I used to gain ten pounds every year during the holiday season.
How was that much weight-gain possible? It was easy—I started in October. Then I struggled to take off my “Christmas fat” in January and February.
That shameful acquisition of holiday bulge began in October with Halloween candy. (And I don’t have children to blame its presence on.) Any candy that comes into this house during October is for yours truly. Terry, my significant other, may snatch a piece or two, but he’s not haunted by the same carb addiction as I am.
October is candy month.
Then there’s the snacking during football games—an annual ritual—the home team couldn’t win if I weren’t encouraging them with the cheers of my crunching.
Everyone knows what happens in November. In November I vow that I will NOT gain weight over the holidays this year. But, having made that vow, the terror of holiday goodie deprivation niggles at me. The only cure for this tweak of conscience is—guess what?—you’ve got it—a bowl of buttered popcorn and the last of the Halloween candy.
Then comes the mother of all eating events, Thanksgiving. It would be a sin to diet on Thanksgiving, wouldn’t it? How else would I show my thankfulness except by indulging in everything the buffet has to offer? Someone went to a lot of trouble to cook all that goodness; it would be rude to pass it up.
I hardly need to remind you what December brings. But I will: parties, Christmas cookies on display everywhere you go, gifts of home made treats, boxes of fudge and chocolates . . . the list goes on.
I’m not sure January would be the same without digging out my “fat” clothes, bemoaning my food transgressions of the previous ten weeks, and joining a diet group for the umpteenth time. It’s all part of the post-holiday depression syndrome, that and the drifts of snow that nearly cover our west-facing windows.
How have I managed to control my holiday weight gain?
I joined TOPS, weigh in every week, and have been doing so for more than four years now. Has it gotten easier? Not really, but now I face the holidays prepared and with support. Follow this blog through the holidays for tips on how to avoid taking on the snowman shape.
Till next time,
Tip #1 Halloween Candy.
If you can possibly avoid it, don’t give out candy. Give it to your neighbor to pass out for you or leave the house during trick-or-treat time. If you must have treats to give out, be sure to buy something you don’t care for. Or pass out apples. Or small toys.
Tip #2 Dealing with leftover Halloween candy
I turn all candy over to Terry, he locks it up in the garage, and only gives me two pieces a day, no matter how many I ask for. If you don’t have someone to hold your candy for you in a home-style Fort Knox, throw it out or give it away. But if you throw it out, make sure it’s in the garbage with something disgusting enough to prevent retrieving it in a moment’s mad craving!
Tip #3 Football snacking
Have sensible snacks on hand. Unbuttered popcorn, veggies with yogurt dip. Or, and this one is my favorite, schedule your lunch or your dinner during half time depending on the time of the game, that way you won't be starving as you watch and will have food to look forward to.