I’ve been taking control of my body and lowering my cholesterol without meds. I do my best to eat healthy. But, when I spent a few days at my sister’s home in the Berkshire Mountains, I ate whatever I wanted. I mean serious piggy time. Double my portions. Cheese, which I love, but don’t eat often, and LOTS of dessert! This kind of eating can instill tremendous guilt. But, not for me!

I also admit that I brought some leftovers home with me. The turkey and other good but healthier food went into the freezer. The pies—they remained handy. The next day I made like a turkey and gobble—gobble—gobbled! Pumpkin pie for lunch. Blueberry pie for breakfast. Stomach ache for dinner. Yet all the while I knew it was okay because I didn’t bring home unlimited quantities and once it was eaten, there would be no more.

Now that I’ve finished the treats, I’m being careful to balance that over-eating with lots of veggies and no unhealthy fats for a bit. And running every day!

Too many people ruin their pleasure by beating themselves up for indulging their eating passions. That can make you eat lots of delicious calories, but not enjoy them as much as you could. If you think, “I’m bad for eating this..,” it puts a damper on your pleasure. I prefer pleasure! When you give yourself permission to enjoy a pig-out, it’s easier to stop it after.

Think in terms of controlling your eating, not punishing it. A day or a weekend of indulgence won’t put permanent weight on your unless it continues after. That’s the part you need to control. By the second or third day I’m usually satiated and careful about not having temptations in my apartment. I love myself enough to thoroughly enjoy a pig-out, and to control myself after. That comes with time and practice.

Find ways to control yourself so a pig-out doesn’t become a long-term binge.

* Exercise. When I crave something, I put on my sneakers and head for the park. Jump rope. Go for a walk. It can energize you and take the place of eating.

* Substitute something else for what you crave. Keep healthier snacks, like nuts, or a slow spoonful of peanut butter, available for emergency munchies. I’ve forced myself to eat one baby carrot after another until a craving subsided.

* If you like pasta, try House Tofu Shirataki. It’s found in the refrigerator section of some supermarkets and health food stores. It smells a little funky when you open the package but once it’s rinsed and quickly boiled, you can cover it with some tomato sauce or other flavoring and it tastes good. The best part—a whole package is only 40 calories, full of protein and filling!!

* Do affirmations. “I love myself enough to take control of my eating.” “I choose to eat healthy.”

* Remind yourself how lousy overeating can feel and the price of doing it for too long. Is the momentary bliss of an extra piece of pie or third helping of potatoes worth the pain of gaining weight that’s hard to lose?

Try to avoid seeing a holiday pig-out as the beginning of serious overeating. Eat, enjoy, eat more, enjoy, then settle your stomach and do what you can to go back to eating healthy. I was offered a lot more fattening leftovers than I took home with me. I set limits by not tempting myself with too much. The holiday season is upon us and it’s easier to control how long your pig-outs last than to take off a lot of unwanted weight with a futile New Year’s resolution. It’s more satisfying to feel in control of yourself. And, you’ll gain less weight, which will up your level of self-empowerment.

I have several holiday parties coming up but know I already had my big pig-out so I’ll be more careful most of the time. Parties are easier than a holiday weekend! Beforehand, I eat VERY healthy and never go out too hungry. That leads to more eating. Oink! ? I eat a late lunch and snack on some nuts before I go. Then I can control my nibbling more.

You CAN control your holiday eating IF you CHOOSE to.

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