My Weight-Loss Journey

Weight-Loss part 10: Oh, the pain of the holidays

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Happy New Year! I hope this finds everyone happy and healthy, rested, and ready to kick 2023 into high gear. For most of us, January marks a time to reset. I don’t believe in resolutions I’ll never keep, but I do believe in getting back to the things that work best. Enjoy this, and comment on something that resonates with you!

Finally, the 2022 holiday season is past us. As the fall turned to winter, the holiday decorations went up, the college kid came home and celebratory meals were planned and served. Really, I do enjoy the season, especially the winding down of the school year heading into winter break, but I also experience a deep-seated trepidation for the “letting go” that undoubtedly occurs in those weeks. Maybe there’s a mental necessity to it, but I know that there will later be a resetting that will have to happen to get back on track.

Looking back at some of my past blog posts, I read part 3 of this series: The Saga of the Last Week of the Year. It told the story of the two unfortunate Cracker Barrel visits within one week. I posted it a year ago in an effort to remain accountable for my food indiscretions during the last week of the year. My thinking was, if I just lay it all out there, I will stay mindful about what I’m doing and I’ll make better moment-to-moment choices moving forward.

This year, November was the month where the indiscretions started. It is the month that the celebrations begin in our home, and they don’t really end until after the new year begins. Oh sure, there are days interspersed in-between where things are ordinary and aren’t cause for food fests, but the amount of things to commemorate seem to bottleneck as of November 10th.

This is what I had to look forward to: wedding anniversary weekend getaway (with alcohol), birthday, another birthday, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas. With holidays come leftovers and desserts that seem to linger in your kitchen forever. It can make even the most diligently mindful eater fall down the culinary rabbit hole.

On any given day, it’s not the early meals or snacks that are the issue. When I’m by myself, meals are small and simple; breakfast is still my protein shake and fruit or small muffin, and lunch is a small sandwich or measured leftovers from the night before. It’s dinnertime that is usually my problem, as we are sitting together as a family, chatting, and the temptation to get a second helping is strong, just because it’s there. 

In addition, the salty, fatty foods from restaurant takeout or dinners with friends – it all adds up, and over six weeks time, it can really do some damage to your healthy habits and your waistline. As I write this, I’m digesting the leftover pernil that I made for Christmas, which I made with far less salt than the recipe calls for, but the fat from the dish was completely unavoidable. I can feel the extra cushion around my middle and I don’t like it.

I have to stop eating like an asshole.

Me, to myself, in the depths of my mind.

Needless to say, the scale has not been kind to me of late, and I’ve been watching it creep upwards for weeks now. When I saw that it crossed the 170 threshold, the alarm bells went off. I keep telling myself that it’s time to quit the crap-eating, and I do for a day or so, then another meal happens (usually dinner) that is less-than-conducive to my lower weight-maintenance goals.

It’s not a cycle that I’m proud of, but I knew it was going to happen.

So, now what? Do I go back to tracking? Maybe. I know I am not the food-planner type, although I probably could benefit from that kind of organization (even though I know I’ll never make it a habit). Getting back to the things that I know have worked is essential. Now that I am on the other side of the holiday crush, maybe I can settle back into them more religiously: drinking more water, eliminating more salt and fat, light food every 3-4 hours, lean protein, increase the fiber from fruit and veggies, keep weighing in each morning, wait it out.

I also looked at my part 9 data dump from October, where I gathered my weigh-in stats and stuck it all in a visual graphic. If that is any indication, I should be able to get back on the wagon and get rid of the seven or eight pounds that have been creeping up on me. Maybe by mid-February, I’ll be feeling more like myself again. In the meantime, I’ll make my herbal tea, sit with the uncomfortable feeling that I’ve given in a few too many times, and let that inform the next meal I have.

It’s a start.

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