Thanksgiving's slippery slope
When I set out in February to lose 10 pounds and keep it off by the time I turn 50 in December, I wasn't really thinking too hard about the "keeping it off" part. I worked hard to shed that weight and even lost a bit more, moving from a too-heavy-for-5'-4" 147 pounds to a much-leaner 133 in July.
I think my body likes being lighter, and I didn't have any trouble keeping the weight off throughout the summer and into the early fall. In a couple of weeks I'll be writing about all of that in my "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, on the occasion of my half-century birthday on Dec. 6.
Along the way, the times I've found most trying are those in which I'm not fully in control of my schedule or on my "food environment." When my day is arranged in such a way that it can't accommodate my daily workout or when I can't stick to my normal food regimen, I feel apprehensive about the prospect of losing momentum and even gaining a pound back. Which, given the way Thanksgiving is shaping up for me this year, is entirely possible.
I'll be spending 6 or more hours (depending on Thursday's traffic) in a car, hopping out and pretty much immediately sitting down to one family Thanksgiving feast. The location of that feast is not very conducive to after-dinner walks, much less to family football games or other exercise.
The next day, we'll have a short car ride to the site of the second Thanksgiving feast. At least that home has easy access to sidewalks, and there's a family tradition of taking a long walk sometime during the festive day. But as in location number one, someone will have gone to great trouble to create a delicious meal and will naturally expect us guests to dig in with gusto.
The next morning, it's back in the car for another 6 or 7 hours. My butt aches just thinking about it.
I know every trick in the book for keeping tabs on my holiday food consumption: I'll be very picky in filling my plate, keeping portion sizes reasonable, skipping seconds and eschewing extra alcohol. I'll bring my resistance bands so I can at least squeeze in a little physical activity. Most of all, I do plan to relax and enjoy myself and the company I'm with. (For more advice on navigating the Thanksgiving feast, see this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column.)
But in the back of my mind, I'll know that in just a few days I'll be stepping on the scale to see whether I've made good on my pledge to keep my "Me Minus 10" weight off. I've already scheduled a Bikram yoga class for Sunday morning to help get me right back on track.
Some of you readers said you were planning to Minus-10 yourselves, too. Have you followed through on that? How have you fared? And what are your strategies for navigating Thanksgiving without packing on a pound or two?
Jennifer LaRue Huget
| November 23, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Me Minus 10, Nutrition and Fitness
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