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Old 10-02-2005, 01:29 PM   #1
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Default Holiday Challenge

It's hard to believe, but we're entering the "holiday zone" this month. Rather than making this a weight loss type of challenge, how about joining me for a behavior challenge? I'd like as many of us as possible to make plans for the upcoming holidays and stick to those plans. Holidays are hard, but I'm hoping if we plan for them, publish those plans, and post when we need support in achieving our goals that we will make it through unscathed. I celebrate four holidays in the next few months and here are my plans for those holidays:

Halloween - I'm not going to eat any candy
Thanksgiving - No white potatoes, eat sensibly and make good choices, eat one small piece of pie
Christmas - On that day only, eat whatever I want--throw out or give away any leftovers that I can't handle the day after
New Year's - don't usually have much trouble with this day so I am going for an on-plan day

I'm betting that on Christmas I really won't want to eat as much as I have in the past.

Hoping that others will join me in making it through the next three months!

The grand essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for - A. K. Chalmers.
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Old 10-02-2005, 01:37 PM   #2
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That sounds like a great plan, Sheila. I am having a lot of company in November, so I am planning on making good choices possible at restaurants & sharing a dessert if I have to have one.

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Old 10-02-2005, 01:46 PM   #3
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Good idea! I'm feeling confident and strong right now, but that's probably because the challenges aren't staring me in the face. So I'll make some goals.

Halloween--not usually a problem, I don't like American chocolate. I'm going to avoid Halloween cakes/cookies.
Thanksgiving--usually a very small affair, I can plan to be OP for the day with 1 piece of pie extra.
Christmas--the day of Christmas won't be a problem, no family will be in town and we don't have kids (and so won't be having a big to-do). Leading up to Christmas will be challenging. I'll avoid Christmas cakes (except for once weekly) and will maintain my exercise goals (5-6 times a week, 45-60 minutes each).
New Year's--OP (I'm not a drinker). Maintain my exercise.

Looking at it, this holiday season don't look like it's going to be very challenging. Best be prepared and make sure it won't be!
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Unhealthy food isn't a right, nor is it a privilege--lessofsarahtolove

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Old 10-02-2005, 02:18 PM   #4
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Okay, I'm in.

Thanksgiving -- Its next Sunday for me and will be quite a big family affair. I'm making all the veggie dishes, so I'll load up on those (no potatoes), eat white turkey meat and only have a spoonful or two of stuffing. I'll limit myself to one small slice of pumpkin pie (no whipped cream) and take a portion of my mum's english trifle home to have on holiday Monday (instead of having huge portions of both one after the other!)

Halloween -- I'm going to buy candy I don't like to shell out and have G hide the girl's booty.

Christmas -- Office party, business lunches/dinners, open houses, Christimas Eve, Day and Boxing Day festivities...this one is tough. I'll practice moderation and not let any occasion become a free-for-all (including Christmas day). I'll try to follow Beverly's buffet mantra and sample a little of everything I want, but not gorge!

New Year's -- I usually do okay on food because I hate to start off a brand new year feeling bloated and disgusted, so my challenge will be not to consume all my "points" in alcohol!
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:37 PM   #5
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We don't celebrate Halloween in England much, so no need for candies around the house. No one trick or treated in our neighbourhood last year, so this year if they do, they won't get anywhere at our place!!!

Guy Fawkes Night

We go to a big bonfire at our local hotel in the wilds of Lancashire on November Fourth. The food is fatty and boring, so I plan to take a flask of soup and some good home made bread for the two of us. I don't mind a treat night, if the food is a bit off plan and good!!!!!!!!!


I always feel a bit left out that we don't have thanksgiving here at all, so at least one less day of temptation.


I love Christmas and in the past I always baked, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, cookies, truffles all sorts of things. I have no children, it's just the two of us, so what doesn't get given as gifts gets eaten.........by us!!!! DH said at the beginning of the year that we are going out this year for Christmas lunch, so that there is less temptation in the house (which I thought was lovely - he is slim and is the best supporter ever) So I am just going to enjoy Christmas day and not care about the calories.

New year

I plan to be totally on plan New Years Eve. My resolution to lose weight was made on New Year's Eve last year, and I have stuck to it, so I plan to keep on plan as a gift to myself and a celebration of what I have achieved so far.
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Old 10-02-2005, 06:04 PM   #6
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I am applauding all you people who do such great forward planning......Since I'm not entirely sure yet what my festive/holiday season plans are, here is my best shot!

Jewish New Year - this is coming up on Tuesday. Family dinner at my parents place....I can predict some of the not-so-healthy-but-oh-so-good food on the menu will include chopped liver , roast potatoes ......so I will have small taster portions of these, skip the alcohol (no big deal for me), and have fruit for dessert. Its traditional to eat apple and honey (symbolising the sour and the sweet of the passing year, and the one to come...), so I will go very easy on the honey....

Christmas.........not my festival, although I usually spend it with friends. Possibly with my friend from Kenya this year, who is an excellent cook..and let me tell you, my favourite Kenyan dishes are full of fat and calories... ...However, I will aim to make healthy choices, and not to overeat. Which would be an improvement on last year.

New Year.....well, there is a small plan currently formulating to go away somewhere warm for a week or so, over New Year . The destination of choice is currently Morocco. I will aim to make this a vacation of eating healthily, with the occasional enjoyable treat . This ought to be very possible - North African cuisine is relatively healthy. (For those of you who count, yes, I travel a lot - and have not managed a healthy eating vacation yet this year, so its going to be a challenge!!).
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Old 10-02-2005, 11:18 PM   #7
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Great posts, lots of good ideas. I'm in....

Thanksgiving is this Monday for me and I am planning to go to my sisters. She is health conscious and trying to take care of her body so I don't think there will be trouble with healthy choices. I am planning to have a piece of pumpkin pie but not the crust, turkey, sweet potatoe (because of the antioxidants) and a lovely green leafy salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.

****-o-ween (or at least that is what it is for me). This is a tough one. It seems like Halloween is the kick off for chocolate binging that lasts straight through to Easter (Halloween, Halloween sales, Christmas, Christmas sales, Valentine's Day, sales, you get the point). I have made many changes of the past few years - I don't buy chocolate and I only purchase healthier treats to give to our children in the neighbourhood. I consider sugar to be my personal poison. It is such an ellixir that one taste keeps me craving more. The more I have, the worse I feel and on it goes. This year - I have a cupboard full of pencils, erasers and bubble gum. I feel I am doing my part for children (as they egg my house for the lack of chocolate!!). However, there is then my children's baskets that come in the door. I haven't quite figured that one out yet - any thoughts?? I did offer them 20 dollars a piece last year if they would give me their candy (which I would them throw out) after they ate it for a few days - it was a no go. Sugar depletes the kids immunity too - awful stuff really. So I will need to really plan on what to do with Halloween. I think as a society we need to make changes to Halloween. Ever notice how our children get sick within a week to ten days of Halloween treat overload? Why don't we just have happy little home parties and give kids prizes of non-food fun? Maybe that is what I will do this year. Do you think my children would ever forgive me? Lol.

Christmas: Hmmm...I usually love to bake and give food gifts. Last year, I changed this behavior and I think the trend will continue this year. On Christmas Eve, I bought a tray of baking from a friend who caters and had just enough for one day for my family and our guests. There was one - not three- box of quality (ie expensive) chocolate and the rest of our time was spent on activities verses eating. I am going to try that again this year. I struggle with being a scrooge to my kids and not allowing them the Christmas' of my past (full of all sorts of food which helped contribute to my life long struggle) and setting new traditions for a hopefully healthier life for my children.

New Years - We go bowling with our children and then to a friends to ring in the New Year. Healthy choices are available and alcohol is not a concern (except maybe one wee little glass of lovely red wine!).
My keys to success: Consistency, Awareness, Movement

If you don't look after your body, where are you going to live????
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:30 AM   #8
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Ah the holidays!!! Since I am chocholic, I always find this time of year very difficult. Is it me, or are people sometimes a little more pushy in getting you to eat the treats this time of year? I know when I refuse, people tell me, well one chocolate doesn't hurt, etc. What people do not realize is that I can not stop at one, and will go back for more.

Thanksgiving-It is on Sunday for me and as I am doing most the cooking, I will be able to have better control over everything. I am going on a long hike on the Saturday so that should help as well.

Halloween-Not an issue, I live in a condo complex, and there are no children that come around, as well my dog goes berserk anytime the doorbell rings, which will ward off any kids that come around anyway.

Christmas-This is the bad one-it seems (at least in Canada anyway, fellow canucks correct if I am wrong), but the season starts right after Halloween, with Office parties, lunches, dinners, not to mention the day of. I am going to shoot for eating in moderation and stay on plan until the "big" day.
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Old 10-03-2005, 09:06 AM   #9
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Great thread and great ideas -- I'm sure for many the issue is complicated by the multiple factor. That is, I have family scattered and this year especially am likely to have multiple Christmases, which means multiple meals! Luckily (or perhaps not so), some of those members are also focused on weightloss/healthy eating (at least right now). Unluckily, the family that is scattered now includes my parents, who are going through a quickly-getting-messy divorce which is raising some emotional issues for me! Christmas may be the first time I see my Mom in this whole mess. So emotional issues are my biggest holiday concern.

Halloween: Buy candy I don't like on Halloween itself. Allow myself to have one piece or two if small and I want it, which will be less of an issue if I really don't like the candy in the first place! I am actually usually fine around this kind of candy short term. Throw out or donate any extra the next day.

Thanksgiving: This may be pretty easy as it may be just hubby and me, or a few others at our house. I may make a crustless pumpkin pie (pumpkin custard) as THAT is a big weakness of mine.

Christmas: I don't even know where I'll be yet or how many get togethers I'll have to go through. This is the one I'm worried about more for emotional reasons. I think it's good to know that now! I will have to fly home for all of this, and be gone a few days. I guess the thing to focus on is that if I do have issues to know that I can get back on track when I'm away from all of that...

Other than that, I have to worry about Eggnog. I love it and may just have to not have any this year.

New Years: Never really been a problem as I'm not a big drinker.

Anyone else worried about all the parties with the "once a year" treats? That's another place I'll need to strategize.

Great idea. It's VERY helpful to think about this now!

My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences

Last edited by Heather; 10-03-2005 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 10-03-2005, 09:30 AM   #10
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Well, I'm going to give it a go this year too. Usually I use the holidays to pig out NONSTOP not only on the holiday itself but the whole two weeks around Christmas and New Years. I think this year I am just going to have the actual holiday be my free day and then on other days have whatever in SMALL amounts to stay within 2000 calories.

Halloween - I usually pass candy out at my mom's (I'm moving back for a while so I guess home instead of "my mom's") so I think I'll probably eat some candy. The key is going to be only having a few pieces instead of 20 mini candy bars... GAWD HELP ME! And then my Halloween party I'm going to... *sorry to say* I'll be drinking and drinking and drinking...lol I might be trying to lose weight but I'm still kind of a party girl sometimes. I'm only 23, single-ish *not married*, no kids...

Thanksgiving - I usually don't have much of a problem here. I eat a little bit of everything, including a small piece of the two pies we usually have... but I have NO other meals all day so who cares...lol

Christmas - Usually NO problem AT ALL. We don't have a big dinner. It's usually actually popcorn at the movies. That's my family tradition... we go to a movie on Christmas... Christmas Eve will be more of the problem but still... I'm not a HUGE eater anymore so I'm not too worried.

New Years - the Day... no problem. The EVE usually is my last hoorah for the year... Of course, it's usually more drinking than eating so whatever... Maybe I'm weird but I am not too concerned with gaining weight over the holidays. My biggest hurdle is the drinking 'cuz I do it a couple times a month anyway but it's not stopping me so far and when I DO have kids and stuff... it'll be more of a non-issue then.... SO YAY

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Old 10-03-2005, 10:18 AM   #11
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Please, count me in! From the beginning of October to the end of December I am SURROUNDED by temptation.

October 11 - My son's birthday. I've decided to make cupcakes instead of a regular cake and only one for each guest plus maybe three extras. I'm not even a big cake eater so I rarely get a piece but I'll fork it to death getting a little bite each time I walk by. Cupcakes will mean that I either eat one or I don't and, since I'm not a big cake eater, I probably won't. And if there aren't any leftovers to nibble on they can't find their way to my hips! We will be taking his friends out to Chuck E Cheese's to eat an play games so I'll have a small dinner at home before we go and then enjoy a salad with the kids.

Halloween - Candy doesn't usually cause much trouble for me. Just in case, any that we have leftover will be sent to my husband's office. My kids are pretty protective of their loot so I won't risk sticking my hand in their sacks and drawing back a nub! Anything they haven't eating after a week gets tossed (by this time they've usually picked through it all and eaten their favorites).

Thanksgiving - We will be traveling to my in-laws. I'll pack a cooler of appropriate snacks and meals for the road (it is an overnight drive) so that I'm not caught have to choose the from the lesser of all evils at a drive though. I think I can manage the main dinner on Thanksgiving day and will measure and weigh my portions as usual. The buffet of snacks and treats that are out all day for guests to nibble on will be my biggest challange. I'll find out ahead of time what all my MIL plans to make and decide the night before what I will have and STICK TO IT. Since we see this side of our family so infrequently there will be plenty of visiting for us to do. I'll make sure I do it in the living area and outside instead of the kitchen (a common social hub).

December 11 - Our twins' birthdays. Same plan as for my older son's birthday party.

Christmas - I'll be hosting our family at Christmas so I have the most control over the menu. This year I have decided NOT to over do it. I'm usually too busy on the day of festivities to overeat but the leftovers always kill me. In the past I've tried to have something for everyone so I would end up with a lot of pies and sides that maybe had a slice or two eaten from them then I'm stuck trying to avoid them for the rest of the week. This year I'll make MY favorite dessert and indulge in a small piece, measure and weigh my main meal portions, and freeze any leftovers in individual portions so that I'm not nibbling my way through the refrigerator. I'm not going to do the usual elaborate appetizer spread. Instead I'll have a fruit and vegetable tray and maybe some roasted nuts. I have a feeling that I'm going to disappoint some people but, hey, they can always volunteer to do all of the cooking next year if they don't like it! LOL.

New Years - We don't usually celebrate New Year's Eve. I'm too tired from the last three months to do much more than sleep! We'll spend New Years day watching football so I'll make a pot of chilli and the required black eyed peas both of which I can easily control myself around.

I'm actually really motivated to end the year well. December 26 will mark a year of healthy living for me and I am finding that making these last few months count (in terms of losing weight) is more exciting to me than the opportunities to indulge so, hopefully, that will keep me strong. If I stay buckled down I should be able to reach within 5 pounds or so of my ultimate goal weight. Now THAT would be something to celebrate!

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Old 10-03-2005, 11:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jawsmom
I am finding that making these last few months count (in terms of losing weight) is more exciting to me than the opportunities to indulge so, hopefully, that will keep me strong. If I stay buckled down I should be able to reach within 5 pounds or so of my ultimate goal weight. Now THAT would be something to celebrate!
jawsmom: Oh, yes to all of that! I SO want to keep thinking that short term foods are not always worth long term consequences. That's how I've been thinking so far and it's working. I know it will help to keep that in mind throughout the holidays!

We're all rooting FOR you to get within that 5 pounds and ultimately TO your goal... good luck!

My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:22 PM   #13
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Default Argh... the holidays

Okay, I'm in. :sigh:

Halloween - I make rockin' desserts in the shape of pumpkins, spiders with bloody guts, the works. Luckily, I hate icing and that's a big part of it so it's not hard to stay away from this stuff.

Thanksgiving - Okay, I don't have family here for Thanksgiving so it usually ends up to be a friend's feast. I'm with Sarah here - I'm a drinker. I love mulled wine and bonfires but I will keep it try to balance it with a drink and a glass of water. BUT I'm thinking of signing up for the 5K Thankgiving Walk for the Hungry. It's a great cause and will get me out of the house and exercising before anyone else has put the turkey in the oven.

The whole month of December - Stick to the holidays. No grazing on the office treats. No making treats for the office.

Christmas Eve - Did I mention that I'm a lush? Christmas Eve is usually spent with my Jewish friends and my friends with no family in the area at a Tiki Bar getting plastered and eating sushi and then back to my house for Monty Python's Life of Brian. Hmmm... drinking and water again and no hangover indulgences!

Christmas Day - The cute boyfriend and I always go to the beach with the dogs and take pictures to send back home to the family (it makes them green with envy). This year, we'll do the walking path around Ocean Beach and choose a dinner that is grande and sensible.

New Year's Eve - All bets are off.

New Year's Day - Bike around Coronado Island to start the year off right. THAT sounds like a plan.
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:23 PM   #14
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Great idea, Sheila! I love that you picked behaviours rather than a weight target because I'm a terror when presented with delicious foods. Not that I've ever actually needed a celebration as an excuse!

This will be a big family (in-laws) do. I don't do well with lots of people, and in the past have dealt with it by consuming copious amounts of alcohol! So, depending on how I feel, I might just give it a miss this year. I'm not sure we'll be let off nicely though because we don't attend the Christmas affair either. If I do go, I'll have turkey breast and veggies for sustenance only. Any spare calories I have will be spent on wine. I plan on staying within my kcal limit, though I'm not too fussy about keeping those kcals healthy ones!

I don't do Hallowe'en other than buying ket for any door-knockers. This year, I've bought only Hershey's chocolate bars because I really can't stand the stuff. It tastes like cart grease to me! Hubby will demolish any leftovers. ::sigh:: No Cadbury for me this year.

Bonfire Night
Now this one I do celebrate. Last year I cooked up big pots of chilli and thick soup, and served it up around our bonfire, with hot buttered bread and jacket potatoes. This year I'll make a small pot of chilli for just the two of us, and maybe some warm bread to go with it. No doubt we'll be well into snow season by then so we'll need something warm and filling.

Same as every year: We get up and I make Buck's Fizz , light the candles and incense, and phone my sister. Then we relax all day watching telly, listening to music, and eating smoked oysters, cheese, and crackers for lunch. I might just chuck in some raw veggies this year. We duck out of the family dinner and book a table at a nice restaurant where we have a starter and main course, and maybe share a dessert.
I'm going to enjoy the day and not worry about being rigid with food choices.

New Year
A meal out and a trip to the cinema, followed by Downtown fireworks is how we've spent the last two New Year's Eves. We'll probably skip the meal and pictures this time, and just head out for the display.
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Regained 83 lbs
Interim goals
  • Previous High Weight of 247 (Oct 2005)
  • No longer morbidly obese at 232
  • Quit-Smoking Weight of 224 (Jan 2008)
  • Return to Onederland
  • Previous Low Weight of 177 (April 2006)
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Old 10-03-2005, 01:14 PM   #15
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Ok I'm in. I don't worry to much about the holiday it's self. I have a treat day each week so on holidays I just use that day as my treat day. My goal is to not go off any other time. There is always candy and goodies at work during the holidays. So my goal is not to induldge in that.

We have three main meals during the holidays.

Thanksgiving with Family

Thanksgiving/Christmas with our best friends.

Christmas dinner with the family.
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