Holiday Goals and Meals, Not Seasons

Tomorrow promises to be a fairly busy day, even though I am not really cooking for us.  This morning, we went out and bought what we will eat tomorrow for our Thanksgiving meals from the chef’s case at the grocery store to avoid leftovers and to avoid eating at someone else’s home.

Something someone on the OH VSG forum posted this morning, “Thanksgiving is a meal, not a season” has been rolling around in my head all day today.  How I view special events that revolve around food has changed, and this shift in thinking has influenced how I view eating on days deemed special occasions, like Thanksgiving.

I am planning to treat tomorrow as a one day event, not an excuse to eat whatever, whenever.  It’s how all of us should treat the holidays with regard to eating.  They should be singular events that do not give us free rein to eat just anything in any quantity for an extended period of time with the hollow promise that “oh, I’ll get back on track at New Year’s.”  Because you and I both know that never happens.

Before surgery, for me the holidays were exactly that:  a season.  This faux season began Thanksgiving Day and ran until January 2.  After I got married, the holiday season began on my anniversary and ran until the first day back at school in January (so an even longer period of time).  It was 6 weeks of unbridled gluttony–eating whatever, wherever, whenever, and however much I pleased.  Any time in the past that I tried to lose weight was always thwarted by this 6 week fauxliday season I’d created in my mind.  And every year I’d tell myself, “But I’ll get back on track after New Year’s.”

When we say those famous last words, we refuse to believe that we’ll stray that far off whatever make-believe eating plan we dutifully say we’ll follow.  We tell ourselves that we’ll get back on the imaginary track we placed ourselves on prior to the holidays in an attempt to make ourselves feel more in control of our behavior.  We say we’ll watch what we’ll eat during this time, knowing the only watching is going to be watching what will be eaten rather than eating food mindfully, measuring what is eaten, tracking what is eaten, and planning meals.

So tonight before I head to bed, I will enter my meals into MyFitnessPal, since I already know what I’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I have made an allowance for dessert for tomorrow (a tiny pecan pie, you’ll see the photo tomorrow), as I plan to go for a walk between lunch and dinner.  It is supposed to be nice out tomorrow afternoon so this will be a good excuse to get out of the house as well.  I am also planning on going to the gym Friday to spend quality time with the treadmill like I did today.  As much as I hate the damned thing, I can put on a good playlist, and knock out an hour of cardio on it.  I’m not ready for the elliptical just yet, and my balance isn’t great so I’m hesitant to even try using it.  I’m not going to tell myself the lie we all say to ourselves–“I’ll get back on track after New Year’s”–because I’m not going to LET myself get OFF track.  I’ve invested so much already and done so well that getting off track is simply not an option.  Not if I’m gunning for the potential of hitting my surgeon’s goal by my birthday in March.

My goals from here until January 2 are:

  • Continue to get 80-100 grams of protein daily.
  • Continue to drink 100+ oz of water daily.
  • Continue to eat between 800-1000 calories daily, staying closer to 900.
  • Re-gift food items given to me by students.  This one is tough but I will make it work by leaving the food out for my students to eat it.  It won’t last 2 seconds then! 🙂
  • Walk at least 2 miles on the treadmill at the gym 3 times each week to build endurance and reduce stress.  Spend part of this time running as much as possible and as much as knees/feet will allow (not a lot right now, sadface).
  • Pre-track what will be eaten whenever possible in MFP to avoid eating off plan.
  • Focus on positive self-talk and be less critical of myself.
  • Spend time with family and friends that does not focus on a meal.
  • To register for another fun run before the Eagle Run in March.  Perhaps the Hypnotic Donuts Donut Dash?  Hmmm….

Coincidentally, January 2 is also the date of my 6-month followup appointment with my surgeon.  If I can hit those goals for the next six weeks, I think I’ll reward myself with something nice, like this:

from MignonFaget.com

from MignonFaget.com

What will your holiday goals be?  Will your holidays be individual meals, or a season of eating?

Speaking of eating…here’s what I had to eat today.  Protein was good at 86 grams, fat was high at 50 grams, and carbs were low at 26 grams.  And yes, I eat gravy.  It made the leftover baked chicken much more palatable and moist.  I just didn’t drink a gallon of it. 😉

Today's food choices, from upper right: multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, iron supplement; leftover roast chicken breast, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy; Applegate farms chicken breast slices and Trader Joe's Monterey Jack cheese stick; Swiss Miss diet hot cocoa; scrambled egg, bacon and O'Brien potatoes; leftover roast chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and Brussels sprouts.

Today’s food choices, from upper right: multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, iron supplement; leftover roast chicken breast, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy; Applegate farms chicken breast slices and Trader Joe’s Monterey Jack cheese stick; a cup of Swiss Miss diet hot cocoa; scrambled egg, bacon and O’Brien potatoes; leftover roast chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and Brussels sprouts.

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