My First Holiday Season as a Loser

When I started trying to lose weight it was August of 2006. I made great strides by the time the winter season came around. I’d lost about 25 pounds. I faced my first challenge in my weight loss: The Holiday Season.

6 Months Before Christmas 2006

My whole family gets together for a Christmas party every December. I look forward to it every year. We’re all pretty close and have a great time. My uncle  is skilled on the grill and will BBQ a whole lamb, pig, or do brisket:

There was one year where they even did a pig in the traditional Hawaiian way under the ground. One of my cousins picked up a sushi platter.

Another aunt and uncle who live on the Washington Peninsula brought freshly caught crab.

All this in addition to the typical holiday eats: salad, pasta salad, dips, veggie platters, fruit salad, jello, lots and lots of Christmas cookies….

Cake, brownies, pudding…You name it, my family brings it! And did I mention that they are all exceptional cooks? (Somehow I didn’t get that gene.)

Did I mention the alcohol? My cousin Greg’s specialty is Gregnog. Powerful stuff!

The Buffet Challenge terrified me. I had no idea what to do. I made a veggie platter and brought that…I knew I could at least eat that!

I was filled with anxiety about overeating. During August of 2006 I weighed in at 250 pounds. By the family Christmas party at the beginning of December I weighed 229 pounds–a loss of 21 pounds.

I was doing so well with my weight loss and everyone noticed and commented. That inspired me to be picky. I didn’t deny myself anything I wanted at that party but I also didn’t go nuts eating everything.

Having just a taste of certain things to see if I liked them worked well. If I didn’t like it, I stopped eating it and tried something else. It worked. I didn’t fill up on “worthless” snacks. I chose things I loved and ate them in moderation.

When the desserts were brought out, I knew I was REALLY being tempted. Luckily I’d eaten a lot of the other food and didn’t really have room for the desserts. I ate one or two bites of a few things and that was it. I also drank only diet coke or water the entire day. Even though I wanted some Gregnog or wine, I resisted. I wanted to EAT my calories more than drink them. 😉

I did well over that holiday season. I tried to resist the temptation as much as I could and while I didn’t lose much during the holidays, I was able to maintain the loss that I’d accomplished.

QUESTION: How do you deal with holiday parties? What are your favorite foods that you indulge in?

6 Responses

  1. I think the important thing for me was realizing that its a holi-DAY and not a holi-TWO MONTHS. I allow myself to go a little crazy (though less so than I did pre-weight loss, I’m sure) on both Thanksgiving and Christmas day, but I try to workout in the morning if I can and stay really on track the days leading up to and after the holiday.

    1. That’s such a great point! One thing I have definitely noticed is that my stomach has shrunk considerably, so I struggle to “pig out” like I used to.

      The biggest issue is when you drag the big eating out to the whole weekend, then the rest of the time off work, then over until New Year. I’ve certainly been guilty of convincing myself that it’s still the holiday period for some time!

  2. This is a HUGE problem for me as I’ve had issues with binge eating before. This year will also be my first year not eating meat so we’ll see how that goes, I already have some great ideas for healthy meatless dishes I’m going to make!

    As for the treats – oh the wonderful, buttery treats – I am going to try and just have a TASTE of everything. Half a buttertart, half a cookie etc. And I really want to focus on STOPPING when I’m full (the leftovers will be there the next day!) as I hate the feeling when I overeat!

  3. I find that portion control can be a real battle! The temptation to keep snacking can be strong – but I try to fill my plate up with lots of veggies 🙂

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