Changing Seasons

Weathering my diabetes management plan in the winter.

Diabetes Management PlanBy Scott Johnson


The weather has finally started to change here in Minnesota, and I’m really struggling with the transition this year. It has been cloudy and gray for weeks at a time, with no sign of the sun anywhere. It has been cold and very windy, often drizzling, and the wind seems to just drive those cold miniature raindrops right into your face (and any other exposed area). It gets dark early now too. It seems like anytime I have to go outside it is cold, dark, raining, and windy. YUCK!!!

I just want to stay inside with weather like that! Beyond just avoiding outdoor activities, it has me wanting to avoid even going out to the car and back. I hate the daily transit to and from work and other necessary trips, but it is even making optional things really difficult to get out and do. I’m also feeling blue and depressed, chilled to the bone, and like I need to fatten up and hibernate for the winter! You know, just sleep it all away and wake up in spring?

All of these feelings are really causing problems with my diabetes management plan. It has become so tempting to skip my afternoon basketball sessions (just to avoid going outside and being assaulted by the elements). During the cold season, I want to eat more and move less. Both of those make my blood sugar harder to manage and can lead to weight gain.

Don’t forget that the traditional American holidays come fast and furious this time of the year, too. I do love the family time and visiting with people that I don’t see often enough, but food is almost always involved at all of those events. In fact, it’s not only “involved,” but often times an important part of the gathering. So much of the food is loaded with fast-acting carbohydrates, which cause my blood sugar to skyrocket. So much of it is so good, and so very hard to resist. What makes it a bit worse is that as soon as one holiday is done, another is right around the corner! The holidays can be such a hard time for any of us living with diabetes!

With such a long cold season here in Minnesota, it is critically important that I find a way to pull through this. If it were shorter I might just surrender and accept the fact that my blood sugars would run high for a little while. But the cold season most often lasts at least seven months, and allowing myself to “run a little high” is just not an acceptable answer.

I plan to do a “no excuses” policy for my afternoon basketball, and I plan to find a way to enjoy the sunshine when it is out (maybe finding a nice windowed area to just sit and appreciate it). I plan to find treats with lower carbohydrates to enjoy at the family gatherings, and I plan to test often. I plan to find a happy balance between an acceptable diabetes management plan and an enjoyable holiday season. And I will.


Visit Scott’s website.

dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: November 27, 2012

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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