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Riding out the holidays

How often in the next couple months are you going to hear yourself say something like the following: “Ack! My fat pants are now my skinny jeans and I am so sick of myself. I’ve tried everything to lose weight and nothing works. I’m just going to give up until January 1st!”

Believe me, I hear you. I’m pretty sure my dryer has turned against me and has shrunk not just the waist band of all my jeans but also the length of all my shirts leaving me with a muffin top I am forced to show it off. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Even though we would like a quick fix, or to just let ourselves go for the next few weeks, when it comes to weight loss, consistent, slow and steady is much better than sporadic, drastic and temporary. Sure, you could go on the grapefruit and cayenne pepper diet but you can’t sustain it for long (blech!) and any weight that you do lose won’t stay off.

So what’s a girl with a too tight wardrobe and a month full of holiday parties to do?

‘Tis the season of overindulgence but weight gain is not necessarily a given. Stress however generally is. And stress leads to overeating. If you are concerned about weight gain, you are going to create a vicious cycle – worry about overindulgence will lead to deprivation will lead to depression/stress will lead to overindulgence. What if instead of freaking out that there is going to be eggnog and you have to have eggnog because you can only get eggnog at this time of year and you simply can’t live on spritzers when everyone else is having eggnog!!!, you decide to actually have the eggnog? Not only might you get off the guilt-mobile and take some of the stress off your shoulders, but you might actually enjoy yourself at the party. (I can’t do anything about your annoying co-workers. Sorry.)

Here’s my suggestion for at least maintaining your sanity if not your current weight over the next 3 weeks: Keep a food journal. Instead of worrying about all the calories heading your way, simply start writing down what you eat.  You can add as much or as little details as you want. Over time I have found that the days I stressed myself out the most about eating too much were actually the days I did ok foodwise. An added bonus is that knowing you have to write down the forty-five things you want to try on the buffet may be enough to regulate you enough to stop you from doing just that.

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