Fitness Quest: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly…Bowl Full of Jelly Jolly…

Well, with Thanksgiving yesterday the holidays have officially started – IMHO, despite what the radio stations playing Christmas music and retailers would have you believe, Halloween isn’t the first holiday of the “Holiday Season.”  And with the holidays the annual challenge of not overeating has begun. Though in one sense, the holidays are no different than any other time of year, because let’s face it, gooey, delicious sweets are available year round. But during the holidays I think that there’s a little (a lot?) more social pressure to snack on sweets. After all who can turn down a Christmas cookie? A slice of pie? Fruitcake (okay, I have no trouble turning down fruitcake). Even yesterday during Thanksgiving after eating sensible portions for dinner I found myself snacking on a few extra pieces of the delicious home made fudge one of my cousins makes…yeah, a few…like 10 or 20.

I’ve read before that the average person gains somewhere between 3-5 pounds during the holidays and frankly, I’m surprised it’s not more!

Oddly enough, I don’t usually have too much trouble with additional weight gain during the holidays. I came to the conclusion quite a while ago that there is no reason to overeat during the holidays and in my case especially so. Thanks to my Crohn’s if I stuff myself as I used to do in my youth, pigging out on the Thanksgiving meal as if I had not eaten in weeks, taking the meal as a challenge to see how much I could it, instead of focusing on the meaning of the meal as a way to acknowledge and give thanks for everything I have as it should be, I would suffer later.

Remember, because of my Crohn’s a portion of my intestine has literally narrowed (shrunk) so that only so much food is going to go through. I think this is the case with everyone, but in my case the amount is much less. If things “back up” on my I might have enjoyed the meal, but I won’t enjoy it later that evening when it makes a return visit to my mouth (if you get my drift).

So I’m going to take things one step further. I’m planning to drop weight between now and the New Year. My goal is to be down at least 10 pounds.

Not just for myself in general, but I’ve got this fitness contest that I’m involved in with my brother-in-law and another friend. In order to win, I need to lose weight and put on some muscle (actually, I suspect I need to put on a fair amount of muscle to beat these guys who historically seem to have gained muscle more easily than I have – of course we are all older now). But, as my bro-in-law pointed out last night, I may have a little bit of an unfair advantage over them. I have a colonoscopy coming up in two weeks. Part of that prep will involve essentially a clear liquid diet for 4-5 days prior (what fun that’s going to be). I may drop five pounds just because of this.

The trick, as always, will be to keep it off. 

What do you think? Do you have strategies to get through the Holidays without getting a belly like a bowful of jelly? I’d love to hear about them.

Onward!

Dave

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