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It’s October already. We have less than three months before the year ends. Boy, time sure flies! We have approached the EATING season. Like most people, this is when I gain the most pounds (in the last 3 months of the year). I’d historically gain back everything that I lost during the earlier part of the year, plus some.

 

Halloween

First up is Halloween. The stores are already loaded with big bags of chocolatey treats. It’s kind of irresistible to buy a bag just for myself. But it is so joyous to see the kid’s faces light up when they see their favorite candies.  And I love to see the trick-or-treaters in their cute costumes.

 

Thanksgiving 

Then there’s Thanksgiving! This is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Our family traditionally gathers at my maternal grandmother’s home in rural town, Waxhaw NC. When you walk into the kitchen, you’ll notice that there’s no counter, table, or stove space left uncovered. Pots and pans are everywhere full of “made from scratch” side dishes, meats, and desserts of all sorts. The men in our family cook all the meats primarily by grilling, smoking, or frying. There are fresh collards, turnips, green beans, cabbage and some veggies from grandma’s garden. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Besides the food, I love being around my family. For some of them, this is the only time that I will see them in the entire year. Grandma’s house is a judgment-free zone (especially when it comes to eating). My aunts encourage us to “put more food on our plate” and “take some food home.” I laugh when they do this. They love me that much to send me home with a stuffed belly and no need to cook for days. LOL.

 

Christmas 

And to wrap things up, Christmas is around the corner. I can hardly believe that it’s almost here. Weeks leading up to Christmas, my calendar is usually full of party invitations. It’s kind of hard for me to turn down a party invitation. And we know that where there is a Christmas party, there is also a lot of food. Also when at work, coworkers are in the holiday spirit and are feeling generous. Folks are constantly bringing in food. And it’s even harder to turn down food that your coworkers have so generously offered. It would just be offensive to turn it down, right?

 

I’m seeing a pattern here! I have a problem with saying “no.” Welp, at least I’ve identified my weaknesses. That’s a start.

Now only if I can come up with a plan (and stick to it). This is the perfect time to set standards and expectations, just before the holidays begin. What strategies can I use to prevent weight gain, and hopefully still lose a few pounds over the next 10 weeks?

 

Holiday Strategies

  • Put limitations on party invitations and gatherings. Choose a small number of “food-centered” events to attend (ex. 2-3 for the entire holiday season). Choose the ones that I really, really want to go to and then eat before I arrive. For all other gatherings, just politely decline by saying “I’m sorry, but I’m unable to attend.” No explanation is needed.
  • Stay focus and keep tracking in a food journal daily. Tracking creates awareness, but it also keeps me from splurging. Instead of eating multiple reindeer cookies, tracking will deter me from eating too many. Do not get lazy with food journaling.
  • Check in regularly with a coach or accountability partner. I’m committed to having a one-on-one session with my coach once a week (starting the last week of October) and continuing through December. Personally, I do not want to deliver any bad news (weight gain, losing focus, off course) to my coach. And I know that she wants to see me succeed. Accountability will help me to stay on track.
  • Take it one day at a time. Don’t think too much into the future. Just relax and concentrate on today’s goals.

So there you have it…..a plan. Something that’s doable, and can give me the results that I want. Now, I need to implement, stay the course, and succeed. Sure they’ll be a lot of temptation along the way, and I will certainly delight myself in tasty foods that are only available to me during the holidays. But I will also keep track, stay focus, and take one day at a time. Tis the season to eat, but eat smart and in moderation.

What’s your favorite seasonal holiday? What will be your strategies to get through the holiday season, without overindulging? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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