Friday, December 16, 2011

Cookies, Chocolates, and Caramel Corn, Oh My!

Holiday treats are all around us during December

Two months into my weight loss journey I have lost exactly nine pounds, equalling 5% of my body weight (cue the fanfare, please).

Last month I could feel things were changing. By now I can see it, too. I've still got a long way to go, but hitting this milestone makes me feel pretty good. It feels even better knowing I did it during the height of the biggest over-eating season of the year.

So how did I do it? Have I leaped over buffet tables in a single bound, batting away cookies and zapping calories like a dieting superhero? No, as much as I do enjoy pretending to be a superhero leaping over a mountain when I'm puffing my way up a hill on my daily walk, my only superpower is just good old portion control.

I firmly believe that one of the worst things you can do during the holidays, or at any time, is try to avoid indulging altogether. The reason being when you make something off limits, you instantly crave it all the more. Then when you cave in and have it, you feel so guilty you end up binging. The whole thing becomes a downward spiral, leaving you worse off than if you had just given yourself permission to try the forbidden item in the first place. 

To my way of thinking, you'll do much better if you make nothing off limits, but practice portion control. If you do overdo it, don't stress. You can still balance things out with a little extra activity. For example, I did a big frenzy of holiday baking last Saturday. In the week since I've eaten about a dozen of the cookies I made! But I also intentionally logged an extra two hours worth of walking this week, twice while carrying 2 lb. weights. One thing cancelled the other out and I'm ending the week with a loss and without any guilt.

This weekend I'll be traveling to Manhattan with my family for a birthday outing. Will I have some birthday cake at lunch? Yes, I will! And will I have my much-anticipated street cart hot dog at some point during the day? Absolutely! Will I stress over any of it? No, I most emphatically will not. I'm going to enjoy the day, exercise portion control and make the best menu choices I can. If I over-indulge, no biggie. I've got six more days next week where I can adjust my eating or work in a little more activity to make up for it.

At the end of the day weight loss is all a mind game. My wish you for you this holiday season, dear dieter, is that you will give yourself the gift of a guiltless celebration this year. After all, Life in the Slow Lane is all about taking your time and enjoying the ride.

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