Support Groups - Holiday Strategies

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10-27-2004, 12:38 PM
As I was sitting at the preschool general meeting Wednesday listening to a talk on "Making the Holidays Meaningful", It occurred to me that coping with food choices during the holidays can really add to my stress. The talk was more about family rituals and making conscous decisions to observe the rituals that bring us the most pleasure and try to minimize the extra stuff we do that brings us extra stress and doesn't really add to our enjoyment of the season. I thought " gee, for me this really is about food!"

So... I would love to read about your strategies for coping with food choices at the holidays. If we think about them ahead of time, maybe we help each other plan better and we can emerge on New Year's Day with no gains and maybe even a loss! Like Dr. Phil says , " If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!"

My strategies are kind of "big picture" at the moment. I am a big stress eater, so I take steps to reduce the stress of the holidays, so I can managing the stress eating. So I have cut out somethings that in the past have been a bother
1) Instead of sending 100+ cards, I create a family web page and email a holiday greeting to everyone with the link
2) I stopped going to mall and I shop online instead (MAJOR Stress reducer)
3) I stopped baking.... this one was hard, but I do not forbid my DH from baking, I just stopped doing any myself.

Now - those family events that involve food and alcohol..hmmm.. need to get some strategies in place for those....

Any ideas?

10-27-2004, 01:00 PM
Well, mine are easy and the holidays for me aren't really about food. I've even cut back on the amount of cooking I do every year because I just don't see the point. Anyway...don't really have any ideas but I am interested to see what everyone has to say.

I always do my cards in November, used to do them in October. As a matter of fact I was just thinking about that yesterday.

Don't bake, unless of course I get in the mood to send stuff to others. So there's never really any goodies around. It's easy since the kids are older, no school parties and functions to bake for.

Usually do most of my shopping from catalogs but do make a trip or two or three to the mall. But never go when they are busy. I always go in the morning when they first open. The kids make it easy also because they like music and reading so they always get a gift card for that.

Don't have to worry about family events because we have no family. Okay, I have family but they live out fo state and we don't travel during the holidays. Now if my family were having a big family get together I would try to go if the weather wasn't bad.

Used to get stressed with decorating, for me this was the biggest stressor of them all. And the last 3 years I had cut down on it. But since this is our first Christmas in our new home I know I will go all out this year. Already trying to decide what to do outside.

I guess that is about it. I don't think they are really strategies though, just what I do every year-same old stuff.

10-27-2004, 03:59 PM
My strategies when I'm baking (which I don't do a lot of) is to suck on a candy cane, little pieces at a time. Nothing taste too great with peppermint.

I also do my cards early. (already have half done!) And I also decorate early. This year I will be putting up my Christmas stuff the weekend of Thanksgiving. I love to have it up and it puts me in a great mood for the whole month!

And....I always envision (or hang up if I have it) that little cute outfit I want to wear to the holiday gatherings so it helps to keep me motivated to staying OP. Couple years ago (before Sony closed) I got the most compliments on my self control......I want to experience that again.

I guess these aren't strategies either...just what I do. Looking forward to seeing other ideas!

10-27-2004, 11:23 PM
Good topic, Katy!! My family and I just talked about this not long ago!!

For me, it's all about portion control - everyday. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, the family of 12 will be here, and we will be having most of the same dinner foods that we traditionally have, only lots less of it! We've planned to include more healthy choices and have eliminated some of the real gut-busters!

As for the desserts, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my sister has already agreed to give us a dozen pieces of peanut butter fudge, since there are 5 of us who like it. That way I won't have a whole batch of it around. And instead of making my own sugar cookies, I'll be buying 1 doz. unfrosted ones for Neal and Katie to frost. (I won't waste points on these, but the others like them.) Mary likes the frosted Oreos, but those won't bother me - I'll get one box and send the leftovers home with her on Christmas day. Mary is bringing a few chocolate chip cookies. She makes the best ones! Gina is bringing a lite raspberry fluff pie. No chex mix this year - I'm the one who really likes it, and can't be trusted around that. And no chocolates. Too tempting for everyone.

Dessert for Thanksgiving Day isn't really a problem - I'll have a little tiny slice of pumpkin pie and that's it. There is always a plate of fresh veggies to munch....

What's always always always in the back of my head is "Do I want the scale to go downward or not?" It's that simple. Katy, you can do this, too, and come away a "Loser" for the new year! Next year you'll be so glad you did!!

10-28-2004, 04:31 PM
Great plan, Jane! I knew you had a plan....

For Halloween this year, I bought hard candy only. It's not my favorite type of candy and if it really drives me crazy, one little piece can satisfy and it's not too many points.

For DD's birthday ( she's 3 on Halloween) I made healthy banana oatmeal muffins then put just a swipe of orange frosting and sprinkles on them. Low points, AND portion controlled, to boot. I put them in the freezer and they haven't bothered me.

I like reading what others do to cope... definitely pays to plan ahead. I'm doing my best and my goal is to post a loss on New Year's Day.