Ohh how I love holiday food!
It smells good, tastes good, gives me energy – ohh and it once contributed to me being fat – 300lbs to be exact!
Yep – that’s a 3xl shirt, size 46 shorts. Not healthy at all – and steadily gaining weight. The odd thing is that when I was closing in on 300lbs, I never knew that I struggled with food. I ate, and ate some more. I snacked (on crappy food) at night while watching TV, and got little to NO exercise. I think I was counting mowing the lawn as my exercise for the week.
Now that I think back about Holidays when I was much larger – I realize that I actually got excited about all the food I would get to eat – more than being excited to spend time with family/friends. Those plates of sausage and cheese, cookies, chocolate, crackers etc. were where I’d hang out and load up. I don’t think I even sat down to socialize – except for the main meal. There had to be occasions where I’d put away 3-4000 calories per meal with all the snack foods combined with main dishes.
Today – at 215lbs, I still look forward to the holidays, spending time with family/friends and enjoying some food, it’s just in a different light. I don’t get excited to gorge myself. I don’t count calories for holiday meals – but instead, I’ve educated myself about what is most likely in the food I’m taking in and I make a conscious effort to apply some moderation to my holiday food choices.
In the past, I’d hit the snack table first for some cheese, crackers, candy, meat slices and more cheese. After that, I’d find the beer – wash down the snacks and head back to the snack table. I was really quite good at the rotation of it all. Was I proud of my gluttony – you bet! Hell, I didn’t even set a new year’s resolution each year to lose weight like most do.
It wasn’t until I began my health/fitness journey that I realized how vicious the cycle really was. Now, I have a pretty good strategy for the holidays that I’ve used since late 2009. Here it is:
I actually say hi to people instead of focusing my tunnel vision on the snacks.
I head straight to the drinks, grab a bottle of water and down it.
SNACK TIME! I find the tray with veggies and load up on some tomatoes, celery, carrots and whatever else is in the tray (minus the dip).
Remember, I am all about moderation – so I look over the “good stuff” and decide what 2-3 things I’ll try and have 1 of each.
After that, I’ll enjoy a holiday meal of smaller portions (except for the turkey leg – I still always enjoy my turkey leg), with water and 1 alcoholic beverage. After all this, I rarely have room for dessert, and if I do, it’s a bite or two, not a whole serving. This has proved successful for me the last couple holiday seasons. I still get to enjoy food, but by eating raw veggies up front, I fill up a bit before I get to the good stuff and that leaves me perfectly content with only a small bit of the “good” stuff.
Do you follow any sort of holiday eating strategies?
What are they?
From 9-5, Lonnie sits in front of a computer. Outside of being an IT Geek, he’s an athlete who’s familiar with the cycle of being fit-fat-fit that so many of us struggle with. Down from his highest weight of 300lbs in June 2009, he’s made the permanent lifestyle change to remain Big. Strong. Fit. Healthy. When not spending time with his wife, son and daughter, he’s at the gym keeping off the fat and adding quality lean mass.