Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The holiday season: Trying to avoid a food free-for-all while also not being the bitter one in the corner eating carrots

I feel so much better this week than last week! And it's not just because the scale didn't destroy my dreams today like it did last week. Although, for sure, that helped. I just feel much more balanced and not on the verge of doing something extreme, namely binging on Little Debbies out of frustration and/or running 20 miles to burn more calories like an exercise addict. It could have been very interesting though if I had eaten the Little Debbies and then gone running. Interesting and probably messy.

I've been extra careful this week about measuring all my food out and also not indulging in "harmless" little bites here and there. Those bites add up! I have always written down everything I eat, but I had kind of gotten away from measuring stuff out. I gave it the ole eyeball instead, which can be very deceiving. Just FYI, do any of you realize how small a quarter cup (a serving size) of shredded cheese is? Because I know I had definitely forgotten what a quarter cup looked like. So I think I had been overdoing on calories from mistakes like that without even realizing it. I've also cut out ice cream, at least the scoopable kind. Lately, I have been eating low calorie ice cream (I can't resist Edy's S'mores) since I love it and the calorie count is acceptable. Yup, the calories in that ice cream are fine as long as you eat the serving size. Which for ice cream is a half a cup, and who actually eats a half a cup of ice cream?!? Not me, that's for sure. So that's out, but since I still love ice cream, I got some low sugar ice cream sandwiches. That way I can still have ice cream as a treat, but I am guaranteed to have portion control. Ahh, moderation at its finest.

So everything is going great, and then this week we have (insert scary music here)...Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving, the downfall of many people's healthy eating intentions. Thanksgiving, which ushers in the holiday season, a season distinguished not only by good will towards all and temporary insanity while holiday shopping, but also by its rich foods and people's avoidance of the scale at all costs. I would say it's the trickiest time of the year. Like everything else, it's a balance. You don't want to be the bitter one in the corner at a party munching on carrots while glaring at everyone else eating cake, but you also don't want to be the one shoveling said cake in your mouth like it's going out of style and then seeing a very unpleasant surprise on the scale come January. I feel like I did a pretty good job last year during this time. I believe I lost about 10 lbs or so between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Granted, I was significantly heavier then, so it was much easier. For more on my battle for moderation last year at Thanksgiving, check out You say poTAYto, I say meet my mortal enemy poTAHto.

My plan worked out pretty well last year, so I'm sticking with it. I'm eating what I want on Thanksgiving and then, this is the key part here, no leftovers. Well, I can have the white meat turkey as leftovers, but not that delicious stuffing or mashed potatoes. Because here's the don't gain weight because of eating one high calorie meal. You gain weight because of the leftovers. If I do everything like normal the rest of the week, there is no reason I should not have a loss. And then by controlling myself at Thanksgiving, I avoid the dangerous mindset a lot of people get into this time of year. You know that one that goes, "Well, I blew Thanksgiving. I'll just get back to normal Monday. I don't feel like working out with all that food in my belly." And then, "Well, I've got that Christmas party this week. I'll get back to normal next week." And then of course, "December is pretty much blown. All that holiday food and I've had no time to work out. I'll be extra good after Christmas." And then inevitably, "New Year's is just a week away and then I will definitely start on my New Year's resolution to lose weight." All of which leads to that unpleasant trip to the scale come January and perhaps subsequent ripping apart of said scale. I think it's all about looking at the special eating occasions coming up as just that, special occasions, not a month-long excuse for a food free-for-all. We shall see how I manage this year. I'm still hoping to hit 50% of my original body weight by the year's end!

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