19 November 2009

A pre-Christmas plan

I must confess I'm not in a great frame of mind at the moment. My motivation has seriously flagged and I'm permanently tired. Tired of thinking about every darned thing I eat, tired of portion control, tired of making an effort every day, tired of feeling stuck, tired of hitting obstacle after obstacle. Also bodily tired so that exercise seems a big chore, not a pleasure - even my walks. OK, yeah, I know, I'm still recovering from the blasted bugs 'n drugs (antibiotics are wonderful things... mostly!) but things just do not feel positive and rosy right now.

So, when I looked at our social diary a couple of nights ago my heart sank. In the remaining weeks before we even reach the big day I am booked to eat meals away from home, mosty of the 'festive' variety, on no less than five occasions!

My first thoughts went something along the lines of "What the hell? Oh dammit, that's me sunk, then!". I started off thinking I could never lose weight in the next few weeks and even keeping to my present weight, without a significant gain, would be one heck of a challenge. I was especially unhappy with this having only just clawed my way back down to my pre-holiday weight of 65kg. My enthusiasm for the next few weeks is not exactly high.

But, when I stopped hyperventilating and saying 'poor me', and let a teensy bit of logic creep into my internal conversation, I decided it was time for a plan. With a plan, I stand a chance. Without one? Yep - I'm sunk!

Stage one is to address the alcohol issue. For this, minimalism is the only way to go. Avoiding alcoholic drinks altogether is rather unrealistic in the run up to Chrismas, so let's adjust my expectations. Ask for nice fresh jugs of water at every possible occasion and restraint, restraint, restraint with the booze. My plan is to allow myself one drink on each occasion and muster the willpower to say no to a second. A small dry white wine and soda isn't too bad, considering the alternatives, and I like it. It's a long drink that can be made to last, so stick to that and avoid more. That means a smile and a firm 'no' to the offer of 'just a small top-up', no matter how persistent the person with the bottle. Given my patience at the moment, restraint may also mean not telling that person to *** off!

For those restaurant meals where I have to choose my food ahead of time, yes it's going to be several courses, but at least it's 'relatively' simple to handle, provided I make sensible decisons up front. Choose the healthiest things on the menu while I'm in a good frame of mind and tell the organisers my choices there and then. Then I'm committed and only (only!) have to restrain my piggish tendencies when the portions, and that blasted bread basket, are presented to me on the night. A small, healthy snack a little while before the meal will help with this (see below).

For those restaurant meals where I'm put right on the spot to choose from the menu when we sit at the table things get a wee bit more tricky. Eating an apple half an hour beforehand will help, so I'm not faced with a menu filled with tempting treats when I'm ravenous. I need to think calmly and clearly and not be rushed into making a bad choice. That means thinking carefully about what is likely to go into the dishes on offer and focus in on which ones are definitely 'bad news'. Avoid those at all costs and look out for grilled or baked and 'dry' dishes with no or minimal sauces. If choices are limited and the only possible 'something' has a sauce - ask for it on the side.

For the potential minefield of 'at home with...' meals, make 'portion control' my mantra. Keep that apple handy beforehand. Eat the veggies aplenty to fill up with (quick note to hosts - please don't slather vegetables in butter!). If I can serve myself, take small amounts and spread them across my plate to look as though I have taken a good helping. If I'm served, stress how much I enjoy vegetables and how delicious the veg looks - even if it's actually sad and overcooked.

The buffets are probably going to be my biggest challenge but even they can be managed with a little good sense. Crudites are great without the mayo-laden dips which I hate in any case. The usual leafy decoration can be good too, and fills holes on the plate. Tartlets (or anything with pastry, cheese and butter) and deep-fried nibbles are to be steered well clear of, but some cold sliced meats can make a plate look nicely laden without too many down-sides. Easy on the nuts and crisps, girl!

At this time of year I thank my lucky stars that I'm not as keen as some of my friends are on the gooey, sticky and often cream-doused pies, puddings and cakes which loom as traps for the weight conscious. Cheeses and chocolates are another matter but moderation 'should' allow me to get to January without turning into the Goodyear blimp!

And remember - there may be the aforementioned meal 'hurdles' to overcome before Christmas, but there are lots of days in between to practice 'fruit only' days or Steve's semi-fasting (thanks Steve - I'm forever in your debt for this). And the potential for taking exercise should not affected by the meals - all are evening events so I have the whole rest of each day to keep my flabby ass moving. C'mon fat lass - stick with the plan and this New Year could be a time to dance with joy, not cringe in embarrassment.


South Beach Steve said...

You really turned a potential bad last month and a half of the year into a plan. This is nothing short of awesome!

Thanks for the shout out too, I hope you find the intermittent fasting as useful as I have.

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