Food File: December 12 2017

Target Audience: Evangelical Christians

This is a particularly good week for me to post an update about my journey with food because I have a string of parties to attend starting Wednesday through Sunday. This is the first year that I have had such an active social calendar at Christmas time. It is largely due to my participation in a number of Home Church (small group Bible studies) at my church.

The past few weeks have had their own challenges as I have weathered the storms of cravings. Sometimes I have to establish a boundary in order to satisfy a craving. For me, anyway, attempting to suppress a craving might work for the moment, but ultimately I have found that it can result in a binge. Now I give in to the urge for whatever I want, but I set a limit on quantity. Yesterday I was at Walmart when I asked about eggnog. This is a once-a-year treat mainly because it is only sold once a year. I decided to buy a liter of the stuff, but I knew when I bought it that I would likely drink it all in one sitting, which indeed I did. The boundary was: only one per year. I can drink it all at once or make it last, but whatever I choose, I only buy one per year. I am satisfied with that compromise. I had my eggnog. The craving is gone and it didn’t lead to a binge.

I have learned in the past not to set ridiculous goals for the Christmas season. One year I decided that I would buck the trend and actually lose weight over Christmas. When I got myself weighed at Weight Watchers (I was part of Weight Watchers that year), I had gained a pound and a half. I felt a bit better when I found out that the average weight gain for the Christmas season that year was 11 pounds.

My goal this year is to honor God with my food choices at all functions. That’s a great goal, right? I plan on doing this by thinking ahead. Wednesday I have a Christmas celebration at my Wednesday night Home Church. It is a large Home Church held at the church itself. It will be snacks. I have no idea what that means, but I intend on having dinner ahead of the event. That will allow me to have a reasonable amount of snacks and not break any boundaries.

Thursday I go to a church member’s home for supper. They are serving lasagna with salad. That is a much easier meal to navigate. One helping of lasagna and salad, plus whatever they are offering for dessert and I can relax. Friday evening I have a traditional Christmas dinner to attend at my Celebrate Recovery group. It is a catered event, so I am guessing the portions will be weighed and measured ahead of time. Saturday I have yet another traditional Christmas dinner to attend at a local church. The portions are usually quite reasonable and going back for seconds can be managed by choosing wisely. Dessert is usually not a temptation. Sunday is a potluck affair at my church. I have found that potlucks can be either easy or treacherous. They are easy if I am able to pick wisely from the tables and am satisfied with my first course. It can be treacherous if the selection is limited or if I see too much that I like and overload my Chinet plate.

I think an important key is to focus on the fellowship of the event rather than the food. I know people who will not eat the day of a party. They go there virtually ravenous and attack the food as if they were indeed starving. That was my approach to such events when I was younger. As I have gotten older, though, I have found the consequences of overeating at that level to be quite uncomfortable.

The other thing that is really important is to eat a normal diet the day of an event. I plan on having a normal breakfast and lunch before each event.  That way I won’t arrive at the event overly hungry. Of course, it all sounds so good and so workable in theory, which is what this is.

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