The Holidays: When will I learn?

I’ve pretty much always had a sensitive stomach. Growing up, I would complain of stomach aches day in and day out to the point of my locker companions rolling their eyes every time I mentioned it. There were instances: driving home from a friend’s, the insides of my stomach painfully exploding; attending a baby shower, holding tight to the popping bubbles in my stomach, not daring to move for fear of the sounds that may occur; a mid-shop through Costco when all of a sudden, holy freaking crud monkey, I did not think I would make it out of there, let alone home, in time. And then there were the running trots. Oh my.

Yes, I have food sensitivities; I’m sure a lot. Before diabetes, my moms was told I was allergic to milk. Post diabetes, they said she can’t go without milk, so, stomach be damned, force that milk into her. (I still hate the taste of milk to this day.) I’ve been tested for celiac more times than I can count, and apparently will continue to be tested as there’s a high likelihood Dear Diabetes puts me susceptible to it later in life. Joy.

But the thing is, while I have over the years limited a lot of trigger foods, like baguettes, potatoes, cheese, and ice cream (sigh), I am not willing to give them up whole hog. And come the holiday season, look out world, my belly is on fire.

Without fail, every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, regardless of the knowing outcome, I look forward to the King’s feast sure to be had. The salted ham, the stuffing, the baked yams, cheesy veggies, Brussels sprouts, oh my, are you salivating like I just thinking about it?

We don't do the holidays small.
We don’t do the holidays small.

One glimpse – scratch that – one thought of the spread and my stomach bloats to the size of a baby hippopotamus. And it stays that way for at least a week, sometimes more. My shirts are snug, my pants barely button up, I struggle with heavy uncomfortableness day in and day out, my head plays games with me questioning whether it’s actually bloat, or holy hell did I actually gain 15 pounds in a matter of a day! Not cool mind, not cool at all.

Thanksgiving belly.
Thanksgiving belly.

Following this year’s Thanksgiving, it was bad, like really bad. And I thought, okay, enough is enough, I am not going to put myself through that for Christmas. Not this year. I would steer clear of overeating the scrumdiliumptiousness of it all. I would limit trigger foods – no mashed potatoes, no baked yams, no cheese on my veggies. But there was one item I just could not pass up, in fact, I don’t think I ever could. I could leave behind everything else, turkey, ham, veggies, even the gingerbread cookies, but try to take my stuffing away and you’ll have me a snarling wolf on your hands. No one takes my stuffing away.

Cue the baby hippopotamus.

Christmas belly.
Christmas belly.

Both are rather similar in size to another belly I once had:

My 17-week pregnant belly (again, so very, very sorry Archie!)
My 17-week pregnant belly (again, so very, very sorry Archie!)

When will I learn?

8:30 a.m. BG before: 6.0
Temp. basal: -50 per cent
Carbs: 1/2 banana, no bolus
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 5.11 km
Average pace: 6:01 min/km
Average cadence: 86 spm
9:15 a.m. BG after: 3.2 (Yikes!)

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