So how do you handle it! Back yard full of friends and family, grill full of ribs, hot dogs, burgers, baked beans, and that deadly potato or macaroni salad. And of coarse theirs always someone who says is that all your going to eat' come on we only do this a few times a year...and I cooked this just for you... just one bite...please
I just say, "No, thank you" and walk away. What a person eats is his/her business. I usually find people stop bothering you less if you tell them that some food really grosses you out (rather than explaining you can't/shouldn't eat something because you have diabetes). As a T1, people also never seem to understand that sometimes I can be a bit more lax than others. It depends on my BG pattern that day and all sorts of other things going on in my diabetes world.
People in my family are very fussy about what they will/will not eat, and they make no excuses about not eating what's put in front of them. And they are not diabetic. So I don't think we as diabetics need to make excuses about not eating either. Just say no thanks, and leave it at that. Don't let others control what you eat.
I agree with you, Sue. If they insist, I say that I'm full.
I usually go for the low carb options (burger, ribs, hotdog)which are easier to handle. If someone cook something specifically for me, then I'm hoping it wouldn't be carb loaded. If a all else fails and they continue to pester, then a good-natured "ribbing" like "what, you trying to kill me!" will usually get the point across.
As far as the food I will always scope out the offerings and pick some things I like and know won't kill my blood sugar (if possible). I try if appropriate to find out what is being served ahead of time and will bring my own contribution so I know there will often be one thing at least I can eat (as a vegetarian I often do that, because that is non-negotiable to me). I guess a 4th of July barbecue has pretty standard fare so you know there will be things you can eat. (Meat without bread, cheese, salads, etc).
As for people who say, "you can just have a little". If they are acquaintances I I'll give a very minimal reply. it's taken me most of my life to realize I can just nod and smile and do whatever I want! If they are people I'm close to and I see them often I'll do some explaining/educating at first like how carbs affect blood sugar, how variable blood sugar can be, how I can eat most things but sometimes choose not to because it will make my blood sugar soar, etc. Etc. If they persist with their "you can have somes". I'll make a point of "we need to talk" and say how I really appreciate their offers and no they mean well, but it really ends up making it harder on me and I really need them to let me make my own choices or (if they are the host) offer more D friendly foods for me. (I've never forgotten a good friend when I stopped eating sugar which was soooo hard for me. At a dinner where everyone was oohing and ahhing over some dessert she made me a latte and a small cheese and fruit plate. That meant so much to me)
Then there is my own personal way of dealing with people who despite all the above don't get it and continue to harass me: I decide life is too short to spend any more of it in their ignorant company. Not a way to win friends and influence people, but then I prefer quality not quantity in my friendships.
I too bring my own contribution of something I can eat, and then I pick and choose amongst the other offerings. Meat, vegetables, green salads, cheese, fish and pass on the pasta and potato salads, luckily I don't like them anyway. If hassled to eat things I know I can't I just ask them if they would like to come to the gym with me to work it off - ha! that stops it dead.
I feel no compunction to make excuses or give reasons for what I choose or choose not to eat. I take the things I can handle and if that's not much, I just deal with it. It's not going to kill me to miss a meal (I'm T2). As long as I don't make an issue of it no one notices. It's the people who say, "Oh, I really shouldn't have any of that...(pie, potato salad, etc.)..." and moan about it who usually invite comments. I think everyone knows they shouldn't be pigging out on the bad stuff. If you eat the right stuff and make an issue of it, it puts them in a bad situation. More often than not, someone will say to me, "I wish I could eat like you do."
I get together with friends on the weekends for a music jam which usually includes a meal. My friends always try to have something I can eat. As a T2 not on insulin my forbidden foods are starches and sugars. I've noticed one lady started omitting the potatoes etc. when she host's. She has said several times "I should eat like you all the time" Looking at a plate with nothing but meat and colorful veggies it's hard to think it's not healthy.
I have an easy time turning down the potato salad, hot dog buns etc. If there is some desert that just looks too good to pass up I invoke the "I can have one bite of anything" rule. I take about a tablespoon's worth and eat it in about half a dozen tiny bites which I savor for all they're worth. So far no problem with turning down the second bite.
Just do what MBP does. I feel no need to explain myself nor do I eat what I don't want to. My family has learned that about me.
I personally like the holidays. I take it as my little time to "let it loose" a little. I don't go over board but if there is something I want to sample I will sample it. Damned anyone who denies me that right. My usual response to those that say "You shouldn't eat that" is "just watch me." If they choose to think that I don't care...let them think that. Once they do they will stop bugging me. After all if I don't care why should they.
Have fun on July 4th. Drink responsibly and eat responsibly. But mostly I want all of you to be safe and alive on July 5th.
And like Zoe, I always make sure to bring my own contribution so I know there's at least one thing I can enjoy. I usually bring two dishes if I'm really worried about not having something to eat.
I always check ahead of time to find out what's available, whether at a home or checking a menu online. And then if it's a home, I can bring something that will be adequate if there's nothing else I can eat. But since I'm a vegetarian I often can cover one or the other issue but not both. Being a vegetarian is non-negotiable for me at this point in my life, and if I need to use extra insulin and correct later I will do what I have to. Like I'm going out of state to a wedding next month and I spoke to my friend about the rehearsal dinner and wedding meal to ask if there was a vegetarian option. He said yes, it will be some kind of pasta most likely. That's often the vegie offering so I'll do what I can with it. I also look for hotel rooms with fridges or microwaves so I can supply things I can eat if push comes to shove.
This may sound weird, but I'm a lot more likely to "let loose" in my own home where I can know the carb content of a higher carb meal and then have the focus to test enough to safely correct. I've gotten better at eating out - I used to bolus for high carbs, then eat around them and go low! But frankly eating out, which once was one of my greatest pleasures, is not so enjoyable any more. What I try and do is "make do" with the food and make the occasion all about my connections to others.