by Barbara Berkeley, MD
Well here we are maintainers! We are rounding third and heading for home.
How have you done since Thanksgiving? Your goal was so keep weight stable. Losing during this time is a bonus. I hope that you did well, but if you didn't--well, you have a goal for next year.
Looking forward to the twin challenges of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, let me review a few suggestions.
If you have successfully maintained weight since Thanksgiving:
1. Stop. Congratulate yourself on a great achievement. Remind yourself to push through with a final effort. Don't give up now!
2. Make sure to wear your "revenge" clothes (skinny clothes) tonight and tomorrow.
3. Spend some time today making a detailed Scan and Plan. Review all possible food obstacles and emotional eating opportunities in the 24 hours to come. Design a specific response for each one. Go into the next day as if it were a sporting event. Keep score of how many times you were able to carry out your specific strategies. Have fun seeing if you guessed right about food temptations and if you were able to do exactly what you planned to do.
4. Disable the food urge by giving. Give to the people you interact with by offering more than just gifts. Also, give them your interest and attention.
5. Carefully plan your alcohol consumption. Remember to dilute drinks with water or seltzer and to avoid mixers that have calories. Remember too that alcohol packs a double whammy: it has calories and it makes you more likely to fall off your plan.
6. Run a science experiment. Is the holiday diminished if you don't eat the things that go you into trouble in the past? Try not eating them and see what you think.
7. Remain proud of your eating style and of the rightness of what you are doing. Don't be afraid to tell other people that you are working on learning how to avoid the SAD (standard American diet) by creating a brand new way of looking at food.
8. Observe others. Stand outside the moment and take notes about what other people are eating and how they are doing it. Will they pay for eating this way with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease...even cancers? Unfortunately, the American answer is very likely yes. Stay safe and protect your health with rational, primarian eating.
If you have gained weight since Thanksgiving:
1. Forgive yourself. This is a very tough thing to do and may take many practice runs before you get it right.
2. Don't make the damage worse. The fantasy that you can start the diet on January 1st is a destructive one. Each day counts. Follow the same steps listed above and you will feel better about everything on December 26th.
To all: thank you for reading Refuse to Regain this year. The happiest and healthiest of holidays to every one of you!!!
Wishing you every good thing,