Stop the Food Madness
Before I lost an extreme amount of weight and made some drastic changes in my life, I had a love-hate relationship with Thanksgiving and any other big holiday. I loved the food, but I hated the fact that it seemed like I had no ability to control what and how much I ate.
Every year I’d lose and then gain back more than I’d lost. It was a never-ending roller coaster ride. I wanted off but I couldn’t find the stop button. I’d scream to myself, “Can’t anyone help me stop this madness?” I was talking to the right person because only I could prevent the forest fire I had started once I began eating the things I had no control over. Only I had the power to stop myself from sinking once again into the abyss of food addiction. But to do that I had to allow God to be in charge of what I ate.
I wanted to shout to myself, “STOP the FOOD MADNESS.” But it felt like an exercise in futility. I was the size of two people, but I still couldn’t lose the weight and keep it off.
Many of those I know who want to lose weight have that same love-hate relationship with the upcoming holidays and don’t want to pack on the pounds through the holidays. Even if you pigged out at Halloween already, you can begin again. Remember we are only a failure, when we don’t learn from our mistakes.
So I want to give you seven tips to help stop the food madness during the holidays.
- Figure out what you want to commit to doing regarding eating during the holidays. Sit down and write out your agreement with yourself and God. Read it aloud to yourself so your brain knows exactly what you are committing to. Then, keep the agreement you have made with yourself and God. Plan ahead. Bring an alternative with you to a holiday meal.
- Know your limits. For me and many others I know, that is not eating any sugar-laden desserts. Even one bite can be too much. Many times during the holidays we falsely use the phrase, “Just this little bit won’t hurt. I’ll just have one piece of pie and then I’ll be done.“ While this may work for some people, it does not work for those of us who know we are in the category of being a sugar and carbohydrate addict. As my mentor likes to say, “One is too many and 10,000 is not enough.” This is true for addictions of all sorts.
- When filling your plate, choose a smaller plate if available. When I buy plastic plates for any meals I serve, I choose the smaller sized plates. It’s funny because no one even sees the difference unless the other size plate in nearby. The smaller plate is about an inch smaller all around but it actually helps us not overfill our plates.
- Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners CAN be healthy meals because many will have turkey as the main meat. This is a great low-calorie protein source. If you are hungry, eat more turkey. Snack on the turkey. Turkey is good. Show the turkey some love.
- If you have a lot of weight to lose, understand that one holiday meal can mean disaster for you. Viewing your eating plan as a forever lifestyle instead of a diet will keep you on track. It’s not worth throwing away a year of work on one meal. It can happen if you don’t get back on track quickly. We must understand that just like an alcoholic gets better by not drinking alcohol, we will get better by not eating the foods which are addictive to us.
- A lot of tips out there will tell you to eat a little of your favorite dessert, to eat sugar in moderation, to save room for your favorite foods and eat less of others. This is dangerous advice for us if we are obese, morbidly obese, a sugar and carb addict or an overeater. There is no stopping us once we get started. Many dietitians, nurse, trainers and doctors don’t understand this. However, we know our bodies better than they do. Yes I said that. You DO know your body better than the doctors, dietians and nurse. That means you are the only one who can begin to take charge of your lives by listening to what God’s still small voice is telling you. Make your choice ahead of time. You can’t eat that and you won’t let anyone else talk you into it.
- Change your mindset. I no longer look at holidays and worry that I will feel deprived of my formerly favorite treats. I need only look at my before and after pictures to understand sugar and high carbohydrate-laden foods are my enemies. What I started to tell myself when I first began my lifestyle journey is: “I get to eat healthy.” I also tell myself that these other people are stuck in having to eat junk that clogs their system and makes them continue to gain weight, feeling miserable and leading them towards an early death, which they could prevent if they just made the right decision. I feel sorry for them. And I truly do.
At this point in my life, I am also aware that people are watching me to see what I eat and don’t eat. My life is a silent witness to others trapped in food addiction. Your life is a witness as well. Who knows you are embarking on a forever lifestyle journey? What would they think if they see you eat things they know are unhealthy? What does that say to them?
Here’s my definition of freedom: “Freedom is being free from the stronghold that tells me I have to eat that brownie, cake or dessert. Freedom is not feeling bound to the foods that call my name in the middle of the night and draw me to them.
“Today, I am free. I am free from my cravings. I am free to say no to food temptations. I am free to walk away and not feel drawn to the foods that will capture and enslave me again. I am free to make healthy choices. I am free to provide good fuel for my body.”
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in Him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with His super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13 TPT.