Tomorrow is one of those minefields for dieters. It just is. Last year, I did great and lost weight through the holidays, thanks to Allan's DDDY Challenge keeping me focused.
This year, it's up to me to keep me focused, and it's up to me to have my strategy in place.
As I am bringing a couple dishes, I choose to make stuff I can eat. Natch. My organic coop has green beans, yams, celery, carrots, raspberries, seckel pears, pumpkin squash, at least one herb (sage, thyme, etc), mushrooms, greens, cranberries, and granny smith apples, so making one cooked veggie and one crudite side along with some baked apples (walnut butter, cinnamon, bit of real butter) gives me some totally safe side and dessert options. (I'm keeping those wonderful seckels for myself, nom nom.) I will make no-sugar cranberry sauce...fresh and organic and good for me. Not the crap in cans that's processed to death and full of pancreas-destroying, glucose-spiking nonsense.
Baking apples is easy, tastes like apple pie without all the crap in apple pie. :D Win!
Side veggies fill you up. Go easy on the butter, go strong on the herbs. WIN!
If the salad veggies are great, make a beautiful salad and add all sorts of colorful things in it to make it pop. I may make a spinach, walnut, cranberry one. :D WIN!
Skip the bread. It's so ordinary. Unless it's a super-special, grandma-baked, never eaten any other time of the year, why use up those calories on useless, gluten-laden stuff? (And if you have gluten sensitivies, for Heaven's sake, be sane. Stop being a child and grow the damn up about food and stay away from the damn stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will hurt yourself and lose years with your family, cause it will kill you. STOP IT!)
Eat at least one indulgent food in a small portion so you don't feel deprived-(whatever is your fave, be it the pumpkin pie or sweet tater casserole or mashed taters or green bean casserole) and fill up on turkey meat (hey, the breast is so low cal you can just pig out on THAT, sans the cranberry sauce which tends to be loaded with sugar.
I plan to fully enjoy white meat turkey, veggie sides, salad, and my apple bake. I don't plan to have bread. I will indulge in my fave traditional items in small amounts (like last year, where I had no more than 1/3 cup of each): sweet potato casserole, which my sister has been making sugar free, but with some lovely almond extract or Amaretto. It's worth every bite. And I plan to wear snug pants. I have them. They are really snug and if I try to overeat, they will hurt. Bought them snug just for this purpose.
Wear a girdle, if you must, to keep things TIGHT. :)
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY? Have one. Doesn't matter what you plan up, but have plans.
And calm down and choose BEFOREHAND. When faced with the array of temptations, that's when your armor will rust and fall apart if you didn't plan ahead.
I suggest for myself (and you):
Fill up on fluids and have a good breakfast to take the edge off. Have protein, veggies and fluids EARLY...to keep you from being famished while you cook/prep/greet/socialize.
At the dinner: drink water (2 cups) before eating. Sit and choose wisely. Remember that you can enjoy a couple bites of the indulgent stuff, savor it, but think of the consequences is you stuff up. You'll hate yourself Friday. NOT WORTH IT!
Dr. Berkeley, author of REFUSE TO REGAIN, whose practice helps people get and keep weight off, wrote a terrific article a couple years back to help folks cope with the holiday barrage. READ IT. It will help you with your planning.
Here are her strategy recommendations:
1. The Old Scan and Plan: Don’t ever get caught in a corner. You should know what’s coming and have a plan to counterpunch. Imagine each holiday situation in as much detail as you can way before it ever happens. Plot a course through the food challenges. When the day comes, mentally check off each situation as you enact your plan. It’s your private game.
2. The Switcheroo: Everyone’s there for the food. Except you! Switch your reason for being at the dinner, family gathering, office party. You’re there to gather information by finding out at least one thing you never knew about five people in the room. You’re there to advance your career by finding someone at the party who can give you a lead. You’re there to see how many people you can get to ask you about your weight loss and how you did it. You’re there to change someone’s life by inspiring them to eat healther, be more like you. Set a goal. Keep track.
3. The Stare Down: For advanced maintainers only! For the true gladiator, there’s nothing more enjoyable than challenging yourself to a direct face-off with the food that used to control you. If you’ve passed the invisible barrier that separates maintenance junior (early maintainer) from SLIM (senior level maintainer), you might enjoy this trick, which is the equivalent of facing down a lion with nothing more than your expression. Go to the table, look at everything, and laugh. A good, loud, internal “HAH!” and a head toss help a lot.
4. The Dress for Success: Wear your best looking and most form fitting clothes. Let them talk to you as you negotiate that dangerous territory. The pressure of snug clothing will remind you of what your body has achieved and prevent you from filling up.
5. The Bring Your Own: A good trick for buffets, pot lucks and other challenges too. Bring a safe dish and make it something you can really load up on if there is little else that fits your rules. Generally, these clean, simple dishes go fast. After all, everyone recognizes healthy food…even if they don’t want to admit it.
As Allan used to tell us, focus on the people.
Focus on the joys of the holiday. Focus on games, conversation, dancing. Focus on the big games or parades. Focus on good memories of times past. Focus on gratitude and enlarging your health so you can have many more holidays to come with those you love and who love you.
It's not about falling face first into a pile of food. It's about the GRATITUDE for the food that keeps us a live, for the family and for the friends who share the food with us, and for the freedom to work and pray and rest and eat in peace--for the life we have. IT"S NOT ABOUT PIGGING OUT AND BEING OUT OF CONTROL.
Make it HOLY--meaning leave the gluttony (a sin) out of it. Make it WHOLLY good, by feeling satisfied and having fun and remember to be thankful for the blessings in your life.
I have many blessings. I want to be in control with food and out of control with love. If you must choose to overindulge, overindulge in joy.
What is your high-joy, low-gluttony strategy for tomorrow?
Happy Thanksgiving, all, ....be well....