After all the Christmas (and holiday) feasts and sitting around with family and guests, how can I possibly lose those holiday pounds?
Now there’s a question we can all agree with! The key is to fully enjoy yourself, appreciate the kindnesses of the season, and to give and accept love from family and friends. If you focus on finding joy everywhere, you will not need to depend on food for comfort and pleasure. Remember what the season celebrates: for Christians, the birth of Jesus Christ; for celebrants of Hanukkah, rededication, the miraculous festival of lights. For those who observe Kwanzaa, a focus on the traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. Clearly all these celebrations are about far more than food.
Regarding food, simply keep a structured food plan, and plan ahead. Write down what you will be eating all day, each day, in advance. Pray and ask God for help to stick with your plans. You don’t need to limit yourself to "diet" foods, or suffer one bit. Go ahead and cook special recipes and family favorites. Just don’t have more than one serving! Keep track of what food groups you plan to eat, and stay within your serving allocations. If you want a big meal, make your other planned meals a lot smaller, in effect, saving ahead.
Just as important, keep your daily moving and exercise practices going, and get the family and friends to join in. Don’t just "sit around!" Put on some lively Christmas music and sing and dance! Go for a big group walk around the neighborhood, singing carols as you go. Get a yoga group going. Give each other massages as gifts. Walk to a homeless shelter or food pantry for the poor, and volunteer.
Don’t forget rituals. Light a bunch of candles, turn off the lights, and pray or chant together. Observe a few minutes of silence in a circle of love, then take turns appreciating each other and the gifts we give to one another. Not the material gifts, but the gifts of love, attention and care. Most of all, realize that these holidays are about celebrating life – the precious gift from God that we should remember to appreciate all year long.