I read a quote by someone about the fact that we worry about what we are going to eat during the holidays when what we should really worry about is what we are eating the other 50 weeks of the year. So true. We do get very concerned about the opportunities to overindulge over the holidays and there is talk about being unwilling to give up the pleasures of the traditional meals, cookies and cocktails versus all the many ways we can avoid adding calories and pounds and still enjoy ourselves.
In truth, if we have been paying attention the rest of the year - is it really such a big deal to indulge during these special occasions? Beyond the question of forbidden foods and falling off the wagon and all the other ways we label our behavior around food, I think the fear is that we just plain will not stop eating once we start!
In a way this is true of me. There are so many foods I can ignore all around me much of the time. I can eat out in a restaurant and not reach for the bread basket or the chips and salsa. I can say no to dessert without a qualm, I can cheerfully choose the scrambled eggs over the french toast and navigate a buffet spread selecting the healthy items. However...if I have made monkey bread for my family for Christmas morning, I will pick at it all day until the tiny portion I served myself at breakfast has ballooned into hundreds of calories. I will not even consider eating a single cookie from the huge tin delivered to us a week before Christmas, but put a little box of See's peanut brittle in my stocking and I am fixated on it until I can eat it all in one sitting.
So, yes, I indulged. I did the dreaded holiday eating. I only ate 1 roll with dinner and skipped dessert, but came home and ate some of my own homemade cookies while I stuffed the stockings. But guess what? I didn't instantly return to my old ways. I got back on track and within a couple of days I was counting my calories and back to the gym (I admit I did not go to the gym on the Monday after Christmas - I have done that before and it is sooo crowded with guilty people working off their own splurges that it is not worth fighting over the equipment!)
And the bottom line on the No Gain Holiday Challenge so far - I am still in minus territory, having lost weight since Thanksgiving. I'll do my weigh in for my January post on the new site.
My new calendar is up in the kitchen, my new blog site is up and I am ready for a successful 2011. Looking forward to spending it with my bloggy friends. Happy New Year to us all.
When I named this blog "Diet Again - 2010" I was not thinking about the fact that it would only be a good title for a year. I was thinking about something that rhymed with 2010. I am only sort of creative like that! When I started my "diet" earlier this year, I knew that it would be an ongoing thing. One year was not likely to be enough time to meet my goals and really, it is a lifelong thing if I am doing it right, isn't it?
So I need to change the name and change the URL because I am not at all sure why I have that "customer service" title in my URL?!
I thought of using "Shrinking Susan" as my new title, but there is someone out there with some sort of book and blog around that title. I couldn't think of anything else that sounded like me, so I finally just decided on "Fit, Food, Life". It works now and in the future and it covers the bases even if it isn't clever. I created a new blog on Blogger and have a new URL: http://fitnessfoodlife.blogspot.com/. So if you are so kind as to have me in your favorites or on your blog roll, please change me over for the new year!
I have been restoring my photos which had all disappeared from their folders on my computer. My husband is very into backing everything up, thank goodness, so I have not lost anything. I came across this photo.
This is the only picture of me from last Christmas. It serves well as a before picture. Although I have not lost anywhere near as much weight as I would have wished this year, even I can see that there is a big difference from then to now.
So this isn't so much a before and after, but a before and getting there...
This is the week I needed to pack up all the boxes that must go in the mail. I made the biscotti - as you may have seen at Cammie's Holiday Potluck - and I have wrapped some of it up in bubble wrap to send to friends and family far away. I ate a few end pieces of those tasty things and that may have contributed to my 0 weight change this week - that and the ham croquettes I made for my husband's birthday on Sunday.
I have never made them before and after all the work I put into making them I was going to try ONE - breaded and fried or not!! They were delicious. Too delicious and too many of them leftover. I finally tossed them out today because they were beckoning me from the frig every time I opened it!! Why is it that Tom has been asking me to make them for him for months - he has 3 or 4 of them and then ignores all the leftovers... and they haunt me?
So this week I am clamping down a bit harder. I packed up all the biscotti, did my shopping so there are lots of healthy snacks and meals and I am up to 3 gym trips already.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, soft
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs
5 cups flour
4 cups macadamia nuts ( 2 bags from Trader Joe's)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 tablespoons Myers Dark Rum
Heat oven to 325
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, then vanilla and rum. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Add nuts by hand. Batter will be thick.
Divide into 4 parts onto parchment paper covered baking sheets and shape into logs 1 1/2 inches in diameter by 12 inches long. Wet your hands with water to make shaping the logs easier. (Since these spread when cooking, I just put 1 log on each sheet.) Bake approximately 30 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool a bit, then cut into slices 1/2 to 1/3 inches wide.
Reduce oven heat to 250. Arrance biscotti cut side down and bake 15-20 minutes more on each sideuntil crisp and dry. You may also stand them upright to bake them, just make sure there is room for air to circulate around each cookie.
Drawing on research that shows mental imagery and perception affect emotion and behavior, A Carnegie Mellon research team - led by assistant professor of social and decision sciences Carey Morewedge - found that repeatedly imagining indulging in a treat decreases the desire for it.
"These findings suggest that trying to suppress one's thoughts of desired foods in order to curb cravings for those foods is a fundamentally flawed strategy," Morewedge said in a statement. This study goes against the ages old idea that we must banish thoughts of the foods that tempt us into excess.
The researchers conducted five experiments in which 51 people were asked to imagine themselves doing a series of repetitive actions - including, in one experiment, eating different amounts of M&Ms. A control group imagined putting coins into a washing machine. Subjects were then invited to eat their fill of M&Ms. Those who had imagined eating the most ultimately ate fewer candies than the others. Further experiments confirmed the results.
So go ahead. Imagine the experience of unwrapping your favorite candy bar and tasting that rich chocolate in your mouth. Or the tart sweetness of the cherries wrapped in the perfect pie crust. Or the buttery richness of some homemade holiday shortbread. Or...