Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Holiday 15

You know when you go away to college and gain the "Freshman 15?" Well last year, the period from Halloween to New Years was almost a record gain for me. I vowed to eat clean in September, but didn't set parameters for myself. For example, I was eating platters instead of plates of food. I was gorging on my holiday favorites and by New Year's Day, I was regretting every last bite I put in my mouth. I was eating whole foods for the most part, but too much and not exercising.
So, this year, things are very different. I actually can't eat that much anymore because my stomach has shrunk and too much food leaves me feeling bloated and sluggish. I've learned to eat slower, chew every bite, savor the meal and feel fuller before my plate is finished. I still have a hard time throwing away uneaten food. I think that comes from the years of brainwashing as a child to "finish your plate, there's children starving in Africa." Well, that is true, but forcing yourself or your child to finish his/her plate is a detriment to their health. Kids are born with the ability to know when they are full and they instinctively stop eating. I've had to catch myself a few times when my kids say they are done and I gently nudge to eat a few more bites. I have to respect their tummies and know that pushing them to eat more will only take away that gift of knowing when to say when!
So, this holiday season is going to be different. I've come to realize that if I want to maintain the 31 pound weight loss thus far, I've got to change up some holiday recipes and perhaps even skip making some of my favorites. For example, I'll be revamping my stuffing recipe. I used to use a bag of cubed dressing and a loaf of torn bread - that's going to change.
I also used to make this cabbage casserole with tons of crackers, butter and milk. Now that I'm dairy free and trying to cut back on carbs, this one will go and be replaced with fresh greens like braised kale. I'll probably be disowned if I don't make mashed potatoes, so perhaps I will keep them and just use chicken broth instead of milk.
I'm swapping out pecan pie for pumpkin pie and making homemade marshmallows to put on top of my sweet potatoes.
So, we'll have plenty of veggies, fresh cranberries, a pastured Organic turkey and a yummy pumpkin pie. I don't think anyone will miss what's not there.

Christmas will be a bit tougher. My parents will visit and their eating habits are not the same. Plus, my family sends a big care package full of cookies, fudge, caramels, and treats galore. It's fun to get and savor a treat or two, but if you're like me, I just can't have it in my house or I gorge on it! The temptation is too difficult. Just knowing those warm cookies my mom just pulled out of the oven are right there on the counter is almost too much to bare. I lack sufficient will power. One is not enough. That's why I just stopped buying any kind of treat. There are no cookies, candy or sweets in my house. Does anyone else have this problem? Surely I'm not alone in the "I can't stop eating these delicious cookies" disorder!
I secretly wish I could just run away and hide during the holidays. They are not the simple fun times I enjoyed as a child. Too much shopping, stress, wrapping, card-making, baking, and parties to attend. I think I may even say no to some this year. The less temptation the better. I'm feeling a bit "Scroogey" at the moment. Hmmm...perhaps I just don't want anything to ruin the strides I have made. 31 pounds is a big deal, 2 dress sizes down is huge for me! I've had to go shopping and buy all new pants of course. I have a whole closet full of clothes I can't wear...that's good and bad!
Luckily I have a goal in March. I registered for a half-marathon. Now, I'm not a runner. Not even close! So this is quite a feat for me. Hopefully the running will help work off some of that pie! And a cookie or two!

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