Dieting During the Holidays

I am always on a diet, so dieting during the holidays is not new to me. But the diet I’m on now is different. Some of the foods I’ve given up in order to reverse the diabetes and lactose intolerance trends in my body are: sugar, dairy, alcohol, meat, and oil. What I eat impacts my health. I feel the effects of dairy almost immediately, while other stuff takes awhile, as I have learned after  the temporary amnesia that kicked off the holidays.

On Thanksgiving, friends made a wonderful feast — all the traditional holiday foods. There were plenty of fruits and vegetables and grains. There were other things too, but it was Thanksgiving, and relaxing my vigilance for one day would not kill me. I had a little of everything and ate every bite on my plate. I also enjoyed cocktails plus a sliver of pumpkin pie. No whipped cream. Virtuous, right?

Well, not really. Dairy makes me ill. Lactaid pills work, but only to a degree. I knew there’d be cream and butter in the mashed potatoes, I saw the bacon in the Brussels sprouts, and my hostess informed me that she’d used mozzarella and parmesan cheese in those yummy potatoes as well. They were delicious and I felt fine.

Perhaps the pomegranate martini helped. And the wine. You can eat PBWF and still have a glass of wine once in awhile. But probably not three. At least that is what my pounding head and desert dry mouth informed me when I woke in the middle of the night. Lying in bed, trying to sleep, remembering the dinners out with friends on Wednesday and Friday, the nights before and after Thanksgiving, I tried to count the ways I’d veered off the PBWF path. Things were a bit hazy, but I knew I’d overdone it again, me and millions other folks this time of year.

Yesterday I felt tired all day. I was happy my friend had packed lots of leftovers from her  turkey dinner for us to take home. Al could eat that. I wasn’t really hungry. I wasn’t exactly sick…I just lacked energy…I tried to explain to him how I felt. He said “Sounds like you’re hungover.” What?

I don’t get hung over anymore. I hadn’t had that much to drink. Then I realized, maybe I was hung over, and not just on alcohol. Dairy products, sugar, salt and oil are used in almost all restaurant food, sometimes in abundance, unless you order a salad without dressing and a plain baked potato. Which I hadn’t done.

I have a plan for December. Cook everything myself. And don’t drink any wine. Drinking just encourages me to eat things I shouldn’t, like those nachos on Friday night. Plus alcohol is nothing but empty calories. This holiday season I vow to eat less calorie dense food, like fruits and vegetables and whole grains, which will give me energy, help me lose weight and just maybe, if I get my Christmas wish, reverse diabetes.


Day #2 Holiday Diet

I think I did pretty well yesterday considering I hosted a dinner party. The main dish was Beef Burgundy, so I didn’t partake of that. Just some noodles I served on the side. And salad. And 2 or 3 glasses of wine. Possibly four. I did well on  the appetizers too, only having one mini-quiche and 1 salmon dip cracker. Didn’t care for the dip. That always helps.

But the Ritz crackers Al insists on serving with the dip were pretty good, so I had 4 or 5 of those. Maybe 8. No more than 10. Had leftover pizza for lunch. OK calories not great there but I really dislike throwing away food. Al might have eaten it, but he didn’t get a chance.

Cereal with banana for breakfast. And lots of coffee with fat free vanilla creamer. I think there’s lots of sugar in that. Should read labels more. Oh and then I had a mid-day snack of chips and salsa. Tortilla chips. Whole wheat tortilla chips. Healthy.

I know before I can get serious about this I need to count calories. What bugs me about that is I can only eat 1200 a day to lose a pound a week. A friend of mine eats about 2,000 calories a day and is not overweight. That’s almost double my food! So then the slippery slope of how unfair life is begins. Maybe everyone gets to eat 2000 calories a day. Maybe I am the only person in the world (besides my dad, also a perpetual dieter) who can only have half of what everyone else is chowing on.

Life is not fair! My friend does exercise daily. Not yoga, sigh. Walking and weight lifting. Hello Treadmill you sadist you.


Expecting a Miracle

The other day I picked up my special journal, the one I paid $30 for at Papyrus in January 2013. I don’t usually spend that much cash on special journals. They’re kind of a pain to write in; I prefer spiral topped lined notebooks with strong backs. But I was compelled to buy the journal and decided I’d only record special events in it.

I read it the other day and was amazed at all the changes I’ve gone through in 2013 and how random and careless my entries seemed. One factor stood out: I had tried to lose weight, and bemoaned almost every entry that it wasn’t happening. But when I added up all the pounds, I saw that I had lost 15 pounds and kept it off…until Thanksgiving. Now my jeans are tight again and I need to reign myself back in. I rather liked being medium instead of large.

Of course it’s complete folly to go on a diet during the holidays. I am terrible at depriving myself. If there is chocolate, I will eat it. If there is wine, I will drink it. If there are potato chips, well, that’s my preferred trifecta of gluttony. The way I lost the weight was to not have any of these things in my house. Well, I always have wine, but I left it corked. And I took to eating two squares of dark chocolate most days. The taste is so intense I had no urge to binge. As for the chips, I just said no. (Whereas right now I write the word “chips” and want to devour a bag.)

I have been reading books about the brain and impulse control. I know that I need to train myself to say no to certain trigger foods and all will be well with the weight and health. The longer I train myself to say no, the more I succeed. It’s that simple. However…

Yesterday, my complete list of food included every bad thing plus pizza. Not a vegetable passed my lips. Well, the mushrooms on the pizza. But I am determined to do better, no matter how hopeless or inconvenient it seems. Christmas is a time for miracles and I’m asking for one now.