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Old 12-02-2012, 06:07 PM   #1  
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Default Healthy Holidays Suggestions/Advice


I am new to 3FatChicks and really happy to have found this forum. I am currently on the two week induction into a lower carb, healthy diet. I will weigh myself on Wednesday to see how the first two weeks have gone with weight but I can tell you physically I feel fabulous. The program is strict (no whites, fruit, grains, etc.) but it will ease up after two weeks and in time for Christmas. The physical recovery (decreased GERD, asthma symptom, blood pressure) in a short period of time is noticeable and appreciated. So, I am very happy except.....the high risk, potentially rail-roading season of love is just around the corner and my anxiety is starting to increase as I plan how to care for my body during a season of traditional over-consumption.

My Mom arrived last night at my home with caramel popcorn balls and Christmas fruit cake. She is a skinny Mom who I love dearly despite her sabotaging behaviours. I left her 'gifts' out for my husband and children to have if they desired and then packaged them up and promptly froze them so I wouldn't be tempted. Two weeks (well, 11 days so far) could be undone in one spontaneous and impulsive moment. I know these foods are unhealthy for me and that they are counterproductive to my goals. Even with full knowledge - I am bothered by them being in the house and having thoughts of "mmm, one little piece of that traditional family christmas cake sure would be nice" countered with "No, I don't eat that way". I should probably throw it out but I am struggling with that as well, trying to tell myself I can have one controlled portion if it is that important to me followed with a "are you nuts? one piece leads to another - get rid of it" inner discussion.

Anyway, the point of my long winded entry is that I am now increasing my worry over Christmas with my family and how I will manage food. I am trying to set goals, create strategies and plan for success. I have cancelled going to every social gathering related to Christmas including work and family functions. I appreciate that this is slightly dysfunctional but until I feel more in control, I don't want to be in high-risk situations that could undermine what I have been working hard to be successful in. The only thing I can't cancel is my family gathering at my sisters from Dec. 22 to Dec. 25/12.

My highest weight was 302 lbs, I had two surgeries in June for an estrogen dominant (obesity related) condition and I have slowly (and healthfully) lost weight (to my current 268 lbs). So....any thoughts on how to be successful, happy and healthy during holidays? Any tips on how you have managed things that may help me with my three night sleep over away from my controlled environment (I am taking veggie and fruit trays, healthy casseroles and prepping the turkey dinner so that will help - it is just the chocolate and chips that I know will call my name that I need to find resistance or substitutes to/for).

Thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom and thoughts with me,

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Old 12-02-2012, 06:50 PM   #2  
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I am still early in my weightloss journey, but here are my thoughts. If the goodies your mom brought with her are haunting you, then sending the remaining portions off with you or your husband to work. My doctor told me that if I really want a piece of cake then have a piece, but don't eat the whole cake. She also said to remember that it's okay every now and then.

Maybe you can find a dessert alternative to take, so you can have a sweet treat that isn't going to kill your diet. Try She tries to make recipes as healthy as possible.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:16 PM   #3  
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I know what you mean about one bite...can't eat just one. I lost 50 pounds last year and then the holiday's hit and I put back 20 pounds so fast, it almost gave me whiplash! One year later, I have managed to keep the 30 off and the 20 on. I am also thinking of avoiding holiday functions, but know that you can't live that way and need to be able to resist food when it is near, because temptations are everywhere. I always have good intentions, but one cookie opens the flood gates for me. I could eat before, feel up on salad...but I am not eating the cookies because I am taste good and then one more and one more and then the binge begins. So, no help from me...but would love to hear some tips or tricks to avoid another 20 this year.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #4  
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I feel you probably know yourself and where you are mentally best right now. If you're still feeling a little fragile in terms of control, I definitely think you're on the right path with avoiding food encounters of the dangerous kind. Your game plan for the holidays seems sound to me.

Personally, days like Christmas, Easter, and my birthday are free days to me where I count calories but don't necessarily impose limits. But I wouldn't recommend that if it's going to throw you off course. I'm a calorie counter so no foods are particularly off-limits. I'm not sure what your plan allows but getting a super rich dark chocolate helps with chocolate cravings. You feel like you're having chocolate but it's not sweet enough that you want to eat boxes of it, a piece or 2 is usually more than enough. I really like Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao Ultra Thins, it's almost like the regular bar but it comes in extra thin little square pieces that are 13 calories each and they're rich and delicious but you don't really want to eat more than a 2 or 3. I can't remember whether they sell the ultra thins in America or if they only have the bars. But any kind of really dark chocolate 65% upwards (mind, it gets kinda yucky after 90%) should give you the chocolate fix. For a chips substitute, I either thinly slice rounds of a medium potato, drizzle with a teaspoon of EVOO and season and cook in the microwave or roast in the oven till crisp. Or I may have skinny pretzel sticks instead for the salty, crunchy craving. You usually get more bang for your buck in terms of quantity with pretzels than with chips and if you throw in some hummus dip... YUM! I'm not sure how this fits with your eating plan, but it's an idea. Roasted garbanzo beans are also a tasty chip alternative which may be a little less carb-y.

I think my suggestion is that you make a game plan menu and stick with it. Keep it simple with maybe meat and veggies. If you're so inclined, you can maybe save room for a single serving of dessert on Christmas day or you can have fruit and aerosol whipped cream. Personally, when I'm in America, I really LOVE the Jello Pudding Sugar Free/Reduced calorie (60-cal) cups. They're not special enough for a holiday celebration but definitely something to keep in mind as another chocolate dessert alternative for general daily life (that is if you don't mind a bit of frankenfood).

This won't be forever. Don't get discouraged. The longer you're on this journey, the more certain you'll feel that you can return to plan when life happens. In unfamiliar food situations, I find it always helps to plan ahead and stick to the plan no matter what. Good luck!

Last edited by toastedsmoke; 12-02-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #5  
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I am very grateful for the time you took to respond, thank you. Your comments and suggestions have helped me restructure my game plan and determine how to keep healthy during the holidays. Love, love, love the tips and tricks that you have shared with me!!

Mara - I love the idea of sending the treats off to hubbies work - thanks, I don't think I would have come up with that one on my own. It is a nice sharing gesture, the food doesn't go to waste and temptation is out of the house.

Carol - I did giggle outloud at your whiplash comment. It is nice to know there are some commonalities amongst us!!

Toastedsmoke - You have also offered some amazing insights that you have learned along the way, thank you for taking the time to detail it for me. It is most helpful and really gave me the foundation for partaking in healthy ways and substitutions to help keep the feelings of deprivation away (we all know where that can lead). I like your philosophy of everything being a choice and just keeping things in perspective and under control on free days. I am Canadian and have seen the Jello sugar free treats, just haven't bought them (due to the frankenfood thing, lol!! But, I'm not getting any younger and maybe a bit of preservatives would be a good thing...still better for me than the full sugar). I like the idea of pretzels and hummus as alternatives as well as the sliced potatoe bake idea. Cheers!

Thank you so much for your thoughts and suggestions!
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:04 PM   #6  
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My suggestion is to fill up on proteins, limit carbs, and make a plan for desserts. Good luck! You can do this!

Last edited by Mozzy; 12-04-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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