Here we go again – the time of year when temptation is high and resistance is low. Food, everywhere we look. By January 2, most of us are wearing our fat pants and loose-fitting sweaters as we commit to never eat and drink as much during the next holiday season. That rarely works.
There’s such a variance in the research on the amount of typical weight gain during the holidays, but all studies agree on one fact – the average American gains weight during this time that now starts with Halloween and ends with New Year’s parties. And it can take as long as five months to lose it, if we ever do. As we get older, that becomes less and less likely.
An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. These are also major challenges for America’s children – nearly 30% of boys and girls under age 20 are either obese or overweight, up from 19% in 1980. (http://www.healthdata.org)
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I am part of that sixty percent. Over the past couple of years, I have worked with a nutritionist, off and on. I am proud to say I am more preservative free than I once was, and I try to live a cage-free lifestyle, though the winter months challenge me. Despite the improvements, I just haven’t had the motivation to lose weight. There’s a good chance I’ve just found at least a bit of it.
My oldest sister dropped this news on me a few days ago. “I saw the orthopedic surgeon. His words to me – your joints are horrible.” Horrible? Yikes! Together, they’ve mapped out a calendar where she’ll have both knees and both hips replaced in 2018 and 2019.
Then she reminded me, “Hope you can avoid some of this, but we did inherit the same genes.” Is this the kick in the seat of the pants I’ve needed?
My sister, nine years older, has had a major role in the childcare of two young grandchildren for the last eight years. She has never needed a gym membership she didn’t use, unlike me. She’s a retired nurse, and more than fifty years ago, she married into a farm family. They don’t know what sick days are. She is a healthy, tough bird.
When considering all of this, I think I have seven years max, maybe less, before replacement parts become a way of life for me.
So, I’m rethinking my love of cookies and ice cream, and have reconciled there are no boxes for those in my food journal that I’ve reactivated. I’ve dusted off my food scale. I even bought a new bathroom scale to monitor my progress. This week, I’ll imagine a deck of cards and keep my turkey serving to that size. Not sure if I can practice the same portion control when the pumpkin pie makes its annual visit.
Is the week of Thanksgiving the best time to begin a weight loss plan? It’s sort of like oil and water; a kindle reader and a hardcover worshipper, a Michigan State University fan and someone who roots for the University of Michigan. You get the idea. But when you love food, as much as I do, there’s never a good time to start, only a bad time to never start.
Good luck to you as you muddle your way through this season of food and drink. Enjoy your friends and family, and give yourself the gift of good health. Your body will reward you, I am sure.
Note: Need a little help? A good nutritionist is like an angel on your shoulder everytime you grocery shop, cook and eat. The Mind-ful Motivator in Lansing is a good place to start.
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