Find a Partner to Help Stay Motivated for New Year's Health Goals

The HealthGal Health Guide November 30, 2009
  • Sometimes it takes team work or a buddy to help you through difficult times.  And for anyone who struggles with weight issues and eating issues, the holidays can be a series of food landmines that you try to navigate.  The problem with food is that it has to be in our lives, unlike addictive habits like alcohol, drug abuse or smoking for that matter.  Not to diminish the battle one faces when trying to kick an addiction, but you do have the opportunity to create a "mostly free environment" and limit your interaction and temptation with these vices.  We all have to eat.  So when food control is your issue, the ability to reduce interactions is somewhat limited.  Holiday times up the ante, because of the endless office parties, and home parties and events that all revolve around.....food.  Adding to the challenge is the stress that can come with entertaining, seeing relatives you don't necessarily want to socialize with, and facing the treats that are typically served this time of year.  Stress can be a powerful food trigger.  And of course there are the people who minimize your need to watch your weight and food intake during the holidays.  If you don't eat - they're not happy.

     

    So let's all become teammates and be there for each other in the coming weeks.  Thanksgiving with all its tempting food can be easier to handle if you have someone to turn to.  When tempting foods make portion control difficult, when certain treats you have to face at the table are clear trigger foods for you, when the calorie counts, fat, salt and sugar in most of the recipes make it nearly impossible to maintain any semblance of a balanced diet - it helps to have a support buddy.  Everyone in the obesity community can be there for you, so when you feel challenged - even several times in a day - you have a community of support and motivation to turn to.  When the stress levels threaten to tempt you to binge or overeat, you can post or journal online in this community and wait for someone to respond with a supportive word, an empathic and comforting tone, encouragement.  Just like teamwork is often required for major projects, conquering food issues can often demand a support group or just a buddy who is there for you when you feel most desperate.

     

    So let's take a journey together for about 5 weeks, till just past the New Year.  Let's support each other through these challenging weeks of endless food temptations.  Along the way I will provide tips to help you make choices that will be enjoyable, so you don't feel deprived or frustrated.  It's important to realize that you do need to be mindful of your emotions as well as your eating triggers.  So my first tip is:

     

    Take 5-10 minutes the night before each party or holiday social event to plan out your day's eating.  Have a small, balanced breakfast, a light plant-based lunch (skip meats since they will probably be part of dinner) and 2 small snacks (100-150 calories each), one in the mid morning and one about an hour before the evening party or late afternoon gathering.  Never go to a party hungry - eating too minimally during the day will typically lead to over-eating at night.