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Motherly Smotherings

N.V. Jones Story by posted on November 27, 2012. Filed under Opinion and Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By: N.V. Jones

While I enjoy eating turkey and all the fixings as much as the next girl on Thanksgiving, I do not enjoy the after-dinner guilt I feel when I try to put on my favorite pair of jeans the next day. My instant gratification and joy of a well-cooked meal wilts in the face of the un-buttonable.

Why is it that moderation flies out the window as soon as the Thanksgiving feast is placed on the table?

Why can’t I stay the course and stay on only one course, rather than hoover my way through two or three, with a slice of pumpkin pie on the side, please? Or, better yet, why can’t I simply enjoy my gluttony and say “screw you” to the guilt? Well, the answer to all those questions probably can only be found within.

Like many women, I diet most of the year. I diet for many reasons, namely for health and self-esteem. I want to look good and feel good, and if I were honest, in that order.

So, for ten months out of the year, I eat small portions, make good food choices, and while I don’t exercise as much as I should, I do try to exercise at least once a week. Sometimes I fail miserably and can’t say no to the evil food group known as “donuts”, but for the most part, I am a good girl and stay on track.

It is so very hard. I grew up skinny; I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted.

The holidays were my favorite time of year because there was plenty of food to go around. If you grew up poor like I did, you understand what a glorious treat that was!

Now, I am a wife and mother of two teenagers, and although we always have a well-stocked fridge, my own body chemistry has changed and I find myself having to eat less and exercise more. Most of the time, I feel it’s a losing battle, ergo the “After-Holiday” guilt.

So, why do I put myself through this? Is it because I have to control myself for most of the year and then when Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, I have the perfect excuse to release that control and fall back into the ways of my childhood? My self-esteem takes a hit when I feel overly full, I don’t want to put on my jeans, and grab the sweat pants instead.

So, I went seeking answers to help me regain control during the holiday season. Here is what I learned:

  • Watch your calorie intake (UG really?!)
  • Use a smaller dinner plate. This creates the illusion that you are eating more than you really are. (Ok, if my stomach is fooled, I’m game!)
  • Wait 20 minutes before getting seconds. Apparently it takes your brain this long to tell your stomach, “Hey! You’re full!” (Shouldn’t it be the other way around?)
  • Savor, don’t splurge. Sample your favorite desserts in small portions, maybe with a cup of coffee.

As far as the questions I posed above… what can I say? I’m not a psychologist. Happy Holidays!

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