South Beach Diet - Holiday Food Shrinks Needed

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Arctic Stamp Queen
11-02-2010, 08:40 PM
I posted this with a different title and it didn't get much it is again, along with my follow up once I had time to think a little deeper. Really looking for some advice, encouragement, words of wisdom, etc. here:

Okay ladies...I need me some food Psychology. For me, the holidays are firmly emeshed in the foods that go with them. It is a huge comfort thing. I know that I need to change that and I want to have a plan in place so that I can be pro-active about it this year and not de-rail.

For some reason, Thanksgiving does not worry me in the least. It's the week between Christmas and New Years that I am really worried about. My daughter is coming home from college and a big part of me wants to just go off plan for that week and enjoy having her home, let us all enjoy home cooked comfort food. But the bigger part of me recognizes that is what got me into my situation in the first place.

Why do those memories run so deep for me and when will it get easier for me to deal with these bigger occassions? Does it get easier, or am I fooling myself? I really would love some advise from those who have experienced this for themselves. ;)

Arctic Stamp Queen
11-02-2010, 08:41 PM
My follow up:

I agree with a lot of what you guys are saying and I am listening and pondering.

I find myself thinking of the rituals. Like making my grandma's bon bon cookies. Looking at her recipe card I inherited and thinking fondly of the time we would make them when I would go see her. Of her Zuchinni bread, how she would make 2 loaves, one for me and one for the rest of our family.

Those memories are so firmly engrained in my holiday really makes me sad not to feel that connection with her if I choose not to do that this feels silly to even say it, but I feel that loss deeply as I think about it. She died making my loaf of zuchinni bread as I was flying down to see her at Christmas time, I have such strong memories when I pull out the recipe card and see her handwriting it makes me well up and makes me feel so close to her. And that is why I am trying to come up with a plan, whether it be to NOT partake, or to plan a DAY or period of time of partaking...does that make sense? I don't want to plan to fail by failing to plan.

On a positive note, I have found that when I eat a tidge of something I "know" I am not supposed to have that I just feel sick and realize that it was not worth it, so I do not binge...that my friends is HUGE progress for me. I am learning a lot, I really am.

And it may be that I am making more of this in my mind than it actually will be. I obviously have a LONG way to go. :)

11-02-2010, 09:57 PM
I have similar feelings. I bake a lot at Christmas, but the past years I've blessed my friends and family with my baking instead of myself. I allow myself to taste in moderation, and that is key. My grandmother made the best toffee in the world, and every year, i do the same...except instead of making it and keeping it in the house, I package it up in pretty boxes to give away as gifts. My mail person gets some, the girls that work in my husband's office, some of his colleagues, playgroup moms...anybody that I can think of that I know will appreciate being remembered during the holidays. I can't afford to buy gifts for all of these people and I can't afford to eat all of my baking...two birds!

11-02-2010, 10:27 PM
Last year all of the females in our family got together to decorate sugar cookies that I had spent days making and cutting out. Needless to say, there was a lot of eating mistakes that day. Great fun but I knew I couldn't do that again this year and stay on plan so we've changed it just a little. This year we will be making cookies, brownies, coco and soup in a jar. It should be just as much fun and I should have no problem staying on plan.

11-02-2010, 10:29 PM
Ruth, you did it! :bravo: Thank you so much. Just curious, were you also able to delete the other TallandThin that I had set up with a separate email address?

I just found and read your pm and I am so sorry, I didn't know I was breaking a rule setting up the replacement user name account. I have no use for it now and would like it deleted.

I also just found and read your pm, however, for some reason, can't seem to find an option to reply. Sorry.

11-02-2010, 10:33 PM
I think Zeffryn has a really great idea about baking some favorites and gifting them. With the zucchini loaf, it would make such a nice gift, perhaps with a recipe attached and a short note about your Grandmother.

My next thought would be that your Grandma would want you to be healthy, and that perhaps modifying some of your family traditions in order to promote and maintain your healthy would have some heavenly approval.

We are all different, and so I speak only for myself. I really had no problems for my first set of holidays on SBD, which was last year. I read all the posts about what different beachers do, and decided I would stay OP. That meant taking responsibility for taking things to all the potlucks and parties which would not leave me feeling deprived. It meant planning holiday menus at home that would satisfy all. It was really easy because I had the mindset to do it.

I went strong until this past March, when I was traveling to an area in Arizona where I knew it would be difficult. It was only 3 days, and I gave myself permission to be off plan.....I tell you what, I have had the hardest time since then and wish now I had not made that decision. I should have saved any P3 eating for after losing my weight. Thank goodness I continue to hang in there....for me, I will have the mindset to stick with P2 for the holidays this year.

11-03-2010, 07:43 AM
When I'm eating well, exercising faithfully and feeling good about the choices I'm making, baking my family's favorites really isn't a problem for me. Remembering past family celebrations and looking forward to my family's pleasure when they see and eat the things I prepared is what pleases me most, not eating of the food.

That's one of the reasons I decided to be actively loosing over the holidays this year. I'm convinced that the pleasure of watching the scale go down and my looser clothes is what made it so easy to stay on plan last Nov/Dec. I wanted to delay figuring out my strategy for maintaining over the holidays for another 12 months or so. :lol:

That said, I've never been an "all or nothing" kind of person as far as SBD goes. One of the reasons this way of eating works so well for me is because I can have 'a little taste' of my sister's pie and then get right back on plan without beating myself up over it. I pick and choose my 'little tastes' very carefully and reserve them for holidays/family celebrations. It's all a head game for me I think. I'm much happier with "Sure you can have a little bit of that if you want it, but do you really want it?" than with, "No, that food is forbidden!"

11-03-2010, 10:38 AM
Lexxiss' idea of gifting the zucchini bread with the recipe and a small note about your grandmother is a great idea. something my mom did a few years ago was buy small ceramic loaf pans and gift bread in them. i've seen decorative loaf pans that would be just bake and go, or you could bake them in mini-loaf pans and pretty them up in a box or with holiday cellophane.

whatever i bake and gift, i always include the recipe or ways to use the item. every year, i make some liqueurs and always include a drink recipe for the season that would use that liqueur. kind of adds to the personalization of it.

good luck. i think you're going to do much much better this season than you give yourself credit for. remember your signature: taking control of my day at a time. plod through the holidays one day at a time, one meal at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Arctic Stamp Queen
11-04-2010, 05:36 PM
Great advice ladies. I have a couple of observations.

1. I want this lifestyle to truly be just that...a lifestlye change for myself. Knowing that, I am aware that there are going to be times that I eat something that is not "on program" and that I will need to just get right back "on program" for it to be a lifestyle. Does that make sense? A bite here and a bit there is not going to kill me, a meal here and a meal there is not going to kill me. But going days, weeks and months off plan WILL.

Dr. A has given me tools. Going on vacation, I can make sensible choices for most of my meals, but if I want to go to Olive Garden and partake of my beloved Fetuccini for dinner (we do not have one in Alaska, thank goodness) when I do fly out once every couple of years, by golly I will. But when I come home, I am prepared to deal with cravings and go back on Plan 1 for a bit to overcome those and deal with any vacation weight gain.

In the same context, I am thinking that if I want to bake at Christmas and partake of a few of the cookies and breads, I will. It's what I do after Christmas that shows my committment to this lifestyle. January 1...Phase 1.

I would like to see myself get to a point that food is not a driving force in my thinking. I would like to get to a point where I do not crave it, or have to plan it so thoroughly. I would like to just eat it to fuel my body...does that make sense? I hate being such a slave to flavors and combinations.

Just Dance Girl
11-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Hey I have the same issue. Last year I gained 5 pounds AFTER Christmas. My daughter who bakes comes home from college and ... bakes. and I feel guilty going off to exercise when she is there (she doesn't want to come with me).

BUT this year, I'm going to value myself and exercise and eat well. The nibbling doesn't kill me if I just keep exercising. That's my plan. :)

It was so frustrating and I never really got that weight off.

11-08-2010, 12:50 PM
Well I just started the steps for an online cookie business. I am second and third guessing it!

I have already spent money on this business--registering the name and getting the website, but its an amount that I am willing to lose at this point. I have a very young child and I want to get healthy for her. My husband is on board with that but he really wants me to do this business. I am at a loss!

I usually bake all of my gifts for Christmas and with me working part time, that is going to have to be the case again.

Some things that help me as I bake is...having brushed and flossed my teeth, keeping a stick of SF gum in my mouth....AND wrapping all of the gifts as soon as they are cooled.

I am hoping not to overdo it this year. I am totally wanting to lose this weight!

11-08-2010, 01:39 PM
I just had one of those "give yourself permission" moments over the weekend. My daughter and I were shopping and there's a little coffee shop we love, so I gave myself permission to eat a veggie wrap! It was fine...I didn't touch the chips or eat the little ends of the wrap, but I didn't want to miss that moment with my little girl- and it was worth it. I still lost weight this week, and I think that giving myself this permission for a little off-plan meal shows me how strong I really am this time.

I'm also giving myself permission to eat a little bit of goodies on Thanksgiving Day only and on Christmas Day only- I did this while on Atkins years ago, and it worked very well. I didn't go crazy on either day, because I knew how much I'd have to work to get back to the right mind set. I told myself ahead of time that I probably would not lose weight those weeks, so I wasn't surprised and depressed when I stepped on the scale for my morning weigh-in, which might have snapped me back into unhealthy eating.

You can do it, whichever way you decide to go- just make sure YOU decide, because I don't think it will work if you're not the one making the decision...

11-09-2010, 01:47 AM
I think that special family time is when we CAN go off plan in small ways. I think we just need to prepare ourselves mentally for limits.

I have two events coming up in about ten days and I am planning my Phase I to end just before them.

We have book club at night, which always includes a pot luck. I am going to skip the wine and bring something I know I can eat. Maybe two things, like some meat and a veggie dish, so I know I will have enough. There will also be a nice salad (there almost always is.) I think I will bring some unsweetened flavored carbonated water. That feels special, as a replacement for wine or a mixed drink.

Then we have a pre-Thanksgiving feast at the school where I work. The kids help make many of the dishes. I'm just going to have to psyche up for only small portions of the carb stuff and make wise choices. It is nearly two weeks away, so I am planning now. White meat turkey, maybe without gravy. I think I can skip the mashed potatoes. Easy to skip dinner roll, they can be pretty boring! I'll want half a slice of pie. I can skip the whipped cream, which is always sweetened.

Part of the problem at our school (public elementary) is that we have a cook who is probably over 350 pounds and makes fantastic food. Our cook is more like a chef. I haven't even been going into the kitchen during lunch hour. I bring a salad with meat in it and a cup of plain yogurt and STAY AWAY from the kitchen.

I think if I just eat according to Phase I until these two events (a day apart) and then immediately get back on to plan until Christmas, I'll be okay. During Christmas I might go off a bit, I just don't want to totally give up.

One thing about Christmas, a lot of the food doesn't live up to expectations. I have eaten quite a few mediocre Christmas cookies in my time. Over the years I have become more selective, both in what I choose to eat and what I choose to serve. If I am going to indulge a little, I don't want to waste it on disappointing cookies or cakes.

11-09-2010, 04:54 AM
If I am going to indulge a little, I don't want to waste it on disappointing cookies or cakes.

Tell me about it!

11-09-2010, 07:28 AM
I agree with all that the gifting idea is really nice and a wonderful way to spread some cheer and also honor your grandmother in a way I think she'd probably love. A way that I have coped with difficult situations like this in the past (we went on vacation the day after I finished Phase 1) was to just totally eliminate all carbs and not worry about anything else. So if I was doing that on Thanksgiving I would have all the turkey, gravy and veggies I wanted (even if they had butter) but just not touch any carbs at all, and yes that does mean dessert too. For me, one bite in a situation like that will lead to more, more, more. It's true not all carbs are restricted on this diet but I do find carbs increase my hunger, while protein and fat satiate it, so I wasn't eating tons of bad stuff. There are some yummy veggie dishes you could make to bring to be sure veggies are available whereever you go. What I do want to say is that the idea of blowing it out and then going back onto Phase 1 smacks a little of a diet mentality to me, which I personally am trying to get away from.

11-09-2010, 10:50 AM
"What I do want to say is that the idea of blowing it out and then going back onto Phase 1 smacks a little of a diet mentality to me, which I personally am trying to get away from."

Yes, good reminder! I don't want to just blow it! I want a little bit of moderate indulgence that allows me to eat what others have prepared just on a few particular days throughout the holiday season.

During the holiday season there will be a lot of opportunities to say no, that's for sure! I am going to try to carefully select just the few times when I will have small portions of "the good stuff."

11-09-2010, 09:58 PM
Here's a link to an article that may be helpful. The info about cravings is interesting and useful for any time of year.