What a week! It's always busy around this time of the year, and it's just going to be even busier until after the BCS bowl season ends. And with it comes all the holiday parties, all the gathering of friends and family, all the temptations that come your way.
So what do we do?
Do we throw up our hands and say, "Well, I'm done. Over. Can't do it. Might as well wait until January...."? Do we dig in our heels and make ourselves miserable -- passing up events so we can stay on course? Or do we seek to find balance?
Balance is so important this time of year. We cannot deny, hide, or escape the seasonal treats and events. To do so puts our relationship with food over our relationship with people, and that's never good. And to throw up our hands and elbow up to the trough -- well, that's not healthy either. There is a way to strike a balance.
There was a leader who substituted for my usual leader right around Thanksgiving of my first year on program. She joked about it, but her little trick stuck with me: she took a 1/4 cup measuring cup with her to events, family reunions, etc. And she measured out just 1/4 cup of each item that she wanted to try. Aunt Linda's macaroni? 1/4 cup. Uncle Fred's chicken taco bake? 1/4 cup. After a while, you really do have a good bit of food, and you taste only the things you really want. You also learn to pick and choose what's really important to taste. I modified it myself to a 1-tablespoon measure and a 1/4-cup measure. If it's something I just want to taste, or something where I really do want just a nibble to do me, then 1-2 Tbsp is more than enough.
Now, it seems silly and crazy -- but it works. You get to enjoy your food WHILE staying on plan. And you get to spend time with the people around you rather than shoveling food in and barely tasting it. You get to mingle with a satisfied stomach. You get to learn that a little dab will do ya.... so to speak.
Another tip: exercise a little every day. Even 10 or 15 minutes makes a difference -- aim for 30 if you can. Do more than you usually do. If you aren't on an assignment where you're tied to the desk, do your work standing. Park further out at the mall (not so difficult right now). One of my leaders gave this suggestion: crazy, but it works! If you're shopping at the mall .... every 3rd store, take all your purchases out to your car and come back. On the weekend -- oh my gosh, can you imagine how many extra pedometer steps you could get in?!
Another tip: survey the buffet first. See what you really want to eat, and what you can pass on. If for a company function, ask the planners ahead of time what's being served. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water -- or opt for wine spritzers instead of a glass of wine, or Jack & Diet Coke instead of regular Coke. Find the one dessert you'd like to try and enjoy one piece (or as much of that one piece as you want).
Another tip: examine your goal for the season. It may be that your plan is simply to maintain your weight, or gain only 2 pounds instead of 10. Work your goal. Enjoy the season and the love and friendship behind every gathering.