I am an events manager in a busy hotel in Central London. I love my job (most days!) as it is an incredibly varied role and I get to meet lots of different people. I am also lucky enough to work with a fabulous team so we have lots of fun together as well! The nature of my job is that I inevitably find myself at the beck and call of many a demanding guest therefore, it can be difficult to stick to any sort of routine.
In an ideal world, I like to manage my diabetes (and my life actually!) by having a plan and sticking to it. This obviously means a certain element of routine is required as well as a lot of willpower around the constant supply of yummy food from the fabulous chefs at work!
As I am sure you can very clearly see, the above two things are not what one would call a ‘match made in heaven’ and this doesn’t always make the old diabetes management very easy! I do, therefore, fall off the wagon occasionally, especially when things get particularly busy and hectic however I really do endeavour to stay on the straight and narrow by adopting these few regular habits:
- Prep prep prep!
It can be seen as both fortunate and unfortunate that one of the staff benefits here at the hotel is free meals on duty. Now these aren’t just any old meals, the food is prepared by the same chefs and in the same kitchens as what we offer our high spending guests so as you can imagine – our staff restaurant offers a somewhat higher level of cuisine than your bog standard workplace canteen. We have a fully stocked salad bar with every salady item you can imagine (avocado, cheese, smoked salmon, olives….), a hot section which offers at least 4 different options ranging from steak to salmon to lovely warming chickpea and vegetable stews, and then of course the dessert section; always some sort of cake, a crumble maybe and anything left over from afternoon tea upstairs! I spent the first couple of years in this job doing my very best to just go to the restaurant and have a nice simple salad or piece of fish whilst avoiding the freshly baked focaccia and lovely looking cakes however, will power was not on my side and inevitably, at least once or twice a week, I would cave and end up indulging in something which was not good for my blood sugar. I therefore decided one day that enough was enough and if I couldn’t stop myself from nibbling away on that warm wedge of chocolate fudge cake I would just avoid the restaurant all together. This is where the prep comes in! Without fail, every evening, no matter what time it is or how busy I am, I rustle up my daily salad and pop it in the fridge ready to grab in the morning and much at my desk at work. This small decision has dramatically helped me improve my control and all it takes is a quick five minute prep session every evening!
- Just say NO!
I went to my Consultant about 18 months ago now and my Hba1C had crept up a little from the previous visit to 7.6. She asked me why and when I thought about it, I realised that the answer was that I was nibbling on things and not dosing for them at the time due to rushing around and either forgetting or not having the opportunity to inject. It was then that I decided I needed a steadfast rule that I would not pick and graze at the canapés and extra dishes on offer. This is harder than it sounds when the chefs want you to try EVERYTHING and when you’ve been on your feet for hours and are a bit knackered, nothing can seem more tempting than a lovely chocolate dessert however, I have mostly managed to stay on the straight and narrow with this one and have definitely noticed an improvement in control since implementing this rule!
- Office treats and getting colleagues on board….
Finally, I have made sure that all my colleagues are fully aware that it is not the best idea for me to be snacking on cookies and Krispy Kreme doughnuts when they are brought in to the office (which is ALL THE TIME!). It is like a sugary obstacle course!! They are all super nice and do not try and force sugary treats on me, in fact, they go out of their way to try and get me more suitable alternatives (celery sticks, nuts etc). As I have mentioned before, I am very ‘all or nothing’ in life and therefore I find it easier to just say a blanket no to everything rather than just having a little bit! The only exception to this is my birthday J
So, that, my friends, is how I attempt to navigate the world of 5 start hospitality and diabetes. It doesn’t always go as smoothly as I would like but I do feel that my three little rules above help me stay as well controlled as possible 90% of the time. And the other 10%??…..well, we are all human right?! J