Saturday, December 10, 2016

Holiday Eating post links from Refuse to Regain, Barbara Berkeley, MD and my best food sober tips

Use the weight maintenance force, 2016
Use the force in 2016 for Holiday Eating!

What didn't work for me in the past: I used to use the time from Halloween to Jan 1 to eat whatever the heck I wanted and then I took 6 whole weeks off until Valentines Day to start up again. I chose sugar highs and salt endorphin rushes.

Sugar, salt( think chips/popcorn tins) and moderation eating were my DOPE.
There's no food photos in this post, you are welcome!

Sweaters and winter coats did not hide morbid obesity. But, I was too busy getting sugar high to care. It was sweater season and I could  thought I could hide my rolls inside my bulky clothes.

Not only was I sick much of the time and hiding and buying the next highest clothing size, I also fooled no one.

I was slowly killing myself by my own hand with food. It wasn't totally my fault- hey, my WW meeting just told me I could eat anything I wanted. Moderation of all foods. That doesn't work well for food addicts. I had to take responsibility for my own actions.

Can't hide in big clothes

Luckily, this year, Barbara Berkeley, MD has two blog posts on holiday eating strategies. 

If you are a weight maintainer, you know how hard in many cases the holidays can be, food addiction or not.  Even seasoned weight maintainers like me. Even 6 years food sober, it's a lot of work.
First the Refuse to Regain Blog posts for 2016 are here:

Holiday Tips 2016

Holiday Parties and waking up the same weight the next day

2016, no need to hide

6 years food sober, here are my own ways of dealing

Family Meals and Pot Lucks ( in Indiana we called them Pitch-In's- who's with me on that? :) )

  • Bring foods like Nom Nom Paleo's Mexican Beef- because holy heck it's good.
  • Grab a bag of oranges  or avocados from the Farmer's Market
  • Grab items that are in season- root veggies and roast them up
  • Bring a prepared meal if I cannot or do not have time to bring something. 
I save money and feel great while people gorge themselves sick. Okay for them, those days are over for me. It's pretty hard to watch, though.

Meals out
  • Get a menu before hand. Pick something out OR
  •  Eat before I go and order a coffee and visit. 
  • I let the server know I'm on a medically required orders and I'll tip like I  ordered. 
  • Don't cave and eat the SAD or eat to people please, they will get over it, trust me. 
  • Keep my fasting, Keto, LCHF, Paleo food template. 
Food brought to your house, after the party:
  • Trash it after the event if it's sugary or junk food. Nobody needs that.
  • Place it in the freezer or on a pantry shelf where I do not go, but other family members can eat it later
  • Don't moderate foods that take me away from food sobriety. Food addiction is painful. 
Home Cooking
  • Continue cooking and batch cooking on your food template during the holidays
  • Staying food sober means 365/24/7. So, cook at home like a ninja. My food sober living depends on my habits. So I act like it.  
  • Make meals I can bring with me and either heat up or eat refrigerated. 
My food sobriety means I'll do what I need to do and everyone else can adjust to my new normal.  If people respond negatively, and and they will, I will limit my time with them.

 I am always pleased when I hold my ground and after a year or two, some people will have the light bulb turn on and will learn from their trainers, another person or co-workers that yes, they need to pull away from the SAD and stop eating themselves to death or very painful and avoidable diseases. Yay!!!! 

On the other hand, lots of people will eat themselves to death or dismemberment with diabetes. Painful. I know. 

Here's to adopting food strategies and eating that keeps you well all year. Safe Travels. How do you deal with the holidays? 


  1. Yes to all this, Karen! Our holiday work party is in two weeks, and this year, I have zero desire to eat any of the food. It isn't worth it. I will visit with everyone and hold a drink of water in my hand, but that is it. I recently went to a work luncheon where pizza was served. Someone commented that I wasn't eating it because I don't eat in front of others (not true). I just said I don't eat pizza. I will eat on my template and have my own dark chocolate or few bites of frozen yogurt, My pants and clothes still fit a week after surgery, and I intend for them to fit in the new year!

    1. I find that work places are divided into groups that are total junk food fests OR groups that bring traditional foods that are pretty good, but usually I cannot eat them. Either way, I realized super quick that I was continuing to enable my co-workers to get obesity and diabetes, even after I lost myself, so I stopped quick.

      Yeah to the dark chocolate!!! When I can remember to bring it, I have that too, with coffee. Sometimes I forget, which is okay, too. Kudos for getting through this time of year with your clothes fitting. Obesity and diabetes or other diseases don't take time off. Onward, as always, thanks for stopping by the blog.

  2. One thing I have learned is to just stay quiet about it. Do what I do, quietly. No fuss.

    I think you are exactly right that if someone insists on reason, medical is the best answer. And it needs to be a simple, short, firm answer.

    The less said, the more people understand the topic is off limits. Too much talk gives the impression the topic is up for debate or a vote.

    1. A+ advice Vickie!!!!! No explaining, people who kindly bring up suggestions will stop right away and recognize your boundary setting. Those who go past other people's boundaries and can't see it, well that's valuable to me- to limit my time with them.

      After about 2 years, I was happily able to train my friends and family into my new normal. A few newbies will test me out, and they learn right away, too. Funny, people I know in real life are starting to be more divided. Eat EVERYTHING or eat according to a more defined food template.

      I like it. Thanks for your great wisdom- as always. Karen P

  3. Clicked over to Refuse to Regain to read the link and was really surprised she not only advises people to plan out which sweets and how many plates (plural!) they will have from the buffet...and also that she advocates eating Skinny Cow as a reward to herself at home after a social event for having gotten through it. Very out of line with what I expected.

    1. Hi Norma! Yeah, I think it's funny Dr. Berkeley can moderate skinny cow ice-creams and those are my binge triggers. Dr. B is in only about 2% of docs that even will talk about low carb, or even cop to the fact that food "may' be addictive. The rest tow the 8-12 grains a day.

      People who don't have insulin resistance can get away with a fruit and other things once and a while, I've noticed. Okay for them. For those of us ( like you and me) it's a no go zone. Even when I went to Hawaii in June 2016- I ate no fruit. I was 5-8 pounds over my current weight. I can eat Hawaiian Pineapple right here in San Diego County during the in season times, but I just don't want jacked up glucose for days. Or binge urges. So I don't. It doesn't bug me anymore. I like my size 6's too much.

      The best thing anyone told me is that fruit is for the normal weight, lean bodied- some times. That for fat loss, fruit not going to take you in the right direction or cause a stall. (Jason Seib, Vinnie Tortorich).

      If Dr. Berkeley is eating to her meter (most docs do monitor their own glucose, if they are in the business), then shel'll know she can eat that stuff without triggering a binge or jacking up her glucose.

      Sometimes she stops by here and comments. Maybe she will. I know a lot of hard core food addicts that can never take a bite of chocolate again. I'm one of the lucky ones, I can still have 85% chocolate, but I sure can't have it at night. I'd be just sipping San Pelligrino, La Croix or plain water at a party. If I could take some steak home with me, I would. That's it for me after 1-2 pm, no matter what.

      Thanks for stopping by, Norma. Dr. Berkeley is always on my go to list. She's much more vocal about low carb than the mainstream. I think in the past she lost 20-30 pounds. That is different from the tactics that 50+ pounders and up have to deal with day in day out- IMO. My fat cells want to come back pretty bad. I won't allow it.

  4. Hi Karen. Just catching up on your posts. Thanks for always following me and commenting even when I disappear for months on end. I just want to say you are (excuse my language) a bad ass! You are hard core. Relentless. You don't compromise. I remember when I first started out abstaining from sugar I did exactly what you mentioned here. I would go so far as to tell a server that I'm allergic to sugar and that I will have a reaction if they don't really keep it away from me. I think a lot of times even when you tell them no 'sauce' or whatever they often will still leave it in there (maybe I'm paranoid) but if you go so far as to say it's a medical issue and you might have a reaction right there in the restaurant then they take you more seriously. It's not a total lie because I know I will react to it physically. I'll blow up and gain weight! When you totally abstain you can feel the sugar when it hits you again. Suddenly you're hungry when you know you shouldn't be. Back when I was hardcore about it like you are, I was super in tune and would know immediately if I had ingested hidden sugar. Oh to be a badass again like YOU!! That's my Christmas wish!!! Merry Christmas to you Karen and thanks for being consistent and a good example to those of us who need to hear the truth spoken!

    1. Hmm, not sure I replied directly to you, so be sure to read my response below. Merry Christmas to you and your fam.

  5. Holly, yes, you'll know if there's hidden sugar in food. I told my health coach back in 2011 that I felt I couldn't eat the rotisserie chicken at Costco because I couldn't stop and I suspected there was a sugar derivitive. She said no, swore up and down. A year later, yes, Costco chickens are jacked up with all kinds of sugar and msg like components. You can't stop eating them..... hmmmmm

    So now I buy a pre cooked chicken at Sprouts where the ingredient list is low. Or better yet I use an Instantpot to make my own with gasp! Garlic salt from Trader Joe's

    So yeah, don't worry about hidden sugar, those are food addiction excuses to not start. Start the minute you get this email notification. Put kitchen towels over your kids loot, or clear a pantry shelf and say " Kids put your loot here, I don't go here". Yes, withdrawals suck, so grab an online group (OA) eat within your food template, modify if you need to be super low carb or go there.

    There are lots of LCHF/Keto groups out there if you are headed in that direction. They are all different, but one thing for sure, there are lots of folks in recovery or going through withdrawals. Several in each group have had weight loss surgery. Some groups advocate junk Paleo/LCHF/Keto foods, processed. I'd recommend ones that are real food based for people in food addiction recovery. Best thing that anyone ever told me was not to bring the Standard American Diet with me if I was going to eat Paleo and make a huge change.

    One of my groups is super strict about not boasting about "cheats" and posting food photos. Most are type 2 diabetics and almost died. They are serious, like I am about recovery. The other groups are fun, but it's not always fun that we need.

    Good luck and get with someone who is going to always call you on your stuff, no matter what. Head pats and sugar coating from well meaning folks could be deadly to you and me. Yikes. Merry Christmas and here's to a eyes wide open and marching through the withdrawals right now, so you still have money for Xmas gifts next year. Because the health effects of the diseases of food addiction and obesity will take us away from our families and jobs.

    Onward. Merry Christmas, and here's to the hard work ahead. Glad you are being honest. You can get your financial house in order by cooking at home while you withdraw. One stop, lots of benefit.

    I recommend Nom Nom Paleo (Michelle Tam) Facebook Live to learn how to cook low carb (just omit any ingredients that don't work for you- I omit potatoes (high glucose, won't lose weight)) and I don't care for fish sauce. Her chicken and beef meals are hit with my kid.

    Here's to 2016, Dec 17.. NOT Jan 1 or 2 or 3, 2017. Thanks for your kind words, Holly. I learned my bad-assery. You can, too. I'm betting you will, because you are honest. :)