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Favorite Advice for Getting Through Holiday Parties

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default Favorite Advice for Getting Through Holiday Parties

In 3 1/2 weeks, I have only had ONE day not on plan. I am stubborn and just resist the pizza and cookies my husband eats (and stays skinny ). But with holiday parties coming around, let's share our favorite advice for avoiding temptation, resisting temptation, or getting back on the wagon if we fall prey to temptation.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Here is a hard-core spproach that works at a big party where everyone is milling around and no one would notice what you do or dont eat: Have a high-protien meal right before you go. Keep a calorie-free drink in your hand at all times and don't take the first bite. Not starting is easier than stopping. Most of the stuff is not as good as it looks anyway.

This won't work at, say, your mother-in-law's house where there is pressure to eat the lovely dessert she made just for this special occasion, obviously!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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Exactly! I've been 'hard core' until now but I know the pressure is coming.

I also have 2 potlucks coming up. I'm making meatballs for one and will do several vegetable dishes for the other. I figure I'll just stick to the food I bring.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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GUM is my savior. I've been able to resist holiday treats so far by chewing gum whenever i can. Even if I don't obviously chew the gum - the flavor does not go well with desserts...and I can pretty successfully ignore those carbs.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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I recently went to a party where I brought a veggie tray. Thankfully, someone else brought a fruit tray. I loaded up most of my plate with fruits and veggies and then just little dabs of other things that looked "worth it". I found that by using the criteria that something had to really be "worth it", I was able to pass a lot up. I also had the mindset that all of the food at the party will still be around after I lose the weight, but my goal right now is to lose weight. And I continually reminded myself how wonderful weight loss feels.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
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That's good - thinking about what is "worth it." I try to stop, before I mindlessly put something into my mouth, to think "What is this going to look like on me?" Ive lost over 30 lbs so far - I don't want to gain it back because of some cookie!
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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Don't forget that attitude and mindset are most important! If you think it is so hard to get through the holidays without indulging, then it will be hard for you. If you feel sorry for yourself for all the things you "can't" have, then it will be hard for you.

I know for myself, though there are myriad reasons I overeat, soothing negative feelings is one of them. So these past four months I've had to make a conscious effort to understand why I'm feeling negative, and correct the thought process that got me there. You can go to those holiday parties with the mindset that you are empowered to make choices that create positive momentum that move you towards your goals.

(For those of you who haven't been able to go to a Connections class at your center, I strongly recommend you make a way to begin attending!)
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Great advice here! I can't wait for the holidays to be over!

My plan is to be full wherever I show up. Eating a big dinner or lunch (healthy of course) will help me avoid picking at the appetizers and empty calorie choices.

A blog I read said to never eat anything (regardless of holiday time of year, etc.) unless it's an absolute 9 or 10 on the best foods ever. For example, your grandma's shortbread cookies might be a 9 or a 10 that you enjoy once a year. But a store bought brownie bite that doesn't even taste that good might be ranked a 4 or a 5, so it's not worth it.

I also keep thinking to myself about NEXT Christmas. How good I am going to look. How I will be able to wear a pretty outfit rather than something in my closet now that I am in between sizes in but don't want to invest anything at this point as I plan to keep losing. I want to wear cute outfits on my bike in the early spring and stuffing my face now could jeopardize that. (I have a serious problem once I get off-track and start eating junk; I don't want to gain one pound back!)

I figure I stuffed my face the last 36 Christmases, I can do something different this year.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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Elvislover, good to think about next year! I am actually there and it is great. Last year I was still on program and actually threw away sweets several times over the holidays! This year I'm able to have a little of the Worth It items. Feels great. You will get there!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:17 AM   #10
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Elvislover-as someone who is on the other side of losing, your thoughts are right on. I lost most of my weight last year between Nov 1 & Jan 1. In that time I only went off plan on Christmas eve. I just didn't even entertain the thought of going off plan...I had my mind set on exactly what I needed to do. Now this year I'm a size I never, ever thought I'd be! That is worth it so much more than any cookie (my weakness). I need to get out my before and after photos to remind myself of why I don't want to go crazy with the treats.

My biggest advice is PLAN AHEAD. Anticipate what food choices there will be. If it's a potluck, bring something you can eat. If not, try to know what is being served so you can decide if there are on plan options or if you need to bring something of your own (my friend that lost 100 lbs with MRC would pack her lunch to family gatherings...she said people would look at her little cooler strange...but she reached her goal. That inspired me to not care about what people thought of my food choices). I'm someone who if there is eating going on, I get grumpy if I can't eat. But it doesn't have to be cookies, I'll be just as happy loading up on the veggies.

And camaswa really was an inspiring rockstar last year...throwing away temptation. It's not wasting it, it's wasting money to pay for MRC and then eat junk anyhow (got that from teacherlady, wish I could take credit). I did stick some Christmas goodies in the freezer for when I reached goal (they were fannie mae mint meltaways I had ordered before starting MRC). Once I hit goal I would have one on days that I did a longer run.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Default Awesome Ideas!

I had 3 holiday parties this week and survived them all. I did cheat at the first one, but planned for it to be just one bad meal. I payed for it with water weight (I couldn't resist the wine but the scale added 3lbs the next day!). I felt empowered getting right back on plan at the very next meal though.

I agree planning is the best approach. When you go into it feeling like you are in control you'll stay in control. Resist the food that is just mindless eating and save a "just one bite" rule for the really really good stuff. By not depriving yourself completely you'll not have the urge to binge later.

Last night at my departments holiday party there was so much gourmet food. I kept a sparkling water in my hand the whole night and then just took one or two bites of the courses they served. I felt like I was participating without calling too much attention. I think I want to eat at parties that way all the time!

It also helped me to keep saying over and over in my head: "nothing tastes as good as thin feels"
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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Have you seen this post?

A Librarian's Tips for Healthy Holiday Parties
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Started out at 405.5 on 7/31/12. Then lost 156 lbs to get down to 249.5 by 7/31/13. In the past year I have put back on over 40 pounds and reached a high of 291.5. But I have recommitted myself and quickly took off ten pounds by 7/31/14. I am now trying to take off the weight I put back on, and then lose the rest of the weight I was originally trying to lose. ---- Starting weight / Low weight / Current Weight / Goal Weight
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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We are hosting a party tomorrow evening in our home. It's a "bring an appetizer" type party. I'm planning lots of veggies, I'm making the sausage balls out of the cookbook, and I'm planning to carry my clear supplement mixed with fresca and rum extract around with me all evening. I think planning ahead is key.

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Old 12-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #14
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I was recently in a training about dealing with confrontational people - and the trainer said one of the best tools we can give ourselves in those situations is to anticipate and plan how we will REACT to what confrontational people do.

So - I'm taking that advice and looking at my upcoming holiday parties (one is tomorrow night). I'm thinking about the various temptations that will be around me, and how I will react to them. I believe that will help me formulate a plan so I won't find myself panicked. We'll see how it goes!
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:11 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link Joe! I'm going to add each of those books she quoted from to my to-read list!

Here's my favorite tip that she shared, from the book "The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person":
Judith Beck advocates changing our whole mindset around parties and celebrations. She warned that a sense of entitlement to eat more during special occasions can sabotage an otherwise successful program for weight loss and maintenance. Special occasions, especially in December, are not particularly rare and going overboard at all of them could easily provide enough excess calories to account for that extra pound we're trying to avoid. When the party is over, it can be difficult to return to normal eating.

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