I’ve been in Weight Watchers and have lost a significant amount of weight, but still, the holidays post a special dilemma to me as well as those of us determined to lose weight or at least maintain their weight throughout the holiday season.  All the cookie swaps, holiday movies with movie popcorn being a necessity, and home baked cakes and pies pose a special problem.  Even main dishes like turkey and side dishes like green bean casserole add up to unnecessary weight gain.  With some family members, it can seem insulting to refuse to even try their holiday creations, and they will keep demanding you try their dish or dessert until you are bamboozled into accepting “just a taste.”  Weight Watchers encourages members remain vigiliant against the onslaught of too many “bites, likes, tastes (BLTs),’ but they temper that advice by admitting if you really want to try something, go ahead and enjoy it, bearing in mind that those calories count.

I, however, know myself pretty well after being in Weight Watchers for almost three years, and I hardly have the strength to stop at just one bite, or even one piece.  If it comes into my home, generally it will be eaten.  Even vacation is incredibly challenging.  I’m like an alcoholic is with drinking:  one is too many, and a thousand is never enough.  Now that I am getting closer to my goal weight, people comment that surely I can now contain myself and my eating, but I am still a chronic overeater who needs to manage my will power the way someone with diabetes needs to be extra vigilant this holiday season.

Holiday hunger pangs strike early and often.  What I’m thinking is that people will eat way more than they need to around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, and can be shocked and surprised when they’ve gained five, ten, or even fifteen pounds.  People eat for all sorts of reasons:  happy reminiscenses, holiday stress, even depression.  The list can go on and on.  Pretty much any emotion can be blamed for having to adjust your belt two or three notches.

Just remember if you are also a chronic overeater, nothing tastes as good as thin feels.  Let hunger be your guide.  If you’re not hungry, eating is not the solution.  I plan to find ways to celebrate without overindulging, and I encourage you to do the same.

PS–if you happen to have a REALLY great recipe for chocolate pecan pie, send it my way.  

Holiday greetings to everyone,

Michael Anson