can trigger resentment
  • When around people who encourage you to eat things that will raise your BG, politely and firmly say something like,
    • “No thank you, my body can’t handle that”
    • “It looks great, but I want to save room for the delicious salad, green beans, chicken…,”
    • “You make a great Margarita, but I will stick to red wine”
    • Don’t use weak word like, “Prefer, should, like” That leaves room for people to challenge you. Use strong words, like: “I will, I am, I won’t”
    • “I’m not able to meet for dinner/dessert/drinks, but I would love to get together for a walk around the park.”

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