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December 29, 2007 / missknowitall

Diet Control Through The Holidays

Dear Little Miss,
I need your help.  I have worked really hard all year to loose weight and get in shape.  After loosing over 50 pounds I am now only 20 pounds away from reaching my goal weight of 150 pounds.  My problem is that I have been slipping up a lot over the holidays.  My family and friends have been very supportive of me this whole time, helping me stay away from fast food, not asking me to eat seconds, running with me, etc.  As soon as the Holidays started, though, they all started saying things like, “it’s only once a year, you deserve a break, it’s Christmas, it’s tradition, you’ve been so good for so long, just try one, yadda, yadda”.  Before I knew it I had gained 9 pounds.  The worst part is that now that I have sugar and fat in my system again I am back to craving it and feel completely out of control.  Part of my brain is telling me to just relax and wait for my New years resolutions to get back on track.  The other part of my brain is whispering that I could easily gain another 9 pounds in one night on New Year’s Eve.  Am I being too hard on myself?  What should I do?  I don’t want all my hard work to be for nothing.  Please help!
Traditionally Over Eating
Dear Tradition,
First of all I have to say, “You are amazing!”  Loosing 50 pounds is amazing, I can say this because I’m still struggling with my piddly 15 pounds.  It sounds like your family and friends, while being wonderfully supportive through the year, still don’t understand your situation.  And I’m sure that it is hard to go against traditions and to say, “No,” to the hard work of your loved ones as they churn out their oh-so-special goodies.  However, when a person has food issues Christmas can’t be seen as just a once-a-year thing.  It isn’t as if you are taking a break from dieting, but more like you are flipping a U-turn and back tracking.  You’ve already stated that once you let sugar and fat back into your system that your body started to revert to its old cravings and habits.  And now New Year’s Eve is just days away and your body is begging you to keep the food coming, just for those few days.  The problem is that for every day you stay out of control it can take a month to get back in control.  3 days=3 months, are you willing to do that to yourself?  So, how do you survive the rest of the holidays?
1.  Start NEW traditions.  Instead of going to someone else’s party throw your own, complete with healthy, yummy snack foods, and lots of physical games.
2.  If you’ve already accepted a party invitation bring some of your own healthy snacks to share and only eat off the plates you bring.  After all, are you going to the party for the people, or the food?  If you are going for the food then just stay home.
3.  Start your New Year early.  You don’t have to wait till Jan 1st to start living life right.  Throw an early New Year’s party and get your ball rolling now.  Think of it as getting a head start over everyone else.
4.  Tell your family and friends that you are so happy that they have supported you this far, then tell them that the holidays are when you need their support the most.  Tell them the situation you are in right now and ask them to help redirect you.  Ask them to hide the traditional sweets until you are gone and to help you find new, healthy holiday foods. 
You have come so far, don’t give up.  Next time you are faced with something you don’t need to eat just think, “Did I sweat and work all year just so I could eat this?”  Then take the food item to your sink and run it under water.  Remember: You are not food, your memories are not food, your life is not food, your happiness is not food.  
You go girl! 
Miss Knowitall
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