You did it! You made it through the week of Christmas. You stayed focus on eating healthy as best you could. Your contribution to the office party, a salad, not just any salad, your special all you can eat salad with your signature low-fat Italian dressing (almost as good as “The Olive Garden”). You knew that everyone would bring something fattening, either fried or sweet, but of course delicious. Regardless, you made a promise to yourself to eat something healthy first, and have just a little of something else so your co-workers wouldn’t feel that you were alienating their great dishes.

As you glanced over the buffet table you spotted Sally’s meatballs. Those were so good last year you remembered, but no, you were going to treat yourself to something you haven’t had before. Next you noticed Mary’s dish, why, you thought did they put her sweet and sour boneless chicken dish so close to me? Everyone was raving about how good it is, but you thought to yourself, no, I can’t, so you closed your eyes, took a quick deep breath and moved on to see the other options. There it was, Charlie’s stir fry chicken. Charlie is working on eating healthier too and his wife is a good cook. It was decide, you were going to have stir fry chicken with your Italian salad. As you added the stir fry to your plate, your eyes could not help but notice Patties potato salad. OMG! I can’t you thought, but it was mouthwatering. So you thought, okay, I will have just a little, so you added a spoonful to your plate.

The meal was delicious, it was enjoyable amongst your co-workers and friends and talks of the dishes were topics of conversations. Now, for desert. Your initial plan was to go towards the fruit, but there were so many desserts to choose, angle cake, chocolate cake, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, pineapple pies and brownies and more. But this time you stuck to your plan and had the fruit with a dollop of cool whip. Whew! The office party was over and  you survived it.

A couple of days later, it’s Christmas Eve. The day was fine. It was the evening when the adults wanted to have a wrapping gift party with beer, wine and cheese. You participated because it was tradition, but this time you decided 1 drink, followed by water and you brought veggies to snack on. It worked.

Christmas Day, you knew this was not going to be easy, after all you were having dinner with your parents, you know the type that pile your plate with food and refuse to allow you to use the word diet or healthy foods in their presence? They mean well. These parents don’t understand you because they have been eating the same way all their lives and are perfectly fine (except for the high cholesterol and blood pressure medication), so what’s wrong with you?

The morning you get up, eat a balanced breakfast and go to the gym. You are  ready for the dinner late afternoon. It’s 3pm, you arrive at your parents. As you walk in the front door, you reminisce the  smells of your childhood at Christmas, the pine from the tree, the cinnamon broom in the corner of the foyer and the food cooking in the kitchen.  Music is playing in the background. Conversations and laughter of relatives are heard throughout the home. You are greeted with smiles, hugs and feelings of love.

It’s 4pm, dinner is ready. The family sits at the dinner table. There is so much food. Luckily this year, the dishes will be passed around so each guest can add what they want to their plates. Green bean casserole, you loved it, but you know that this creamy dish is one you may want to avoid, but you dare not take any, after all, Mom was looking right at you, so you took a small amount. As soon as you passed the dish to your cousin sitting next to you, your mother said, “Are you not hungry dear?”, uh oh, she was really watching you thought, so quickly you responded, “You’ve cooked so many great dishes, I don’t want to fill up on the first.” That response, at least, received a polite smile.

You get though dinner with small portions. You select one desert and skip the after dinner drink. After catching up and making plans and exchanging gifts with relatives and friends, it’s time to go home to get ready for the week.

Congratulations you survived Christmas.

You realized that it’s okay if you indulged just a little because it’s easy to get back on track.

You knew that if you focused on making decisions about what to eat in advance, it was easier to stick to or stay within your plan.

You understand that things happen, sometimes you have to go with the flow, just use the “go with the flow” excuse for multiple days in a row, it makes it harder to get your self back on track.

Before the New Year,

  • Get back to your routine
  • Make your plans in advance
  • Stick to your goals
  • Reward yourself for your successes

Have a fantastic week