Sunday, 18 December 2011

Coping with Christmas

Christmas is a difficult time of year for many people, not just diet and exercise wise, but emotionally and mentally too. I have certainly found my stress levels rising over the last few weeks, and we're not even hosting Christmas at our house this year. And, for me at least, when my stress levels rise, my food habits deteriorate into something less than desirable. I thought I would write a post on how I'm planning to stay in control this Christmas (and New Year!).

My last Weight Watchers meeting is on Tuesday (20th), and we miss a week before going back on the 3rd of January. The temptation to just have 2 weeks "off" is [i]huge[/i], and I know two friends of mine are doing that, but I am going to try my hardest not to. Usually on a Tuesday after my weigh in I do allow myself an "off" day, where I wont count my points, perhaps have a meal out or cook a meal I wouldn't usually eat or a drink or two, and my worry is that I'll just continue this for two weeks! Especially as I have some baking to do and a Christmas Cake to ice. I will have my usual "treat" on Tuesday (perhaps a Christmassy themed one so I don't feel left out!), but am planning to go straight back into it on Wednesday with my porridge for breakfast, soup for lunch routine that works so well for me. I'll carry that on until Saturday, Christmas Eve, when we are travelling to Birmingham to spend the next 3 days with Mr FGS's family, and staying with my sister in law (stick thin, seems to live on tea and water. Grr.)

Now because we are not at home Christmas day itself there wont be lots of Christmas nibbles, leftovers, cheese etc there. So, as soon as we get back on the 26th I can get back into it. Realistically, it will be the 27th, meaning I'll only have 3 days "off". Plus, staying with the aforementioned SIL I can't imagine there'll be loads of snacks around, everyone knows I've been on a diet so wont be buying me chocolate so as long as I avoid the kids sweeties (there will be 5 children there) I shouldn't do too much damage. Unless she sends me back with loads of leftovers that is (I am worried she's going to send me home with 3/4 of the Christmas cake I've made as only me and the father in law like it and he lives in Spain so wont be taking it home with him).

Alcohol, though, is a different matter. I don't drink much any more, in fact hardly anything. This year, I've only been 'drunk' twice. Once was at my best friend's wedding in May, and the other time was when a friend held a psychic evening and I was so nervous I had my reading last out of 12 people and got drunk first (and subsequently can barely remember a word he told me...). Mr FGS is a big drinker, and everyone in his family (apart from SIL) likes a drink. So, alcohol will be in abundance, no doubt. If I don't drink they will all think I'm pregnant again (for good reason, that's what happened 2 years ago...). For me, drinking leads to eating. If I have a hangover, I crave carbs and greasy food the whole day, I guess to level out my sugar levels. So, moderation for me. I don't like getting drunk and not being in control in front of other people (or eating a lot - another bonus) so as long as glass after glass isn't forced into my hands I should be able to stay in control.

Then, I have almost a week before the New Year celebrations start. We don't have any plans yet, but whatever we do there will be food and alcohol involved. I hope on New years Eve to be able to stick to plan all day, then the damage done in the evening should be controllable. I am also going to limit my alcohol intake so I don't have another "hangover day" on New Years Day, and get straight back on plan on the 2nd.

To balance out the excesses, I'm going to up my exercise in the hopes I can limit the damage. Wednesday 21st and Friday 23rd I plan on going for a run, which hopefully will see me complete week 5 of C25K. I'm hoping I'll have time to fit in a Zumba sesh or two as well, although my evenings will be taken up with baking, wrapping, cake decorating and packing (and doing my nails, naturally). The week in between Christmas and New Year Mr FGS has off work, so I'm hoping to be able to fit in a family walk or two, and maybe a swim. I think I can sometimes lack energy around this time of year too, so getting plenty of exercise will help with that too.

Now, while I don't think I can lose any weight over the Christmas period, I think if I can stick to this plan I'll manage to maintain my weight and not gain any. What do you think? Am I being realistic? Will the lure of the chocolate orange be too much to bear?

Whether it's stress, emotions, or just temptation that are threatening your good habits this year, how are you planning to cope with it? Are you going to have 2 weeks "off" completely, stick rigidly to your plan, or go with a bit of give and take like I am? I've come to realise I can have the things I want, I just can't have everything I want, and I'm happy with that. Please share your coping strategies!



  1. I think you are being realistic! I would love to see a loss over the holidays, but realistically ... that's probably not going to happen. I don't want to spend January shedding Christmas weight though, so my goal is to maintain.

    You can do whatever you want if you really want it to work out, you make it work out!!

  2. i agree 100% with maren -- i am not expecting to lose -- just maintain & i think that is realistic. i also wanna enjoy the holiday & not be stressing over every morsel that enters my mouth. i think sometimes when i overthink it i do worse.

    and just amp up the workouts & everything will fall into place!

    enjoy the holidays & just listen to your gut!
    you got this!

  3. We missed a meeting of WW over Thanksgiving and I worked harder. It was awesome when we returned and I had dropped 5lbs. The group as a whole had lost just 14 lbs over the holiday. It made me feel great knowing I had lost 35% of the entire groups loss :)

    As to the holiday, I look at it this way, I have enjoyed the last 25 Christmas' where I did not care about what I ate or drank. I am giving this Christmas to me and my body. I can maintain next year and the next 40 years.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I feel like I've already fallen off the wagon :( I'm going to exercise hopefully everyday in attempt to make sure I don't put any weight on.

    Perhaps if you have a large Christmas lunch.... Just have a smaller second meal to balance it out? I think I'm going to try that.

    I've also said Christmas day is the only day I can eat chocolate, as a way of limiting the chocolate intake!

    Good luck!