Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Go shopping at any mall, shopping center or even on-line and there it is: Christmas and the holidays.

Holidays are steeped in traditions surrounding food. Halloween kicks off the gluttonous 62 day stretch between October 31st and New Year's Eve. Thanksgiving rolls right in three weeks later and then it's off to the races for Christmas, Channukah, holiday parties and their respective leftovers.

I started my big weight loss adventure a little over five months ago and I've gone from 375 pounds down to 285. As the catalogs started to pile up and I began to notice the approaching holiday season, it reminded me about one of the dangers of celebrating the season: FOOD and FAT.

Most people look at January 2nd as the date when they'll get back on track with better eating and exercise. They have a lot of time until the warm weather rolls around and that security blanket gives them a false sense of hope. How many times have you asked yourself in April - "Why didn't I work out over the winter?"

This year will be different for me. I'm planning ahead to give myself the opportunity to succeed during the holidays, instead of sabbotaging myself with poor decisions. Having good food around is the only way to succeed. I've gotten into the habit of eating healthy snacks when I want to binge. I'll eat a couple of protein bars and a couple pieces of fruit. Once I'm full, I'm thrilled it wasn't two Snickers, a half bag of oreos and a pint of Ben and Jerry's. I've really struggled the last two weeks, but I feel I've gotten through the rough patch and still lost weight. Some days, I'm really hungry. I've been able to go back to the basics and they continue to be the backbone to better health. Drink lots of water, eat a lot of protein, fruits and vegetables and continue to exercise. If you do this on a regular basis, you lose the up and down sugar highs and lows that sap your energy.

Remember on Seinfeld when George Costanza starts to do the opposite of what he normally does in certain situations? Well, that's what I'm trying to do. When I'd ordinarily fall off the wagon and get away from the basics, falling into an endless cycle of bingeing, I'm now regrouping much quicker. It's the Costanza way. I'm doing the opposite of what I used to do. The old way NEVER worked. The new way does and even if I don't FEEL like doing it.....I DO. When those bingey feelings pass, I feel better physically and, especially, mentally.

If you feel like you're losing control, jump in the car, drive to Whole Foods and get some water, a container of fresh fruit and some grilled chicken, turkey, beef, pork, whatever. The lean protein, fresh fruit and water will fill you up and satisfy you. HONESTLY. IT WILL.

Set your self up to succeed during the holidays and it will be the best present you could ever receive. Stock your house with good options, so you'll be able to make good choices during weak moments.

The gift of health can be yours this holiday. Jingle all they to the gym and those smaller jeans will be under the Christmas tree.