Food File: December 1 2018

Target Audience: Evangelical Christians

It’s been a few weeks since I have added to this file. We are now officially into Christmas season. That means lots and lots of caloric disasters, AKA food landmines. This year will be a bit different. I won’t be celebrating Christmas with my family. Instead, I will spend much of the Christmas season with my church family. There will be plenty of parties and events for me to attend, so I doubt I will go without at least a few turkey dinners.
This week at Weight Watchers I maintained, which means I did not gain any weight, but I did not lose any weight. I knew exactly why I didn’t lose weight. First, I have only been to the Y once this week and it was days ago. At the minimum I am supposed to be going to the Y two to three times per week. Yes, at this point in my journey, it is a battle. I don’t like exercising, but I must admit that after I go to the Y, I do feel better. It takes a day or two for me to actually feel better. Right after my workout I am rather stiff and sore. That is the best reason to keep going, but like many other overweight/obese people, I am a master at self-talk. Usually the self-talk is about me not doing something like exercise or avoiding foods that are not good for me. The second reason I did not lose weight this week was I treated myself once too many times. I generally eat my way through Costco. Most of the time, though, the samples (not snacks) aren’t worth the calories. Hence, I am much better to just pass them by. I never buy the samples anyway.
My goal for the month of December is to lose weight at Weight Watchers every week of December. Now that may not sound like much of a goal, but most people tend to gain weight in December. Even if I lose half a pound in a week, I will consider that to be a victory.
I do have a game plan. First, there will be a number of parties that I will likely attend. Most of these parties are pot luck or community dinners where I have no control over the fare. Those who are familiar with Weight Watchers know that there are zero point foods, like chicken, fish, vegetables, and fruit. If I have an average size dinner plate and half of that plate has zero point food on it, I am off to a good start. Then one quarter of the plate can be starches, like potatoes, rice, or some other starchy food that looks good. Then another eighth of the plate can be fruit, which is also zero point, but portion control is important here too. Then the final eighth of the plate can be a high calorie dessert that I would like to eat. One of the dangers at this time of the year is being too harsh and narrow, thus denying all the stuff that I would like to eat. No one wants to go to a party merely to watch other people eat and have fun. No one wants to be the person who says, “Any chance I can get a second toothpick with my water, please?”
If I am merely on a “diet” to lose weight, then when I eventually lose the weight, I will go back to eating all the stuff that packed the weight on me in the first place. If, on the other hand, I look at this as a change in my life, not that I can’t ever have desserts or the things that I used to love again, but that I now use portion control, even when I am out for dinner, then the weight will come off, I will regain my health, energy, and be able to truly enjoy life again.
This season will not be easy. Next week I have my first party on Saturday night. It is a potluck and I am sure there will be plenty of high calorie food there. Sunday my church is having a Carol and Dessert night. Again, plenty of danger at the dessert table. One thing that can help is if I am able to become more serious, more committed to exercising more frequently. Being able to indulge in desserts isn’t the reward for exercising, but it does help burn off calories and get me into better shape.
I will do my best to check in next week with a report about my exercise, the two Christmas events that I will attend, and, of course, a report about how my week went at Weight Watchers.

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