"Oh my God, I've eaten way too much!"
"This is the worst time of year. All I do is sit around and eat! I should be out hiking!"
"A moment on the lips, forever on the hips."
"I'm not kidding, this January I'm going to start working out again."
These are just a few examples of things I've heard throughout the years during the holidays. And you know what? Listening to this kind of talk is a downer. Not only because I'm overweight and constantly battling my food demons, but also because this is the time of year when we're supposed to enjoy good food that we normally don't have around the house, when we're supposed to relax with family and friends, when we're supposed to be grateful for all we have in this life.
I've come to learn that we say these things because we live in the cocoon of diet mentality (DM). We've been programmed to think of food as "bad" and restricting and working out as "good." I've been around so many women who feel the need to constantly comment on how little they "should" be eating and how much they "should" be going to the gym. Being around these people is a drag. Not that I blame them. They're just doing what we all do, and behaving the way many of us think we should behave. I count myself in this group even though I no longer say these things out loud or to other people. I used to consider myself the president of this group.
Last December my biggest challenge was to not gain weight during the holidays (I won't keep you in suspense...I failed miserably and gained 7 pounds. You should've seen the look on my counselor's face when I weighed in at Weight Watchers in January. Not only had I disappointed myself, but also "Lynn" who had lost 20 pounds seven years ago and kept it off!). This holiday season my biggest challenge is to tune out the DM yammerers. They're everywhere, so it will be difficult; however, unlike last year, this time around my husband and girls know where I am with food and dieting. They know I'm getting help with these issues and they're on my side. I've talked to them about DM and I've pointed out when people are engaging in the behavior. Now when we're out in public somewhere, or with family, and someone jumps on the DM bandwagon, my daughters shoot me a look: Here we go again! They smile at me, and we enjoy a private "I get it" moment.
I'm glad I'm in a different place this year. How wonderful it is NOT to be on WW and worrying about how many points are in my Christmas cookies. I'm going to enjoy the holidays and the food and my family and friends...even my in-laws! All 27 of them. (Yikes!!) This really "should" be the most wonderful time of the year, not a time when we worry constantly about what we're putting in our mouths, and how many miles we "should" be logging on the treadmill. So take it away, Andy Williams, remind us what this season "should" be about. :o)