Saturday, December 26, 2009
Forget the sugar plums and pass the Almonds please
And another one bites the dust. Christmas 2009 is over. This year was a bit of a departure from the last few years as I was unable to devote the full-on "Martha" approach as I have in the past, and "lo and behold", everyone survived! There are not several tins of leftover baking sitting around for another week that would slowly but surely be devoured by New Years. That's a positive thing for my waistline. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't recall EVER fitting in a work-out on Christmas Day in my life, but this year I did. While sugar-plums were still dancing in their heads (my daughter & husband), I was in the hotel gym, all by my lonesome, ipod blasting, sweating off the mashed potatoes and gravy before I had even lifted a fork to my mouth. Even after I indulged later that day at my mothers, I noticed I could still hold my abs in without too much effort and I didn't feel like I wanted to lay down and die after dinner. My plate was full, and I even had an extra helping of my mother's famous cole slaw and a second scoop of turkey dressing, so it's not like I didn't eat more than usual. I did. But then I stopped. I ignored the cookies, the chocolates and the ice cream. That would have surely sent me over the edge. And that has been my secret weapon all year this year. The elimination of sugar. White death. It has never agreed with me. I have always known it. This year I finally came to terms with my addiction and said adios to my personal poison and I feel soooo much better having done it. Now I have the rare indulgence versus the daily affair I used to have with my evil nemesis and the results have been welcome. Whoever coined the phrase "have a treat" when referring to sugar had it all wrong. It is not a treat when it lands on your ass in the form of fat, which it inevitably does. And sugar's close cousins - pasta, bread and potatoes are happy to land there too, so I have reduced my relationship with them as well. I still eat them, but in smaller quantities and less often. I have adapted the "deck of cards" theory with protein too. Any meat or fish or poultry is fine, as long as it does not exceed the size of a deck of cards. Everything else is up for grabs. I eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, foods with healthy fats like avocados, olives, nut butters and even the occasional saturated fat like butter on popcorn. It's all in the choices I make. It only took a couple of weeks of sugar withdrawal before I no longer craved it. It still tempts me from time to time, but if I cannot resist, I have one or two bites of a dessert or one piece of chocolate and move on. I know if I have more, I won't feel good and that is what keeps me in check. It will be nice to start the new year without the added 5-7 lbs I normally would. Instead of resolving to lose weight this year, I will resolve to maintain my weight and improve my fitness level. Now, if I can just find that fountain of youth, I'm all set.