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Old 09-18-2006, 03:19 PM   #1  
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Default Help - family dinners are triggors!

I'm Jewish, why am I telling you all this? Because my high holidays are coming up and that means... family dinners. Family dinners are really hard for me for several reasons. First, I've got the cutest 93 year old grandmother who insists that everyone "eat, eat and eat some more". Saying no to her does not come at an easy price. Then these dinners are sooooooo long and everyone sits around the table and talks and eats and talks and eats .... I also come from a family of compulsive overeaters. On holidays there is silent permission to binge and I don't want to do that this year or ever again. My mother in law will make for Rosh Ha Shanah dinner at least 3 main corses, several starches, some veggies and many, many desserts. I'm feeling anxious as I don't want to slip back. Any ideas?
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:36 PM   #2  
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Wow....thats tough. You sometimes I think older people are like that when it comes to food because they remember days of nothing or the great depression or sometime in thier lives when they were hungry. I bet its hard to sit there with them all.

I would on venture to make this suggestion. Make one spoonful helpings and try to limit the different dishes. Work hard the days before as well to "eat clean" and also exercise. How about this as well? Talk a long walk before you go to these dinners or get some exercise in that will make you sweat.

I know this is not much help but I know when I was in Las Vegas this summer and eating in all those gourmet restaurants I would walk like crazy during the day to keep myself from gaining and it worked.

Good Luck
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:00 PM   #3  
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Family dinners are triggers for me too. BUT that isn't an excuse.
I don't care what your family will say or will think, and neither should you.
You have to do what is right for you and stick to it.
If you allow them to sabbotage you, you are setting yourself up for the future.
Set some guidelines up for yourself - if your family won't understand, then don't clue them in (I would hope that your husband would be understanding and supportive though).
#1. This is your life and your health, not theirs - do not allow anyone to *make* you feel guilty for doing what you need to do to better yourself.
#2. You already have a good idea of what will be served so: set limits for yourself - perhaps allow yourself one small serving of all your favorites and then quit for the day. OR if you cannot trust yourself not to binge or follow your own guidelines, then bring your own food either for just yourself or something healthy for the whole family.
#3. Have at least one other person (maybe your husband? other family member?) who will be there and will be supportive of your efforts - someone you can be accountable to in the moment, or perhaps someone who will stand beside your decisions to eat differently.
#4. If you do binge, then the next day, you stay on track... that is the important thing. Most people see a binge as failure....but it isn't really failure until you let it completely derail you and use it as an excuse to go off your plan... so plan to stay on track before and after your dinners no matter what.

I hope this helps. These things help me. Its hard - I know that it is. But only you can control what goes in your mouth and only you can assert yourself with your family.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:12 AM   #4  
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Jewish holidays must be tough. I used to live in a Jewish area, and wondered how the slim Jewish women (of which there were a few but not many) managed to do it. Food is such a huge part of your religious celebrations. The Muslim women I know just give up, and enjoy being big and beautiful!!! Where I lived intersected the Jewish and Muslim communities of North Manchester, it was a very interesting place to live - very colourful!

I would have a planned maintenance break on the week of the celebration, and plan to maintain that week rather than lose, and then follow DollyR and buckettgirls suggestions.

I think its unrealistic to expect yourself to avoid all the food that is "off plan" and put yourself under undue pressure. Perhaps you could write a strategy focussing on the food that will be there that is on plan, or even offer to bring some dishes that you know are good for you to eat, and stick it on your fridge for a week, so you are reminded of your plan!

Plan what unwise food you will allow yourself and calorie count it (if that's the way you do it) and limit yourself to that.

Also be sneaky and put a large amount of something you really don't like on your plate and move it around during the course of the meal, so it looks like your plate is full!!!

All the best, I love buckettgirl's suggestion of getting someone to hold you accountable. Just don't ask your sweet 93 year old grandmother!

And don't forget, one day won't break you, it's how you respond to the days afterwards that will matter!
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:54 PM   #5  
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i have to agree with Amanda,stand firm aand don't let no one destroy your eating've worked too hard,don't throw it away for one meal.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:17 PM   #6  
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Great ideas all. Thank you. I did talk to my husband about it and he's agreed to do whatever i need him to do.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:39 AM   #7  
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I would try to figure out how much you can have of your favorites, and have them. But stop there. To help yourself, bring sugarless gum & chew it. If someone offers you more food, say No Thank You.

Good luck!!
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:53 AM   #8  
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Lots of good advice. I would just add that these times are really special and the food is part of what makes it special. If you are on plan everyday, and you exercise that day (and you don't have a problem with one off plan day causing an off plan year!), then...go off plan. (I can hear the gasps!).


Eat your grandma's specialties. She is 93! If you have a 3000+ calorie day that day but are totally on target the rest of the week, you'll what?? Maintain that week? Gain some water weight from sodium?

It is a really personal decision. For me this new lifestyle is just that...a lifestyle. Flexibility is important to me. All or nothing does not work for me and if you can be flexible and not freak out about maintaining vs. losing through the holidays, than enjoy your gramma's cooking for corn's sake (to quote Sponge Bob).
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