Wow. What a predicament. There are so many good ideas out there - but I don't know if I would be able to follow any of them, and I know the more I worry the worse my eating becomes.
I personally would probably just relax and pay the piper in the new year. Because I know myself well enough to know that fretting won't help.
But, that being said, I would try to find/set up good options for myself. Special teas? Some bulky delicious dishes that will fill me up, make me feel special, a bit more than usual yet not crazy in the calorie department.0
Good advice, thanks Laurie.
The house is groaning under the weight of all the non-perishable food and drink already (and has been for a few weeks) and I can resist opening any of it....but ONCE IT'S OPEN, all bets are off.
And any willpower I have will be severely undermined by alcohol.
Because my husband is severely restricted in the amount of alcohol and food he can indulge in (he's a kidney transplant recipient and has medication-induced gout) I feel that the mantle has passed to me to play the part of the convivial host, and to be seen not only to be constantly topping up my guests' glasses, but my own too...
I DO intend to barefaced lie and say I'm having a G&T when really I'll be having plain slimline tonic water. And I'm always the person who gets everyone's drinks, so I'll be able to get away with that little ruse (and everyone knows a G&T is my drink of choice, so it won't seem fishy). But I can't do the same with the wine...
I could put a little pile of chocolate wrappers on the arm of my chair, so people think I've eaten them...
I know from past Christmases that people will nag and nag and nag if they suspect I'm shirking my fair share of noshing....
This is a family of slimsters....not an ounce of excess weight between them, but they do love a multi-day Bacchanalian feast...3
We used to host an Open House during the holidays for almost 100 guests with so much food and alcohol…we also had various family members stay the entire week….I cooked and waited on people the entire time…..now, hmmmmm I think I would either say I was sick or say no, I can’t do it….you are a very brave woman!….all you can do is handle it as best you can…..2
I have actually lost friends over the eating out issue. However unlike your in-laws my friends need to lose weight. My weight loss and careful eating was somehow interpreted as silent judgment although I never discuss diet. So I can appreciate your hosting dilemma.
A few maybe workable ideas. You could eat mainly what your husband eats and say you’re keeping him company so he doesn’t feel left out. What mother could object to that? At least some of the time?
Another idea is to physically write down what you plan to eat the next day. Put the list where you can read it several a day. On the dressing table or fridge. Typing into MFP is easier but putting pen to paper registers in the brain better. Little tidbit I learned in my education courses prepping for teaching.
Final option is to just honestly tell the family you need their help in staying on track. You don’t want to put a damper on their celebrations but don’t want to undo all your past hard work. And then just take smaller portions while encouraging the family to enjoy the holiday foods.2
Hey Garfield: You've got smart women there giving you smart hamster advice. I have far from smart interpersonal relationship hamsters! In fact mine are so dumb they often need explicit directions on how to open a door or cross the street!
That said I've done both the staying focused and going with the flow at times. And both were right for me AT the time.
The first time around while I was still in the middle of figuring out how to lose weight in a semi-rational manner I flat out told my family that I didn't give a flying *kitten* about their *kitten* Christmas traditions, and they could "stuff' their festive food into next year's pile! Too bad, so sad, MY GOALS come first and you're either with me or against me! And it's not as if I used kinder words at the time--though I most certainly COULD have! As @yoolypr mentioned un-relatedly: you are not responsible for everyone else's happiness... not if it comes at the expense of your own!
In 2014 I only relented for a maintenance day Christmas dinner and an all you can eat gala New Year's Eve affair. The 3lb hit the next day... doesn't exist 7 years later! And I certainly continued to lose during that Christmas trip eating smaller amounts of whatever everyone was having and making smarter choices when eating out (ordering meals the way I wanted them prepared for example as opposed to the way they would normally be served):
The rest of the time I've just taken the hit between December and January. Actually, thinking about it, I've taken the hit between Canadian Thanksgiving in early October and the next spring/summertime where I've usually found myself in a slowly descending arc till early fall.
Had one more similar year but MFP is not cooperating with the pasting of the last picture--oh well!
The green area is a range of 5lbs for those not familiar with trendweight.
Given my current trajectory since ... I am most certainly keeping my fingers crossed that the tradition continues!!!!
I've decided that I'm pretty much going to pay the piper in the new year. Starters and main courses will be fine - no need to stress about those. They'll take me into maintenance calories, but not by much. The damage will be done by the desserts, nibbles and booze. I'll try to limit my portion sizes with the desserts and do a bit of sneaky water drinking when people think I'm hitting the gin....but I'll drink wine with lunch and dinner. If the booze dissolves my resolve and I go doo-lally with the nibbles I'll just have to undo the damage in January and February.
Over the festive period the worst that could happen is a gain of say 5lbs...AS LONG AS I CAN GET BACK IN THE SADDLE IN THE NEW YEAR! This is where your help and support could prove invaluable...
I know from bitter experience that Christmas has the power to interrupt a 300+ day losing streak and cause a tailspin lasting for two years, when I won't approach within half a mile of the horse, let alone get back in the saddle. I mustn't let that happen again!3
PAV that’s some impressive record keeping! I’m much less mathematically accurate. Pretty much it’s me and the daily weigh in. Unfortunately a few pounds have lingered over the last few weeks. I try to stay within 5 pounds of lowest weight. But it’s not a good start to the holidays.
Bella - I completely understand your fears about losing control over the holidays. I’m trying to be really careful the next few weeks to enter the new year where I left off rather than with 10 more pounds to lose 😢.2
Bella - I completely understand your fears about losing control over the holidays. I’m trying to be really careful the next few weeks to enter the new year where I left off rather than with 10 more pounds to lose 😢.
If we support each other I'm sure we'll be fine.
I'm psychologically scarred by the christmas when I felt supremely confident that I'd be fine because I was firmly 'in the zone', had enjoyed 44 consecutive weeks of losses, and was only 11lbs from goal having lost 69lbs....
I started eating poorly on christmas eve and didn't stop over-eating for 25 months, by which time I'd gained all my weight back and the obligatory additional 5lbs.
I'll never be that complacent again....3
Bella I will counter propose something different for you.
There is a balance to be had between I'm eating at the deficit, I'm eating at maintenance, and I'm over eating.
If regular booze is not part of your normal eating these past few months, why do you feel that it has to be a continuous part of your seasonal eating this Christmas because other people are partaking? They can have their booze; you don't really owe them an explanation as to why your may not be having as much. Or you can even come up with something if you really feel you have to.
I would not be heading into this determined to gain x amount of weight.
I would head into this determined to not overeat and maintain my weight while enjoying within reason.
If you then go over it's not the end of the world.
But my hamsters would work better with a few more cut-offs between success and disaster
So I would aim for maintenance or slight loss even if having no intention of achieving the loss, and take the maintenance or slite gain.
It's the difference between having a day or two of extra and going into it determined to have several days of extra
Assuming I'm explaining my thought process right while parked in the parking lot about to go get some dryer vent covers 😹
Under the you manage what you measure idea my past record keeping was quite good as compared to now.
Maybe there's a hint for me there 🙀🤔1
Ha!…Bella, my exact words, “ paying the piper”…. And boy do I have a balance due!1
Bella, complete stranger here, chiming in!
I cannot help myself, your predicament seems so dire. In addition to your "fake outs" with candy wrappers and water, which I heartily endorse, here are a few other thoughts:
1) Can you get out of the house and away a few days or hours between Xmas & New Years? Other friends/family you "must" visit, leaving hubby behind with them. Then go or don't go where you said, and pad the time away - visiting a friend for an hour, sit and read in your car another hour lol? And definitely plan these visits to take place over meal times so you miss some.
2) Purposely don't have enough eggs, or milk, or some other necessary supply you've been stocking up on so you must pop out for shopping. Maybe take a bunch of supplies you already bought and stash them somewhere to retrieve later (at your leisure lol) if you really have already bought everything you need - and stop being prepared now so that you can have a reason to get away later! And then, at least you could get a walk in, across parking lots and up & down grocery store aisles + pad your time away again as required?
3) you could get sick (tummy troubles, head ache) here & there, so that you have to be careful what you eat/drink or cut back, or hang out in your bedroom...personally I would be surprised if this wasn't the case, with all this rich eating & boozing you are not used to!
4) can you do anything to ensure this is the last time you will have to host this, in this exact way? I am shocked to learn your hubby will not be fully participating, and yet somehow your inlaws "traditions" reign supreme - it doesn't work for you or him. Why don't you at least mildly suck as a hostess? Let their drinks get low and bowls empty, run out of stuff per above. If they want to hold to all this multiday feasting next year, it will have to be somewhere else, you could then more easily limit your participation. Make it clear that this is the last time you can host, unless it is in some kind of multi-year rotation.
Oh, and in this part of Canada (west coast), from Christmas eve to Boxing day, overindulgence is definitely the norm! Traditional family meals, either on the eve or the day (or both), with much nibbling and goodies and drinking throughout...I know I can easily go up a pound a day on the scale if I throw caution to the wind, and be up 10 lbs come Jan 2nd...3
Some good ideas here @Ladybug8882021 - thank you!
We live on the outskirts of a very small town (10 shops/places of business in total, of which 5 are a funeral parlour, a dentist, an accountant, a solicitor and an insurance broker, so only 5 'real' shops), so finding reasons why I MUST visit them between Christmas Eve and NYE may be challenging, but I'll try to be creative with reasons why I MUST pop out for bread/milk/veggies/meat etc.
As for visiting other friends and family, my husband is immuno-compromised so socialising is strictly prohibited for us both (I have to be equally careful so as not to bring infection into the house) - so good idea, but can't use that unfortunately! Our guests have kindly agreed to go into a fortnight's strict isolation prior to their arrival...
Tummy troubles are a good idea! I will be DESPERATE for a bit of alone time!
Re it seeming unfair that we're the hosts, the last time we hosted was 2013, so it's our turn. Last Christmas we were in full lockdown, so MIL just came over for Christmas day and left the next morning. The year before we were in Rome. MIL hosted the previous 3 years, BIL the two years before that. So we can't complain really....and they are all super-hospitable and spare no expense, so it's sort of expected that we reciprocate...I don't really mind the expense, but I abhor waste and I worry about gluttony because my brain will tell me to eat things rather than throw them away.
But I have a plan for that! Leftovers/items over-catered will either be send home with the relatives or donated to the local food bank if unopened. So the decks will all be clear come Jan 1st...
I will burn lots of NEAT calories playing the perfect hostess and leaping up and out of my seat like a jack-in-the-box to wait on them all hand and foot. Not because I'm super-slavish, but because it'll give me the chance to move around a little and police what goes into my own glass....3
Sometimes you just have to suck it up. The holiday festivities are a family tradition that is fleeting. The day will come when it’s not going to be that way. So enjoy the time together while you have it.
Do your best with the eating and drinking without making yourself and others miserable. January 1 will come soon enough.3
My thoughts exactly Yooly. MIL has leukaemia and fears this will be her last Christmas...and we none of us know what's around the corner for us. All family time is precious, so I'm not going to squander mine by over-worrying and getting twitchy. All worrying and planning must be done in advance of the holidays, because when the guests arrive it's too late and unproductive to stress over something that will be over far too soon.4
Thank you, Yooly for the reminder.
Christmas, birthdays, New Year's Eve, Mother's and Father's Day, Thanksgiving and Easter - all feast days. I'm going to enjoy them. Hopefully all the energy I save not resisting those traditional foodfests will help keep me stronger on the other 300 some-odd days of the year.
When I look at the math - for my family that means 15 foodfest days vs 350 non-foodfest days - it doesn't seem worth worrying over!
At my very worst I don't think I could eat/drink over 10,000 calories on a given day. I can counterbalance that in the surrounding week. And that is worst case scenario.4
Well said Laurie! This shall be my approach and philosophy too!3
Groan…..being a certified diagnosed hard core Binge Addict, etc, I CAN ( and have )eaten well over 10,000 calories a day for days at a time!…for many years I have wanted to have a magic wand to wave or a fairy to cast a spell on me so that over night I would be slim!…70 years later, it hasn’t happened yet!….eating too much and binging makes me so sick that I suffer for days while still doing it….I never fill up or feel full….I used to think the stuffed feeling was normal….2 and 1/2 years and a loss of 110 pounds has made a difference in my health but the self control and feeling of always being deprived is mentally exhausting…I think I am at that point where I am just feeling completely overwhelmed with everything…my husband is still recovering from back surgery….he had a “ blip “ appear on his heart in November ( he had a stent put in two years ago ) and the cardiologist told him to have the surgery and then see how he is feeling….the past few weeks he has been overly tired and short of breath so now he has a heart doctor appointment next week….I know he dreads the tests, etc but I dread the toll it takes on him and me and the family…the last thing on my mind is my mind is eating what I should be….I am grabbing anything to eat to give me momentary comfort….I am trying so hard to make this a perfect holiday for everyone…I am sorry for this rant and depressing post….I am struggling and no amount of pep talks will help today…eating and spending money is not a good combination!…this too shall pass…..1
Connie..... you can't make things perfect... right? You can make things better... but don't try for perfect. Way too much pressure on you! Hugz on the health challenge stuff. We spend most of our time on other pursuits... but that's where it starts and ends!3