I've said this before, but must say it again. "Hello. My name is Carol and I'm a sugar addict."
Since starting my Spark journey, I have learned so much about how to deal with that addiction. Instead of total abstinence, I've learned how to use moderation and really evaluating my desire if I do decide to eat a (former) no-no. DH has been very supportive by occasionally buying something sweet (he's one of "those" whose metabolism burns all the calories he consumes- never gains weight!) and then shares it with me. Usually one or two bites will satisfy my cravings and I can go again for a long time without a fix.
But each year at this time, as addicts must, I have totally avoided one of my former passions- making goodies for the holidays. I used to give little packages of homemade cookies and candy to casual friends/acquaintances. I was "famous" for those little masterpieces. I used to host a Christmas open house where I prepared 40-50 appetizers and desserts for large numbers of family and friends. Since we retired and moved to the mountains, that tradition has quietly faded away.
This year I wanted to revive that tradition somewhat by having two other couples over for "dessert" this weekend and having some small packages of treats to give to fellow volunteers at the library. So I used some of the great tools Spark has given me and made a plan of how I can do this without jeopardizing my health plan.
First of all, absolutely, positively, under no circumstances can I taste or sample anything while I'm creating! Oops, dropped a raisin/nut/candy/marshmallow- no, it either goes in the garbage or back in the bowl (depending on where it lands).
Once the goodies come out of the oven, no tasting to see if I did it right. I'm only making recipes that I've done for the last 40 years and if I didn't get it right by now, oh, well.
As I finish a goodie, I thoroughly clean the kitchen (burn those calories!) and put everything away- out of sight, out of mind.
I am sticking to my 6 days a week of exercising (plus all the cleaning and decorating to get ready for company!). All the baking is tiring, but it doesn't excuse me from doing my routine exercise program. After all these years, I'm finally learning that 40 minutes on the treadmill or hiking up our very steep mountain GIVES me energy, doesn't take it away.
As for eating, I haven't had a "pig-out" meal yet (nope, Thanksgiving was just another day) and don't intend to. When my DD comes on Dec 23, she and my DH are taking me out to dinner at Carrabas, but the "rule" still applies- eat half the meal and bring the rest home. Carrabas sent me a coupon for a free dessert on my birthday. Great! I'll use it and ask for 3 forks. DH will gladly finish it after DD and I take a bite or two (she has her dad's metabolism- ugh!).
So that's my plan and I'm sticking to it! I am looking forward to this Christmas more than I have in a long time (well, since cancer 4 years ago and starting Spark 3 years back). I am so grateful that I found Spark and have used it to totally change how I look at food, my body, my health, and life. Thank you Spark friends! Your love and support means so much to me. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!