5 Ways to Put the All-You-Can-Eat Genie Back in the Bottle



The day after Christmas and all through the house are sweet, rich treats begging for attention! What is a person to do? I gave myself a holiday from counting calories these past two days. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I ate cookies and home-made chocolate whenever I wished. Our meals were to die for, with creamy, complex sauces and cheesy (in a good way) appetizers. Food is part of the celebration and there was no guilt involved. Even Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules, says that a person should allow themselves exceptions from the Rules (Food Rule #64: Break the Rules Once in a While).

Now that Christmas is over, my deep fear is that once I’ve broken my own rule of counting my calories daily, I will never be able to return!  I will continue to eat and eat and eat like an out of control Pac Man. This fear is egged on by a nasty voice in my head that says, “Go ahead, eat that cookie, eat five!!! You already broke your own rules for Christmas. What’s another day?”

 Can you hear that evil laugh?

One thing I know for sure: Elastic waists are very forgiving. Too forgiving. Deceptively, the-devil-invented-elastic-waists, forgiving.

Another thing I know: If I don’t want to be another statistic and gain even one pound over the holidays, I had better stop eating all the cookies. I needed to get back to counting calories. And if I was to get back to limiting my calorie intake, I needed an icy cold slushy-in-the-face reality check.

My healthy mind, the part of me that understands that treats aren’t treats anymore if we eat them every day, the part of me that wants to say no to the cookies and YES! to new found energy and a size six, that part of me wanted the discipline back. This morning I woke up knowing that today I would be counting my calories again. It was a promise I made to myself and I needed to honor that promise.

And what was the first thing that happened? My husband offered to make me breakfast! An omlette with a side of crispy, smoky bacon! I gripped the edge of the kitchen counter and squeaked out a “No, thank you.” While I made my own breakfast of grapefruit and a slice of chewy whole wheat toast with strawberry preserves, I breathed in the aroma of bacon and fantasized about eating it, a method that apparently has some scientific basis these days.

After the agony of saying no to the bacon, I had to admit I felt pretty good. Next was lunch. I ate all the vegetables I wanted to, mostly left-over from Christmas dinner, and instead of a bunch of chocolate chip cookies, I ate a bunch of raisins. That went well too.

My next challenge is the Boxing Day party we’re going to tonight. I already have a plan to deal with that:

1)    Wear my unforgiving skinny jeans to remind me why I am saying NO! to the pizza. No elastic!

2)    Do not go to the party too hungry. Eat a filling salad and baby carrots before leaving the house.

3)    Drink a lot of water or zero calorie beverage. Usually a host has some non-alcoholic options. Alcohol will weaken the already weak resolve I have; I know this from experience. Besides, holding a glass is a good excuse not to be holding a plate full of munchies.

4)    Spend the time at the party getting to know the other guests instead of hanging around the buffet. Usually the excitement of listening and talking to new people and old friends is a good distraction from the edible goodies.

5)    Leave the party early and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Sleeping well reduces stress which helps the body keep extra weight off

I'll let you know how it goes!

2 comments


  • SD

    Dr Aletta,
    I ate two (yes that is right two)entire packages of Oreo cookies over the last two days. I need to stop cold turkey. Today will have to be the start of putting my Genie back in the bottle.

    2010/12/27
  • Oh my gosh, SD, at least I hope you enjoyed the cookies as long as you were eating them. I am still going over my calorie count budget, meaning I won’t lose weight, but that’s OK for now. At least I’m back to counting and that keeps me from totally losing control. Yesterday I had a piece of Wegman’s Ultimate Chocolate cake, for instance. Did I enjoy it? You bet I did!

    2010/12/29

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