Saturday, December 13, 2014

4th Christmas abstaining from grains, sugars, and holiday baking- getting back more than I gave up!

One of the great gifts I gave myself when I began abstaining (gluten and sugar for weight loss, then grains and most sugars in weight maintenance) Christmas 2011, was my first time since the late 1970's that I got clean at Christmas.

Ghost Of Christmas past: One of my big gifts was the snipet of clarity from stopping binge eating while I lost weight. I remembered that one Christmas I gave all my candy to a family member. The late 1970's.  "Take it all, I want none" I told my family member. I was probably the age my daughter is now, 14. Somehow my teenage brain just wanted a break from the yo-yo dieting, the binge eating, the highs and the lows. That was the first time I could remember stopping binge eating since age 6. It's all my kid brain could do.

More recently: Flash forward to 2011-2012. Those two Christmases had me pacing and having lots of binge urges Christmas eve, some Christmas days. Major white knuckling paid off. I stayed clean, off sugar, grains and the voice that said, "It's Christmas, eat one paleo treat, cookie, fudge, you can go walk it off Christmas morning". More pacing. Thank my Higher Power for Angry Birds, Christmas music, and some spiced tea.

Current thoughts: Each time I give up something that kept me binge eating. It's really not my fault. It's nothing I'm doing Christmas wrong. I don't need to Paleo harder. I certainly don't need to learn to moderate all foods. That only fuels my binge eating. And I know it. I had to get so honest with myself. Clarity, honesty, willingness to change traditions and simplify. To walk away from this blog and do the work.

Starting more than I stopped:  (aka- what works, what didn't work)

What didn't work:
1. Stopped holiday baking and food gift giving
2. Stopped binge eating to numb
3. Stopped decorating the house so much
4. Stopped trying to put up a traditional tree that the cats would demolish each night.
5. Stopped going to cookie parties.
6. Stopped enabling others by giving non-food gifts.
7. Stopped feeling obligated to go to church related activities.( bell ringing excluded- Jr. Family member is a champion ringer)  Such a stress relief!( I listen, smile, clap, and sneak out the door to one of the best beaches on the West Coast... my higher power is found on the beach)
8. I stopped feeling out of control, guilty, sad, and stopped hating myself.
9. I stopped gaining 5 pounds each Christmas and making false promises of Jan weight loss.

 What works now
1.Started to listen to Christmas music more often.
2. Started to hit the beach for super long walks.  Yep! nothing better than the ocean.
3. Started to sleep more and watch less TV
4.  Started to connect more to friends and family.
5. Started to travel more to places like Hotel Del Coronado and Christmas on the Prado (San Diego)
6. Started to use spices (cinnamon, peppermint extract) for some coffee add-ins, with coconut milk.
7. Started giving more to charities ( My favorite is Heifer Project, flock of chicks, yes!)
8. Started simplifying gift wrapping
9. Started giving more gift cards, no guilt, just less stress
10. Started taking more holiday photos
11. Started taking evening walks and enjoying other people's light displays.
12. I started living more fulling, stone cold food sober.
13. I started living long term weight maintenance fully.

I started more than I started. That's one heck of a gift.  Here's to eating within your food template, your plans, and OWNERSHIP like a freaking holiday BOSS. Weight maintenance for a 2014 holiday WIN!

Yeah.... Ho, Ho, Ho... Safe travels my friends. This holiday will come and go. Put yourself firmly as the driver of your sled, sleigh, car, and life. Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever.


  1. Great post, Karen!

    Taking care of yourself and doing what is right for your body is certainly the biggest gift you can give yourself! And it makes the holidays so much more enjoyable.

    I never had a binge eating problem, but I had a quite severe gluten sensitivity for years but tried to ignore it because "it was just a fad." I felt miserable whenever I ate bread or other baked goods, and, looking back, can't believe I didn't make changes much sooner! (It's interesting to me that I did limit gluten quite a bit but somehow didn't completely eliminate it until two years ago, and that's what I needed to do to feel well.)

    Enjoy your long walks on the beach! They are the best!

    1. Thanks, Adrea! It took a lot of work to own my own stuff. So glad that you finally got the gluten out. In some ways, having a severe reaction worked out to my advantage- especially getting the binge eating in remission.

      Hope you are getting some good walking weather in on the East Coast!

  2. It always helps to read your lists because at times I resist it, but in other ways it really works for me. The more things I put in the 'no, not gonna do that' pile the better I am in general. But overcoming those internal head voices is the tough part for me that say "Have those things" is my challenge. Those voices often are just clamoring for what it thinks will give instant access to nostalgic memories. I have my little list of holiday things that I've always done and some I'm just not gonna do and, some that rather than have throughout the holidays months and the first of the New Year, I'll only have once the holiday season and enjoy it but return to the healthy things I need. I'm listening to my body and sleeping more also.

    1. PJ, thank you!

      It's taken years to get my self destructive voices (and other peoples voices) out of my head. Glad you are sleeping more. It really helps me keep binge urges to an absolute minimum!

  3. Just love your 'What Works Now' ..... all the 1 - 13 points !

    Take Care .....hope countdown to Christmas continues to go well, I'm sure it will.

    All the best Jan

    1. Jan, thank you! Happy Holiday's to you and Eddie!