Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Eating my way through the holidays

Ah, the endless holiday season is upon us. The stores are filled with goodies and decorations for the upcoming celebrations: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And while I can walk right past a cute autumn wreath, I'm drawn like a moth to a flame to the bags of candy, the boxes of cookies, and the ingredients to make all my own goodies. It was about a year ago I finally decided to get serious and lose some of my excess weight. November 1 was the day I started. Yes, the day after Halloween I gave up all sweets and candy and excess breads and excess dairy. I didn't sneak a single candy bar out of my kids' bags. I didn't have a nibble of pumpkin pie. I had one, count it ONE (okay, maybe two, but no more than two) Christmas cookies the whole season. From November 1 to January 1 I lost a little over 15 pounds. It wasn't fun just having turkey and veggies on Thanksgiving, but it helped me reach my goal. And I told myself "there's always next year."

So it's next year. And already I'm worried about how I'm going to navigate all the festivities (not to mention a move to a new house). I don't want to be as restrictive as I was last year, but I also don't want to get to 2013 and be busting out of my pants. I'm not exactly sure how it will work, but here is my plan at this point. I'd be interested to hear other ideas of how you stay healthy yet sane during the endless festivities.

For now, I'm entering my food into myfitnesspal.com to keep track of my calories. I have it set at a range that I "should" lose 1 pound a week. I actually stopped my weight loss a few pounds before I reached my goal, so I've decided to finish it out and hit my goal. Hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll hit that goal without too much struggle. Then I plan to continue the same eating through the rest of the year, but allow myself on the actual holidays to enjoy the spread. Note the emphasis on the day. Not Thanksgiving week or Christmas month, but the day of a family celebration to celebrate. And the rest of the days focus on eating a healthier calorie range.

It's easier said than done. I have a bag of pumpkin kisses in my freezer just begging me to be polished off while watching season 3 of Glee. And right now my real feelings toward losing are something like "it would be really nice if that happened" versus last year's "I'm just going to put my head down, plow through, and do this."

I'd like to hear other thoughts on how people navigate food culture during celebrations.

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