Holiday Survival Tip #17: Journal
Typically, the only people who lose weight during the Holidays are journaling. Research has proven this. So, grab yourself a notebook, a pretty journal, the back of your grocery list or a cocktail napkin but do it! And no sugar coating. People tend to write down only the good so be sure to write down everything you eat and drink each day. You’re starting to be accountable to yourself and you’ll be able to identify patterns, such as reaching for the cookie jar at 4 PM or late night snacking.
Journaling is a wonderful way to gain insight into your relationship with food. Try it for three days, then see if you want to continue. You might be intrigued by what you learn about yourself.
Holiday Survival Tip #18: Avoid the Cheese Appetizers
“Nothing says Holidays like a cheese log.” Ellen
I’ve never quite got my head around the habit of serving cheese and crackers BEFORE a meal rather than following the European custom of serving it afterwards. In the latter case, a smaller amount suffices because one is already satiated. The cheese can even be eaten with a knife and fork so that its full flavor is appreciated.
What about having an entire melted Brie with half a baguette just before dinner? Nope. Plus, let’s face it, most people are serving squares of processed cheese with trans-fat laden crackers. When you have cheese as an appetizer, you’re filling up on saturated fat so you’ll be sated but your arteries will not love you. Cheese is one of life’s great pleasures but it is meant to be savored and appreciated in small portions.
Holiday Survival Tip #19: Take time each day to de-stress
“But I’m not stressed,” you protest. Well, if you’re the only person who can get through the entire Holiday season without an iota of stress, give me a call and you can write this section next year. Who knows what can set stress in motion? A little angst about pulling together a fabulous meal; the dog eating the pumpkin pie (as happened at our Thanksgiving); the juice for the gravy accidentally getting soapy water in it (as happened at our Thanksgiving); seeing an unpopular relative for the first time in ages; worrying that people won’t like their gifts; or the turkey not being cooked (as happened to me the first two times I made Christmas dinner for large parties).
This is the time of year when we give in to the irrational. The smallest incident can escalate, inflate and blow out of proportion. (I know those are synonymous – I’m making sure you’re paying attention). Take time each day to step back, enjoy the peace and quiet, and reflect on what’s going well. Even ten minutes will make a difference. If matters start heating up or becoming overwhelming, excuse yourself and retire to a “safe place,” a quiet spot where you can regroup.
And just think, you won’t have to deal with this again for approximately 11 months.