Gettin’ In The Mood

Monday night’s dinner WAS going to be a new recipe. When I got home neither of us were in the mood for cooking something new (or complicated) so it was lazy bean burritos for dinner.

It was the peak of laziness: cheese, black beans, olives, jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes.

After dinner I decided to start decorating a bit for Yule.ย  I have a confession to make: I haven’t had a Christmas tree in over 8 years. The main reason? The kitties. I knew my little fur-monsters would eat/destroy/conquer/climb/vomit on said tree so I just didn’t bother.

Which makes me sad because I like holiday decorations! So I’m starting small.

When I moved in with Michael a year a half ago, I got rid of a LOT of clutter I’d been collecting over the years. Part of that clutter was holiday decor. I only have one small box of decorations now, so it will have to do.

Michael wasn’t too keen on the idea of decorating his bike. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I happen to LOVE love love Christmas lights. I used to have some up inside my apartment year round because they were good mood lighting.

Fat Kitty was VERY excited about the Christmas Box. He sniffed, analyzed, pawed and poked everything. He especially liked the lights. I hope they are still hanging when I get home from work!

That little tinsel tree was my “Christmas Tree” for a few years. Lame, I know. I think this year I’m going to attempt a tree. I can’t just assume the cats will destroy it…I should see for myself.

I hung our stockings.

Portland is also getting in the mood…the trees downtown all have Christmas lights, there’s decorations and of course a bomber tried to blow up our tree. ๐Ÿ™ Jerk.

Downtown Portland

I also picked up some cookie cutters and Christmas sprinkles! I am VERY excited about having my first cookie party in December!

Michael said he won’t decorate cookies with me (party pooper) so I’ll just have some girlfriends over for it. His loss! ๐Ÿ™

I enjoy the holidays. The holidays mean good food, lots of friends and family and presents of course. I like giving gifts to people. I usually do most of my shopping months before December. Whenever I see something that a friend or family member would love, I buy it and stash it away.

My favorite family traditions might be a bit weird…Christmas Eve my brother and parents and I would watch the movie “The Ref.” Such a good Christmas movie. A bit off-color for many people, but perfect for our family.

Best quote ever: “You know what I’m going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.”

Of course, we’d also watch A Christmas Story, too (Thank you TBS for the uninterrupted loop).

And then on Christmas morning while we opened presents we’d watch another classic: Scrooged.

Bill Murray is amazing in any movie he’s in, but Scrooged is a Classic.

I’m trying to continue these traditions, plus start some new ones. For example, last Christmas Eve Michael and I had Shoe over for dinner and the three of us watched “Die Hard” (also a Christmas movie). ๐Ÿ˜‰

QUESTION: What is your favorite Christmas/Yule/Hanukkah tradition? And what new tradition do you want to start?

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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 uncleย  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.ย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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?