When I was lecturing at Weight Watchers, I would always give my members ideas for controlling holiday season weight gain. As I am sure you have read, the average person, with no weight issues, gains seven to ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.
Obviously, for the rest of us, 90% of the population, that can be twenty or thirty pounds if we don’t have some strategy. I would always arm my members with my one plate plan. You can have anything you can fit on one plate. I was always challenged by someone in the group as to the size of the plate. Luncheon, dinner or some smart aleck would ask could it be a platter? My answer would always be the same, “i don’t care if you are Frank Lloyd Wright there is only so much you can fit on one plate”.
Just think about a holiday plate, if you have to much of any one thing there won’t be room for all the other great things. NO SECONDS! This theory extends to dessert, one small plate, a little of everything or one big piece of your favorite. For the most part this plan worked well for all of us, and usually my groups sailed through the holidays with flying colors.
However, more important to our success was delving into why these holidays are so difficult for us. The truth is the only thing about holidays we can really control is the food. The food is our link to all the past holidays, be they good or bad. People die or move away or go to the other family to celebrate. but whatever your traditional foods were, they can remain the same.
As the years went by and I spoke about these issues, it became clear to me that Christmas was especially hard for me because I wanted the day to remain as it was when my brother and I were the center of the universe and this holiday was all about us. That is not happening unless you are the spoiled, much, much younger wife of a very rich man.
The rest of us become responsible for buying all the presents for our spouses, our children and grandchildren. Friends, co-workers and most likely everyone in your husband’s office, my husband is clueless, one year he even had me wrap his gift for me, he only tried that once.
What I am really trying to get at is, I would always sulk on Christmas Day. One year my kids sat me down and told me not to come out of my room if i was going to be unhappy. It was only after years of talking about this with the members that I realized what this was really about.
You could never get me what I wanted as a gift, because I had no idea what I wanted, until I didn’t receive it. It wasn’t the actual gift it was the wonder of childhood, when you had no idea what was in those boxes and no responsibility for keeping everyone happy for the rest of the day.
I guess you are wondering why I am writing about this after the fact. It is partly because I could see the holiday through the eyes of my almost three-year old grand-daughter, this seems to be the first year that she really bought into the Santa thing. I had forgotten how real that seems to little ones.
It was also because, this is the first year I have not either been with some part of my family or on some exotic vacation and not caring what everyone else was doing. This morning I woke up and told my husband i would not be sulking this year,because I was no more unhappy today than I was yesterday.
Christmas no longer has the power to ruin my day, I guess that is a good thing. Ya think?