You work hard everyday to be healthy, achieve goals, and maintain a tight physique so you are completely prepared to keep the holidays healthy. You know what foods you will and won't eat, you know when and where you could hit the gym, and you're looking forward to getting together with family and friends while sticking to your healthy lifestyle.
But no one could deny that the majority of your loved ones will do their best to make sure you cave in. You need to be prepared for the social pressures to break your willpower over the holiday season. Here are a few strategies that will help you stick with your healthy lifestyle commitment.
The "Honesty" Strategy
Sometimes if you just say no thank you because you want to avoid the infamous 7 pounds, people accept your dedication and even commend you. You may even inspire a few other guests to follow your lead. However, most people don't realize what it takes to avoid that unnecessary holiday weight.
You might find your family prepared sweet potatoes and try to scoop some on your plate because they know sweet potatoes are a staple in your diet. But they made them into a sweet potato sundae! And the vegetables are smothered in butter and breadcrumbs!
Thank them sincerely for their hard work and consideration, and view this as a great opportunity to teach them why you eat what you do, and that adding butter and marshmallows and brown sugar and breadcrumbs are not in line with what your trying to accomplish.
Same with gravy dumped all over the turkey. Say how much you love the turkey the host made, but if they give you trouble for passing on the oily sauce, explain what gravy is made out of and doing without will help you keep your girlish figure.
Hopefully the honesty strategy will be accepted by your family, but most of the time sometimes honesty is not the best strategy.
The "Picky Eater" Strategy
You may be nit picky and annoying, but you've got to do what you've got to do. There's only brown meat left, you only like white meat. The cranberries are from the can, you only like fresh cranberries. The salad dressings are ranch and Italian, you only like French. The bread served is corn bread, you only like biscuits. Catch my drift?
Be very thankful for the host's work and there's no need to speak until you're spoken too. Load your plate with the foods you planned on eating and as soon as your voluptuous aunt notices you don't have green bean casserole on your plate, mention you're not too found of those creamy sauces but you love the food you've already chosen. Same with the stuffing, you don't like mushy bread. And the fatty ham, well it's too salty.
If someone tries to call you on the truth, that is, you really do like those foods but you're lying because "he just doesn't want to get fat," you could easily say you've eaten a healthy diet for so long your body is no longer used to those food and you yourself are even surprised that your tastes have changed so much.
Most people don't try to force you to eat what you don't like. In fact, sometimes they could even be accommodating by finding the extra sweet potatoes they didn't prepare, vegetables they didn't include in the casseroles, and mustard to put on your turkey.
The "I Already Had Some" Strategy
For those holiday dinners where there's lots of people and mingling, you could be a drifter and people will only see glimpses of your plate and what you eat.
When grandpa tells you, "You've got to have mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving," tell them he's exactly right and you'll definitely get some on your second plate. Then if he brings it up later tell him you already had some and they were delicious! Or your sister-in-law insists you have some of her home-made pumpkin pie, tell her you just had some and she should have gone to Wal-Mart ... or that is was yummy.
If people think you've already consumed their junk food, they'll be satisfied and leave you alone.
The "I'm Full" Strategy
What's a holiday feast without wearing your fattest jeans or better yet, those nice and stretchy sweat pants! But you don't want your fat jeans to become your fitting jeans or your sweat pants to become spandex, so you'd rather not go back for 2nds or 3rds or 4ths.
Others, though, will make sure to tell you over and over that there's plenty of food and you need to enjoy yourself. Come on, everyone else is. That's when you say you wish you could but you made an appearance at a friends house so you already had a pre-holiday dinner.
You really wish you didn't eat before you came but the food there was also really good so you couldn't help yourself. Too bad you don't have room for another pile of food.
This strategy is the best to use to get out of eating dessert. Be prepared to hear, "there's always room for dessert," but keep insisting you're just sooooooo full and don't have any more tummy space because the meal was so good you stuffed past your limit. You're about to burst! Tell them maybe later you'll be able to find some space for dessert, but we know that won't happen, hee-hee!
The "I'm Going To Push My Healthy Eating Beliefs On You" Strategy
Hey, if they're going to push their destructive habits on you, why can't you push back. You're in the right so you'll win. Not only will you not make the holidays a weight gaining experience for yourself, you'll explicitly let them know they should clean up their lives and take care of their own and their loved ones health.
As soon as Mom starts fighting to have you pour ranch dressing and bacon bits on your nice healthy salad, tell her she should be ashamed of herself for her unhealthy behavior and for trying to make you share in her shameful eating habits.
She shouldn't be pouring ranch and bacon bits her own salad so how much more so should she be keeping her families healthy side dish healthy. Or if Uncle Beer-Belly won't leave you alone about chugging a pint of egg nog, tell him if he cared about himself or his family he wouldn't ruin himself and you'd rather not join him in his destructive behavior.
Using this strategy takes you out of the defense and now the guilty ones are left to try to justify their unhealthy actions. Since they have no defense they'll refrain from forcing their unhealthy habits onto you and respect your food choices.
The "I Don't Want To Look Like You" Strategy
This is the last strategy you'll want to resort to but desperate times call for desperate measures. You're family and friends just won't let up on their mission to make sure you eat everything you don't want, so you're forced to yell out, "I don't want to look like you!"
You're physique did not come from making excuses for yourself and rationalizing special occasions so you're not about to make all your discipline and dedication be to no avail because your brother doesn't mind his spare tire and thinks you should look like you two are related.
You don't want butter and biscuits and stuffing and gravy for the one and only reason that you don't want to look like all those people who are eating that crap.
Sorry you have to make it so blunt but if that's what it takes to shut them up, so be it.
Remember what the season is all about. It's not what there is to eat or how much you could get away with. It's not the Food Season, it's the Holiday Season. It's the time of the year to get together with family and friends and catch up and remember how much you all mean to each other.
It's a time to count your blessings and be a blessing to others. These festivities should not be damaged or downgraded with unhealthy choices. Indulge yourself with the relationships you're strengthening and new friends your making, and treat yourself to an extra hug and kiss. This way you'll start the new year with great memories and no regrets!