Christmas is a terrible time to start a diet. Why I am doing it anyway.

How to start a diet before Christmas・The Reluctant Cook

Sunday Scales: - 3.4 lbs | Total Loss: 8.6 lbs
Milestone 1 reached: starting weight of 2015 diet

Starting a diet just before Christmas is not for the faint-hearted! This is the season of food indulgences and I am particularly prone to inhaling German Christmas chocolates and cookies. That is how my descent into regain started in December 2016, one year after my mom had passed away. I love this time of year and its yummy treats so when I decided to re-commence my Intuitive Dieting journey I did for a moment consider waiting until January. Which of course was the good old diet mentality talking, encouraged by the resistance monster that loved the idea of going all out with the Christmas cookies before making a proper fresh start in the new year.

Alas, I knew that in reality there is no better time than now. I had to feel my resistance and do it anyway.

Which means: staying present with my food choices, listening to what my body craves and continuing to count my calories while enjoying anything I want. I still have many moments when I just want to tune out, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed at work or my anxieties are running on high, and I do - for instance - still use peanut butter cups to calm myself in these situations. Except, I only have two instead of four or six or eight! This time at the beginning of my program is very much about finetuning what works and what doesn’t. It’s about learning to not feel bad when I eat beyond my calorie allowance and to remind myself to stay present when I can. We are unraveling decades of emotional eating here, this does not happen overnight. Which is why patience and self-compassion are such important cornerstones of this journey.

 
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
— Chinese proverb
 

As for the Christmas challenge: I decided to simply keep tracking everything and enjoy this time of year. When I baked my favorite German cookies yesterday I entered all the ingredients into my LoseIt! app and now I know that they run between 90-100 calories per piece (no wonder I gained so much weight in 2016, I probably ate more than 20 every day for a month!) and can plan my treats accordingly. I also know that it will be ok to indulge a little over Christmas, I am making room for that. And when January comes I will be so glad to have started in November!

I’ve been losing weight and eating well every week so I know that what I am doing is working.

Stay tuned for my next post when I will share my German Christmas cookie recipes.