“But I Baked This Just For You!”

We are approaching that time of year when we are supposed to be happily socializing with family and friends. Here come the holidays and with it challenges about maintaining your healthy goals. Peer pressures doesn’t only happen during high school. It happens throughout life. You love your family, but . . .

1 Corinthians 13:7  “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Andrea related how she felt. “Ellie, I enjoy being with family but Thanksgiving’s going to be so awkward this year. My relatives always make their favorite fattening foods and push me toward eating all of them. How can I stay on a diet when they’re sabotaging me?”

Good question. The average Thanksgiving meal contains 3,000 calories, so how can we remain in control without hurting feelings? Allow me to provide some practical suggestions to assist you:

  1. During dinner, take small tablespoons of what you’d like to eat and schmush (that’s the technical term) them wider onto your plate. This will make the servings seem larger and fool your brain. If someone notices, state that you’re tasting everything first, saving room for more of your favorites or for dessert.
  2. Try a “princess” movement. Pick up your fork, scoop some food, ask someone a question, enraptured, place your fork down onto your plate while listening.
  3. Slow down! Remember the 20 minute, 30 chews rule. Savor every taste and eat extremely slowly, enjoying every mouth feel of what you eat.
  4. Socialize! That’s what the holiday season should be about! Have a list of questions in your head for Uncle Barney or Grandpa Jerry, so you’ll spend so much time talking, they won’t notice you didn’t have seconds.

Possible sabotage scenario:  Aunt Bertha says during dinner,  “Andrea, save room because I made your favorite cheesecake!”

Okay, so now the guilt feelings start emerging.  How do you get out of this one?  If you are a people pleaser, you’d rather hurt than hurt someone’s feelings so you’ll eat it, right?  Let me ask you, if you were a recovering drug addict and someone came to you and cajoled, “But I bought this cocaine just for you!” would you take it? Hopefully not. Why? Because it would destroy your healthy-living goal and wreck your godly temple, thus grieving the Holy Spirit!

The cheesecake by itself isn’t wrong to eat. It’s how we react to food that’s the key. Who’s in control? Your brain or your emotions?  Your weight goal or the cheesecake?

First acknowledge your aunt’s kindness because I doubt her intention was to sabotage you. What you don’t want to do is state that you’re trying to get healthy because that might insult her, insinuating that her foods are unhealthy. It could even create a tirade of family protestations, “You look great!”-“You can’t lose any more”- “You look gaunt!”, inhibiting your restraint.

Privately to Aunt Bertha state, “What a thoughtful gesture! Would you mind if . . .” while previously resolving to:

  • During dinner eat less stuffing, gravy, candied yams and eat a small sliver afterward.
  • Take a piece home, break it into smaller bites, freeze and consume over several days. (Call your aunt and let her know how much you enjoyed it even more the following day.) You probably did because you can savor the taste without feeling uncomfortable.
  • Walk ten miles the next day for an entire piece or five miles for a sliver. Remember, it’s your choice – you’re in control. Exercise it off, don’t wear it!
Titus 2: 11,12  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”
Where there’s a will there’s a way.  You can have your cheesecake and eat it too if you strategize beforehand. Be prepared, have a Plan and a Plan B.

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