At Christmas time, temptation abounds and weight control gets harder. My family and I attend more parties, eat more fast food, and receive food gifts that serve as bait for stress-eating.
Weight control get harder at my office, too. My physician-colleague and I receive many, many food gifts from grateful and generous patients and medical colleagues.
It wouldn't be so bad if we got only one or two dessert gifts, but we get more like thirty or forty each year, and that's just too much fattening food to have lying around-- especially at the peak of holiday stress (and stress-eating).
That's why I actually ask my food-gift-giving patients to please NOT bring me Christmas desserts.
Maybe you think I'm being rude to dissuade people from giving me whatever gifts they want to give. But, I have to protect my health, don't I?
Last year, one patient took my request to heart and brought our office staff a big crock-pot of piping-hot minestrone soup with garlic-cheese bread instead of Christmas sweets. It was perfect. The gift of hot soup (aka: REAL comfort food) actually decreased our stress load! We didn't get that icky "I shouldn't have eaten that" feeling you sometimes get after eating too many Christmas cookies.
If you feel absolutely compelled to give out food-gifts in spite of the overabundance of junk food this time of year, please ask yourself why. Might you still be food-centered, even after reading The Eden Diet? Do you still believe that food is the only way to give and receive love? If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you're going to have to change that way of thinking.
Let Christmas 2010 be a turning point for you. Challenge yourself to give non-food gifts. Or, if you want to give food gifts, consider giving less calorie-dense food gifts, like home-made veggie trays, prepared soup or soup fixings that are layered in mason jars, home-made pickles, fruit baskets, rubs and seasonings, and coffee and tea baskets.
Above all, remember the true reason for the season. The reason is NOT cookies, the fudge, or even the comforting soup. It's Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior.
I pray that you have a blessed, healthy, and happy Holiday season, full the peace and love of Christ, and without the unnecessary weight gain and guilt that distract you from Him.