Greetings from a depressingly normal Southwest Missouri. It didn’t feel much like Christmas this year as all my favorite Christmas traditions got thrown out the window and the weather only rarely dropped lower than 50 degrees. I miss the snow. I miss the kids outside playing. I miss the mental sleigh ride I take across the gloriously white countryside with my wife and a cup of hot cocoa. I miss the magical WINTER of Christmas… but Christmas is over and I just feel robbed.
Speaking of being robbed, I was awoken this morning by the sound of chainsaws outside my window. Might I highlight that this was just as disturbing to me as it sounds?! Nobody called to tell me the landlord had paid people to come cut down some overgrowth and an unruly tree. A very special thanks, though, to those wonderful tree trimmers again for their hasty job of taking down my beloved Christmas decorations. My Christmas decorations were around the tree and, as such, had to be removed. Now, my desperate attempts to cling to my favorite season have been halted and the timeframe of socially acceptable Christmas decorations forced the decision to just pack them all away until next year. The hope for the magic of Christmas is now packed away in too many storage totes patiently waiting until next Christmas when they will finally be reclaimed from those dark storage containers. I feel robbed… again.
If I would have known then what I know now, I would be incredibly satisfied with the food choices that I made over the holidays. Thanks to my loving wife, we preserved the major culinary traditions of our Christmas holiday and I enjoyed way too many Peanut Butter Balls and a couple helpings biscuits and gravy. Before the parties started, my wife and I talked about how to deal with having so many celebrations over the course of so many weeks. Together, we decided that calories would not be counted anytime we were at a holiday celebration. Additionally, we didn’t track calories on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. These same rules applied to New Year’s Eve. With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and more than 6 holiday parties, we had over 15 calories-not-being-tracked meals in two weeks.
Also, during the holidays, I didn’t do a lot of other things, either. I didn’t blog and I didn’t weigh. Blogging has been a hobby for me. This is a place where I share my journey and I wasn’t sure I wanted to stop the holiday train to spend the few hours it takes to type out a blog post. This is starting to sound like we committed lifestyle change homicide, but we didn’t. Thanks to the power of making informed choices even in settings where we weren’t tracking calories, both of us CONTINUED TO LOOSE WEIGHT.
Though somewhat slower than it has been, I lost my 70th pound and we are solidly back into the routine of our normal lifestyle choices as the remnants of Christmas have all gone away. By applying the principals I shared in We Are Getting Rid of Cheat Meals Forever, my wife and I survived the holidays without unnecessary shame, guilt, gaining weight, or being the downers at parties that explain to everyone their inability to eat “that kinda stuff.” Life is too short to get bogged down in the relentless pursuit of a goal in such a way that it steals away the simple joys of the holidays or a rare moment shared with several friends.
For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…
- September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
- Today: 378.8 pounds
- Total loss: 71.2 pounds (26.6% of my total excess body weight)
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