Bathroom Scale

Weight vs. Holidays … ARG!

Tracey Columns

Dear Tracey,

I love this time of year. I enjoy all of the social gatherings, the gift giving, and the family celebrations. And the food, oh, how I love the food, preparing it and eating it!

But I’ve spent the last five months losing 38 pounds. I was pre-diabetic and my blood pressure was up for the first time in my life. My doctor told me diet and exercise were the way to go and she was right. I still need to lose another 5 pounds but I feel so much better physically and emotionally with this weight off. Best of all? Diabetes is no longer a worry.

However, in spite of all of my new found behaviors, positive self-talk, and exercise routine, Thanksgiving did me in. I was like an alcoholic on a bender. It’s embarrassing but I just couldn’t seem to stop myself from over-eating all of those goodies I haven’t had in so long. Even worse, I was hiding out in the kitchen, sneaking food. Then, after everyone had left and the house was quiet, I was raiding the fridge in the middle of the night. And you know what? It really made me feel awful!

Now I want to bake cookies like I always do and there are other parties to attend. Any suggestions on how I manage healthy habits. At 68, I just can’t afford to risk my health.

Food Addict

Dear Reader,

Congratulations on your weight loss! How wonderful that you made your health a priority. Now, let’s keep it that way!

From what you’ve written, you had a bit of a scare when confronted by the risk of developing diabetes. But look at what you did with that information! You took it by the horns and wouldn’t let go until you were at a healthy weight. Talk about motivation!

Let’s keep this reality front and center as you go through the next few weeks. Before you begin baking, cooking up a feast, or arrive at a party, silently repeat a motivating statement such as, “I want to celebrate many more holiday seasons!” Compose whatever statement will work for you. By concentrating on health benefits you are tapping into your proven success formula!

Now may be the time to simply focus on maintaining your weight, not trying to lose those last five pounds. What weight do you want to maintain? Make this number your goal. If you can get through this very challenging season by not gaining any weight, I’m optimistic you’ll can get back on track come January.

As you are probably aware, denying yourself favorite foods is a real set-up, one that can lead to that sneaky behavior you described. Instead, as you have probably already do, practice portion control. Go ahead and put a little gravy on your potatoes or have one cookie or but be very sensible about it.

Increase your physical activity. I’m not talking about adding another session at the gym every day. No, something as simple as a few brisk walks throughout the day or simply exercising during annoying holiday commercials (!) can keep those extra calories from accumulating.

When you host a big meal, send the leftovers home with your guests! Buy some pretty plastic containers to have on hand and then, when you’re clearing dinner and dessert, fill up a few for each guest. They’ll leave with a  little gift from you and you’ll have less temptation waiting for you in the middle of the night.

Promise me that you won’t be too hard on yourself? Remember, we all fall off of our individual wagons at times. It’s human nature. But look what you did as the result of your mini-fall … you reached out in search of helpful ideas. This is a direct reflection of your ability to succeed.

Here’s wishing you many more happy holiday seasons!

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