Party Animal

{Photos Courtesy of Christi Carlo Photography}

Moderation.

Remember when I mentioned I had two holiday parties coming up that I knew I’d indulge in food and alcohol? The first one was on December 6th; it was Michael’s work holiday party. It was held at Union Pine, a very cool event space, was catered with Hawaiian BBQ and there was a full bar. Michael’s company told everyone to take a cab to the event and expense it to them–sweet!

Is this room spinning or is it just me?

Yeah….so that moderation thing? I didn’t do so well at the first party! I ended up drinking 4 Ketel One Lemon Drops that evening–twice the amount I normally drink ever. And I’d been taking a break from drinking for about 3 weeks leading up to the party.

I definitely drank too much (probably 500 calories worth) BUT I didn’t overeat. It was a buffet and the chances of overeating were strong, but I didn’t. I was so busy socializing, meeting people, dancing and talking that I didn’t eat much.

The liquid calories were definitely more than I planned on having and I only sort of regretted it the next morning (luckily the hangover wasn’t too bad). (On a completely unrelated note, I wish I didn’t look so pale in every photograph that is taken of me. I think the flash washes out my already ghostly skin tone. Any tips on that??)

Creatives sure know how to party. It was a really fun event and I am so glad that Michael got a fantastic job at such a cool company.

The second party I was worried about was my family Christmas party. There is always so so much amazing food, it’s hard not to indulge. My family is full of good cooks. My uncle Pete (seen below) is the king of the grill. He did a prime rib and pork chops on the grill for the party (massive amounts of meat). The meat was cooked perfectly, juicy and flavorful from the smoker. I had 1 piece of of the prime rib and wanted a ton more but I was too full from everything.

We’d all been snacking all afternoon on veggies and dip, crackers and cheese, fruit, deviled eggs, nuts and I did too. I managed to pace myself and eat only little bites instead of gorging myself. Dinner was the meat, a potato casserole, several choices of salads, crusty french bread and of course…mac n’ cheese!

Michael made is famous mac n’ cheese because I don’t think we would have been let in the door had we shown up empty handed. His mac is requested at every event we take it to. My aunt requested it specifically. He made a double batch because last time not everyone got a chance to try it. Look at how good it looks:

The wine was flowing, lots of Cabernet sauvignon and California reds. There was tons of other alcohol , including eggnog, but I limited myself to two glasses of wine–unlike the other  party.

Almost everyone was there, just a few family members were missing, like my brother. I had family come to Oregon from Wyoming, California, Texas, Florida, and Washington. My grandma celebrated her 91st birthday the day before the party. Look at how beautiful she looks:

And of course, the family was visited by Santa Claus! (Whom is really my aunt’s actor friend who kindly does it every year for the kids.) Santa sang Christmas carols with the little kids and might have gotten a little fresh with Grandma. 🙂 It was all good fun. After Santa we did the white elephant gift exchange and it got very loud and rowdy.

Here is one of Michael and I:

Despite a few slip ups, I am still doing really well on my holiday plan to limit alcohol and sugar. I’ll be stepping on the scale this week and crossing my fingers the moderation has paid off.

QUESTION: Do you have a lot of holiday parties to attend this time of year? What’s harder—food or liquid calories?

28 Responses

    1. Agreed. Last year for Thanksgiving it was just my boyfriend and I so we cooked some game hens, roasted some sweet potatoes and veggies and called that Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t overindulge and still enjoyed our “mini holiday”!

    1. Thank you my friend!

      My weakness is wine, honestly. Those lemon drops were definitely out of the norm for me. But put a steak in front of me and I want a big glass of red wine with it! (I’m with ya on the pie, too…)

  1. You did really well! I’m nervous for this month. Have a dinner tomorrow, party Friday, 2 parties Saturday back to back, Christmas with my parents on Sunday, then 10 days in GA with relatives. I have a plan of attack but I don’t foresee this month being a month for weight loss. Crossing my fingers I can retain some level of moderation and come out at least with only a couple pounds tacked on instead of 5!
    Sara recently posted..Pleasant Ridge Farm Dressage Show 12/2/12

    1. Wow that’s a busy weekend! Good luck!

      You might just have to make your goal to maintain until January. I’ve done that before. I know it’s unrealistic to expect a weight loss during the holiday season but trying to just maintain is sometimes easier.

  2. You look great and the holiday parties look like so much fun. I was wondering if you have any tips for keeping track of the number of drinks you have? When I was much younger I would pace myself by making hash marks on my hand with a sharpie…I need to implement some kind of similar system but now I’m kinda past the stage of wanting to wear my tally marks.

    1. Good question! I read an article once about smart phone apps you can use to keep track of the drinks. Some of them estimate your BAC too. You could wear a few bracelets on one wrist and then with each drink you move one bracelet to the other wrist. I did something similar when I was running on the track. I used hair ties to keep track of how many laps I did by moving them to the other wrist.

  3. What a fantastic question! I have a really hard time turning down liquor. And when I have a little extra alcohol I tend to overeat, it’s a really bad downward spiral. If I can keep the alcohol in check I’m usually good to go!

    I also wanted to say that you look fabulous!! The black dress is beautiful, and in the second party–Red is so your colour!
    Daphne @ Daphne Alive recently posted..A rose for your troubles

    1. YES! Once you start drinking, it makes it so easy to keep eating. I know I do. I say “f*ck it, I’m eating everything!” I don’t do it often but once in awhile I slip.

      Thank you for the compliment! The first dress was one I got at Ross ($20) but it looks so glamorous with the shimmery fabric.

  4. I LOVE THAT DRESS! You look great. I’m a sucker for good wine. I find that so many times my eyes are bigger than my stomach and the food is only mediocre. Gearing up for winter break – some time away and 2 weeks no school – tough being out of a routine.

    1. Thanks! I love the dress too! I bought it for NYE but it worked for that party. I tend to like earth tones better.

      I’m with you — if food is mediocre, I have a much easier time taking a bit and then not eating any more of it.

  5. WOW Michaels company sounds awesome! So nice that they wanted everyone to have a good time AND get home safely.

    I don’t have a lot of holiday parties, but my birthday and my mums birthday are tomorrow and the day after. I have dinner out tonight, tomorrow night and Saturday night, plus Saturday lunch… I plan on behaving at every meal except my birthday dinner… There will be creamy pasta, and brownie, and it will be good!

  6. You look so nice in the pictures, Lisa! It’s the flash’s fault about looking pale – the same thing happens to my husband. So when I take pictures of him, I tone down the flash a little, or if I can, then take the pictures without flash (in daylight, for example).

    I have two work holiday parties – mine and husband’s – both of which are at restaurants, so I can control what I eat. It’s always the sweets with me, more than anything else, and holiday treats are so delicious! There are a few odd parties here and there, too, but we’ll see how those go..family style things are also places where I am worried about initially and after the party, but over-indulge when I eat!
    I ❤ 2 Eat recently posted..Looking Back: First 6 months in Texas

  7. I usually allow overindulging at parties, but it’s harder in the holidays when the parties come close together. I have a problem with both drink AND food, and the more I drink, the more food I’ll want! Bad combination.

    You look really pretty in your dress! Nothing wrong with pale skin!
    Hannahviolin recently posted..Mallorca and Harry Potter

  8. I’m glad to hear that you’ve been managing to navigate this party season!

    I agree that family parties can be the toughest. Good food is one thing, but good food that you grew up with that immerses you in nostalgia is a completely different beast and MUCH harder to resist.

    Fortunately, you’ve been doing so well all year that you have room for a little indulgence!
    Alex @ Brain, Body, Because recently posted..Moving

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