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How to get through holiday meals - let's share!



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Hi everyone!

I was just planning out my strategy for the coming Christmas dinners, lunches, brunches and thought I'd share. Maybe you guys have some tips to share as well!

1. Learning flexible control
Problem
We're used to thinking in black and whites. Good food and bad food. On-the-diet or off-the diet.
Thoughts like 'oh well, since I already ate X, I may as well give up on my diet' are probably familiar to us.

Solution
This year, I'm going to eat beyond my calories, but not far beyond my calories. I'm not going to be counting, actually. I'm going to taste a little bit of everything, and stop when I feel satisfied.

2. Me first
Problem
"People expect me to be eating what they eat / I can't handle questions about how I eat / I will disappoint my Aunt if I don't eat this or that ..."

Solution
My body, my eating: I'm going to compliment the food I get, and in general take charge of the situation. I won't be hoping nobody notices I eat way less than the rest of the family, I'm eating how I want to eat and that's it. In general, I'm going to remind myself my eating is for my body. Their eating is for theirs. People who seem confident don't get second-guessed. Fake it 'till you make it.

3. Answering all the questions
Problem
People asking about my weight loss, commenting if I shouldn't put on some weight, judging bariatric surgery.

Solution
I'm going to be my own PR agent; and I'm coming prepared with answers.

  • My answer to "how did you lose the weight?" is 'I fixed my mental relation to food first, then had bariatric surgery, and life has never been better, so happy with how I did this' is my prepared answer in a family setting. It sounds well-planned (and it was, btw) and doesn't open up a can of new questions. Rather it inspires co-celebration and I expect lots of 'good for you!' kinds of answers. Again, a confident attitude doesn't open attack lanes.
  • My answer to "I think bariatric surgery is the easy way out" will be a question in return; "I don't know a lot of people who lost more than 100 lbs and kept it off without metabolic surgery, do you?"
  • My answer to "oh but can't you drop the diet for a day and enjoy eating with your family like we do?" will be "I'd love to be here sharing a family meal in 20 years, too, so I'm not too focused on eating a certain amount, I'm focused on eating what's right for me" with a smile to make it less confrontational. However, a question like that warrants a certain amount of back off! in the reply.

In general, see 2. I'll happily taste everything. I will eat however much or little I feel like, though. And it's okay to be a little on guard in our situation, we're still getting the hang of things.

4. Coming prepared
Problem
Finding myself without any options to eat something I'd like to eat.

Solution
Avoid setting myself up for failure: I'm stocking up the car on sugar-free chocolate, popped cheese, Quest Protein chips, instant protein oatmeal and some fruit. If I'm hungry, I'm hungry, and then I need to eat. I don't want to chance it and find myself in a situation where I "have to" eat something I don't want to eat. I can eat whatever I want, in smaller amounts, but I'd like to have options.

5. Pre-forgiving myself
Problem
What if I end up eating 2,800 calories and washing that down with 1,200 calories worth of dessert wine?

Solution
The only way this will truly be a problem is if it means I'm back in beating myself over the head with it-land.
If this happens, it was probably because it was a really fun night, the food was amazing, and hey, the upside to Auntie Liz' drinking problem is she brings awesome French dessert wine. Better help her drink that and move on with life the next day as planned.

What do you guys do to fly through the holidays? :)

Merry Christmas!

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Thanks for the tips. This is my first holiday season post op and I think you're right - I need to tool up beforehand with answers to those nosey well-meaning but awkward questions I am bound to get! Gonna adapt some of your suggestions for sure. I am in the nice position of knowing there's Soup for starter and traditional turkey and ham for main course, so I will have loads to choose from. No wine because I'm driving, so that nips that potential calorific Armageddon in the bud.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday season! :279_christmas_tree:

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Think you’re approaching this with the right attitude @MiniGastricBypassDude. I’ve just survived my third post surgery Christmas lunch. Honestly, it was probably a little harder this year & I’m reflecting on why.

Did I nibble on the lollies & chocolates strategically placed around the house? Nope. Did I want to? Yes. Did I have a glass of champagne? Yes - took 90+ mins to drink it.

Had a little baked ham, a little roast beef, a little turducken, a little green vegetable salad, potato bake & had still had empty spaces on my plate. Did I eat it all? Nope. Did I eat slowly? Yes - others were finishing their second helping but I was still on my first. Ate a little too much (thought I could have that bit extra.) & had a small bout of the foamies as a result ☹️. In reality if you ignore the potato bake (all that cream & butter) the main course options would be considered sensible healthy food choices. Had some dessert about 2 hours after lunch. The dessert & potato bake were my Christmas treats as I rarely eat them. Don’t regret it & don’t beat myself up about it.

No one says anything about what anyone eats or doesn’t eat & no one cares if you don’t eat everything on offer.

Generally, I try to basically follow my usual eating regime if I can. I choose the healthier option or take a smaller portion: ‘a taste’. I’ll have a treat or two if I want. It’s only one day. The trouble comes if it becomes two days, three days, etc. Sometimes things are beyond your control especially if you’re a guest. You have to accept that for this one day aspects of your eating routine may have to be put aside.

Happy Christmas.

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I had it pretty easy. Due to Covid it was small scale (8 people), we hosted for Christmas Eve. I cooked almost everything.

i might have even ended up on the low end for calories…

There were no Snacks to contend with. I loaded up my plate with 3oz of Turkey - then then a tbsp or so of the other things I wanted to try. I 100% did not finish what I had on my small plate. Which I knew would happen, as Turkey always triggers my restriction.

I was much too full to have Dessert when everyone else did. I set aside probably 1/6 of a piece that everyone else had, and had it has a snack a couple hours later.

I'm only 7 months out.

Merry Christmas!

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