Skating Uphill - December 2014

The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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 “‘Tis the season to party hearty. We are lucky to have numerous friends and family members who include us in their holiday parties.  As exciting as it is, what could be wrong with this picture?”

~The Uphill Skater


As “Gone with the Wind” opens, our very slim heroine Miss Scarlett O’Hara 
is being urged to eat a stack of pancakes with gooey syrup on top so that she won’t appear hungry or greedy at the upcoming lawn party. Actually, that is not such a bad idea.

‘Tis the season to party hearty. We are lucky to have numerous friends and family members who include us in their holiday parties. As exciting as it is, what could be wrong with this picture? Well, there are several things to think about before going out, and I don’t mean pining after your cousin’s boyfriend like our friend Scarlett.

She was concerned about her 21-inch waist, and to be honest, that is not quite my problem. I am worried about the fact that every party hostess wants to put her best food—yes food— forward, as do I when I have my party. I wouldn’t dare put out just carrots and celery and neither would you. We are going to serve our favorites with the mindset of “It’s only once a year so live it up!” The question, however, is how can we do this—fit in, have fun and enjoy some goodies—and not hate ourselves on January 1?

My first tip for avoiding the dreaded weight gain is about attitude. Put on a really great outfit, knowing that it fits perfectly. It flows a little, you can button it, breathe comfortably and the zipper goes up without you having to lie on your back on the bed. Remember this feeling; it is an excellent feeling.

Then, think about why you are going to the party. You honestly are not going to simply eat your brains out. You are going to see friends, share fun, maybe dance a little, enjoy good company and many other things that have nothing to do with food. So, exactly when and why does the food become the main feature? Well, it happens when YOU let it. Tip two: Make the food secondary and truly relish in all the other aspects of the gathering.

OK, so how do you do that? Well, tip three is to keep away. Yes, it is that simple and that difficult. If there is a buffet, food center or set of food stations, just stay away from them. Place yourself somewhere else in the room, find a chat group or sit as far away as you can. Avoid the “friend” who keeps passing things to you. My daughter was once offered the same piece of Christmas cake four times, even though she refused it each time! I know, people want you to try what they made, but be warned that this can be devastating to your healthy habits.

Tip four may sound like an anti-tip, but it works. I call it the “Have It Your Way.” Sometimes resistance is useless. Try something you simply adore that you will not see again until next year. It's that something that calls to you and you must answer that food phone. So, do it; eat that one thing that you must have. Put chocolate syrup on it, fix it up exactly the way you like it and have it. Have one very slowly and enjoy it. For me, that one thing is really Decemberadent chocolate cake or a deeply dark chocolate brownie. Get one of whatever it is for you, put it on a plate and go somewhere that is quiet and make yourself happy. It makes you feel not so deprived, weight conscious or out of the party. Treat yourself. It is not the end of the world.

When you go out, look at yourself and who you are. Think about who and how you would like to be. At the party, check out who is having fun. Is it you? If not, why not? Being mentally and physically happy with YOU is the real party! Could it be that the real holiday is the joy you feel when your faith and completeness bring you the peace we all associate with the true meaning of this season?

Be sure to tune in next month for some honest and easy to keep New Year’s Resolutions. 
Sure, go ahead and make some resolutions. We should constantly be upgrading ourselves, right?


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