If a therapist’s couch were available, she would lie upon it and recap stories of childhood and chocolate. Instead, seeking solace, she bemoans the difficulty of dieting in December. “Parties. Candy. Cookies. Why not just give up and start again in January? Any advice?” I smell marshmallow chocolate Santas on her breath.
I validate the feelings. Although I have maintained my weight almost 20 years, the struggle remains. “I understand.”
As for the advice, she would not want me running her life. It can be a dark and scary place inside where I live. I understand her frustration. Yet, I have been asked. I push aside my cobwebs to impart whatever support I can provide.
I too used to “wait until the holidays were over.”
Then, my birthday… Then vacation… Back again to the holidays… Soon any day that ended in “Y” was a reason to delay losing weight. The perfect day was always over the next sunrise. I waited. I weighed. I weighted. Finally realizing future generations will still be overeating at holidays long after I’m a memory, I understood, “better figure out a way to work around the obstacles NOW.” As my grandmother said, “Tomorrow never comes.”
Reality is if my indulgences were limited just to holidays, I wouldn’t have to lose 70 pounds. Celebrations were the validation I used to reaffirm that “weight loss is too hard.” Failure sat at the head of every holiday meal table as the unwelcome guest, “Give up – start again later.”
That became the excuse for my black and white thinking, “as long as I’m ‘off’ program, might as well enjoy it!” What would have been three sugary cookies, a glass of eggnog and a shot of rum, become a tin of the first, a quart of the second, and a fifth of the third. Two pounds grows to five and expands to ten. I’m heavier and sadder than when the year began. Cycle moving backwards.
There is no Christmas (nor Holiday) dieting miracle.
Strive to do well – don’t even look for perfect. It is better to do “pretty good” right now and keep moving forward slowly, than to promise complete flawlessness next month. January is not as much of a rocky road (pun lightly intended) and you will be further along.