This is not another piece about how to maintain one’s diet through the holidays. This is a piece about saying fuck it to that nonsense.
I’ve lost 15 pounds since August and that’s pretty great. I’ve found nutritional strategies that work for me both physically and emotionally.
Here’s why it’s working, though, and why I think it’s sustainable: I’m not allowing it to be a large part of my life.
Meals are things that need to happen at least 3 times per day. Mostly, I cook and eat alone. Mostly, I cook in bulk and eat the same one or two things every day until one runs out, and then I cook something else. I find it fairly easy.
And when I’m eating with others? I don’t worry about it.
Sure, I try to keep portions within reason, but I don’t usually succeed. This is a known problem area and one of the reasons I started tracking my intake.
Consuming one or two very large meals per week isn’t destroying my progress, though. I’ve done it all along and my progress has still been steady.
Over the holiday season, these 2-3 very large meals per week might become 3-5 meals, though.
And you know what? So be it.
On the days when I eat on my own, I’ll eat according to my usual routine. On the days when I don’t, I won’t worry about it. I will enjoy gatherings, and food, and the general merriment of the holiday season.
Life will resume it’s normal pace as January creeps into February, and there will once again be more days when I stick with my nutritional goals than days I do not.
There will not be as many gatherings at that time. There will be long, dark, dreary, cheerless days. Days that are cold and dreary, that aren’t brightened by colorful lights. Days when I’ll wind up with “I Have Confidence” stuck in my head on repeat because the line about having confidence spring will come again feels like all that will get me through.
And then spring will come, and for a short moment I’ll be happy about it, but then warmer weather will hit and I’ll hate it, and a depressive cycle will hit.
I could try to stick with my nutritional goals through the holiday season, but it would take away from the joy of the season. I refuse to do that. I refuse to do anything that might dampen the beauty of the holidays.
Plus, I didn’t gain the extra 30-40 pounds I’m carrying around during one holiday season. It took years of hard work to gain this much weight. I might gain back what I’ve lost, but I’m not going to suddenly become significantly heavier because of a few weeks of eating more than I would otherwise.
So, on Thanksgiving, I say this, and I hope you will take it to heart with me:
Fuck dieting. Enjoy the day.