Monday, April 01, 2013
In the years before I started to lose weight, I'd dread the holidays. Starting with Halloween, the end of the year is one long meal. Halloween candy followed by turkey and grave and mashed potatoes with pumpkin pie followed by all those Christmas goodies your friends and family pass off to you. And the cherry on top is New Year's, which, depending on if you drink or not, could be even worse.
Is it no wonder then that so many people make resolutions on January 1st? And is it also no surprise that on January 2nd, these resolutions are broken?
I also had another nasty habit: trying to schedule when to start my diet around the holidays. Oh, Valentine's Day is in a few days - can't start today! But next week is Easter and there is SO much temptation! Better wait until after then. And so on, and so forth.
I started my diet on November 16th right smack in the middle of the Holiday Food Blur. I was nervous - how could I resist the temptation of pecan pie and Christmas cookies? What about chocolate truffles and peppermint mochas? How could I possibly part with these treats?
I'd be lying if I said those first few weeks were easy. They were TOUGH. It was hard to pass over the mashed potatoes and gravy. It wasn't easy to ignore the Christmas danishes. But although it was hard, it wasn't impossible. And more importantly, it was worth it!
With Valentine's Day and Easter behind me, I really see the changes. I didn't have near the desire for chocolate for either one in comparison to Christmas. I didn't ache for a heart box of chocolates or chocolate bunnies. I didn't even salivate when I saw them in the store or bemoan silently that I couldn't eat them. To be really honest - I didn't even WANT them.
Because when I look back on Holiday Food Blur, I remember mostly being too full. Feeling fat and yucky. Not feeling fresh and fully of energy, ready to do whatever I wanted, whether it was a walk at lunch or reading a book on my couch.
The Holidays are more than Holiday Food Blur. Yes, the food is good, but what makes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter awesome is the people you spend it. Taking the emphasis away from WHAT I was eating and putting it to WHO I was spending with helped me more than just with my waistline - I got to focus on what was important with the holiday.
Memorial Day is upcoming, and I don't dread the barbecues and ice cream. Would I love to have a bowl of ice cream? Sure, but I look forward to wearing a bathing suit for the first time in 6 years more than another bowl of ice cream. I'm still working off last year's ice cream ;)