You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
The most fattening thought an overeater can have is “I’ll start my diet tomorrow,” or “after the holidays,” or any other version of that thought. This thought is a cop out allowing us to escape responsibility for our behavior and a license to overeat with abandon!
For many of us, holidays are the time we use this excuse wholeheartedly, knowing good and well that all past dieting attempts in January have resulted in us regaining the weight, meanwhile we’re getting heavier and heavier each passing year. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not all or nothing. We can enjoy the holidays, eat our favorite things and not gain a pound. The secret is to find the gray zone; the place of moderation.
The holidays offer an abundance of tasty treats that we don’t usually eat any other time of the year. Make a list of the holiday goodies that you can’t live without. These are usually things that are family favorites and Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them.
For example, on Thanksgiving, think about what you like most on your plate. Personally, I love stuffing. I only get to eat it once a year; so I make that the main focus of my meal and my biggest portion. I ditch the mashed potatoes and gravy; I choose white meat and put a little cranberry sauce on it; and fill the rest of the plate with green beans and salad. I eat a small piece of pumpkin pie, minus the whip cream, and eat only the filling, sans crust. After dinner, it’s time for a nice walk to allow dinner to settle.
Eating what I really want allows me to never feel deprived on Turkey Day. It’s all about portions and smart choices. I never eat to the point of being stuffed, just pleasantly full. Apply the same concept to holiday parties. Scan the hors d’oeuvres and goodies table and decide on a few that you can’t live without, and then fill up on veggies and salad.
I do the same thing with holiday sweet treats. I love pumpkin bread but I don’t bake it; it’s too tempting to have lying around the house. I buy a slice and divvy it up into 3 pieces that I enjoy with my coffee for the next 3 mornings.
You get the idea. Just figure out what treats you can’t live without and have small, controlled portions. Get honest. If you eat too much when baking holiday goodies, maybe it’s time to stop baking or just make sure you give away the goodies quickly, so that you don’t have time to eat them.
I decided to ditch the baking years ago, as I loved eating the raw batter even more than I liked the baked goods! I now make and give handmade cards that people look forward to and treasure. It’s so rewarding to see the pleasure on people’s faces when they receive their cards and my waistline is forever grateful.
Remember, the holidays are once a year. No one ever got fat from overeating on just one or two days. If you choose to overeat, let it go and start over the next day. Don’t use that as an excuse to overeat throughout the entire holiday season. There’s a good reason why St. Nick is overweight!
The most important question to keep in mind and to ask ourselves repeatedly throughout the holiday season when faced with an overabundance of tempting food is this: “How am I going to feel about myself in January?” Disgusted, guilty, and defeated or proud of myself and the choices I’ve made? It’s your call.
Feast for the Eyes – Yellow Gingko – Photo by Catherine L. Taylor
- You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
- The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.
- Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.
- Tomorrow, every fault is to be amended; but that tomorrow never comes.
- How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?
I alone am responsible for my health and happiness.
I am building a life and body for myself that I am proud to call my own.
I am fully capable of making healthier choices during the holiday season.
I value my weight and wellness goals over the fleeting pleasures of the holidays.
I enjoy holiday treats and pleasures in moderation.
I make choices that are aligned with what I truly value and how I want to feel.
The pleasure of a holiday treat is no match for the self-respect I receive when I make healthy choices.
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Is emotional eating keeping you from losing weight and living the life you want? Are you ready to get off the diet rollercoaster and master your weight and your life?
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I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice, and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.
This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.
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Catherine L. Taylor
How You do Food is How You do Life!
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