With the holidays just around the corner, I thought it would be advantageous to remember “why” we are launching the Holiday Challenge again this year. For many, the six weeks between mid-November and January 1st is a time set aside for indulging in rich and decadent, disease-promoting foods; and somehow there’s a false belief that the damage can mopped up in the new year. That mindset is a lie, because after the holidays there are Super Bowl parties, Valentine chocolates, birthday parties, anniversaries, Easter candies, Mother’s Day celebrations, graduation open houses, Father’s Day cookouts, weddings, more birthday parties, July 4th picnics, summer festivals and county fairs, Halloween treats, and then back to the holidays all over again. So together, let’s continue to establish new traditions that will not only cause us to feel alive and well over holidays, but throughout the entire year as well!
I always dreaded the holidays to some degree, because that’s when I ate my worst. Not that I ate well the rest of the year by any means; the holidays just fueled my food addiction one hundred fold, all at once.
And, to top it off, it was expected by everyone to partake in the rich indulgences of the season. After all, “Everyone’s doing it.”
Well, that was the excuse, at least ~ a license to indulge ~ because the messes could be mopped up in the new year. It was a lie of course, but I believed it nonetheless.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the twinkle lights, the music, the festivities, the Nutcracker, the warm fuzzies of extra family togetherness; most everything about the season . . . . . . except for feeling miserable from the food addiction hangovers.
That always fogged my lenses with a dark cloud.
Not only did I have to deal with feeling lousy (understatement), I had to figure out what to wear as absolutely nothing fit from year to year.
How do I face seeing in-laws who hadn't seen me since an additional thirty pounds was packed on? What do I wear to my husband's employer's holiday party? (Thankfully, he eventually became self-employed, and those parties were crossed off my list of anxieties.) The women had buff arms and tummies to show off their *stuff* in those cute cocktail dresses. Me? The same baggie, black sequin jacket layered over a long black skirt.
To this day I will not be caught in anything with sequins. However, when I was obese they did hide my rolls of fat and large arms. For that, sequins do serve a wonderful purpose; plus, they do give off a shimmery holiday glow to cover-up the mounting depression within.
Oh, and the never ending supply of iced cut-out cookies. I always made triple the amount of dough and put some of it in the freezer; nothing like eating partially frozen cookie dough when no one was looking.
I would line the long dining table with waxed paper, and the kids would ice their cookies. Of course, much of the icing dribbled onto the waxed paper so I'd make sure to "clean it up" with my index finger. After we had dozens of iced and sugar sprinkled trees, bells, stars, circles, and hearts; they'd be layered between waxed paper in large, plastic containers to be enjoyed later (that night).
Throughout the season we always had boxes of those "surprise" chocolates. You know, the kind that are filled with maple or vanilla cream, raspberry jelly, nuts, fudge, and orange fluff. Those were over-the-top something to look forward to, right along with the gooey cherry cordials.
I was the Mom who invited the kids' friends over to make gingerbread houses. I'd ask each child to bring a sack of candy for the event. I was in heaven . . . . a table full of frosting and tons of candy. There was always such a generous amount donated that it never hurt for anyone to eat several pieces between "gluing" the houses together with the frosting and decorating with the decadent confections. Plus, everyone had too much fun to notice candy disappearing.
After six weeks of gluttonous eating: cheeseballs, dips, scalloped potatoes & ham, etc., by the end of December, I was saturated in misery. Well, that's putting it mildly. I was waaaay beyond miserable; more like suicidal at times. Seriously. Desperation drives the mind to irrational thoughts, and my heroin-like food addiction began to cloak my brain with some pretty irrational ways of escape at times.
January 1st couldn't come soon enough. A clean slate. Another promise. "I'm really going to stick to my resolution this time." Yeah, right.
Well, by the Super Bowl, I was celebrating once again; and just in time for chocolate candies and iced cookies for Valentines, and birthday cakes laced in-between.
With birthday parties, graduation open houses, and special occasions all throughout the year, I was never at a loss for my heroin-like, food addiction fix. [This must be the way a heroin addict feels.]
Oh, those were the days of utter delight, especially when I'd clean up afterwards and find partially eaten pieces of cake in the trash to calm my jitters and shakiness. Okay, maybe not delight, but you know what I mean. I hated being trapped in the food addiction dungeon and tortured to near death on a daily basis, yet something inside of me enjoyed every minute of it. I hated it, yet I loved it. It was definitely a sickness of the mind, the body, and the soul.
The perpetual darkness shrouded any ray of hope. Little did I know that freedom was knocking on my door; however, the knocks were muffled by the noise and chaos.
But nonetheless, freedom was knocking.
Okay, so maybe I didn't keep my New Year's promise, but at least I got to thoroughly enjoy my birthday in May with my favorite Dairy Queen ice-cream cake.
I could always start over again the following January. Maybe I'd really mean business by then.
At least that was always my hope.
Based on my own personal experience and the observations of those around me, one can easily consume over 50 cups of sugar and the equivalent to 42 sticks of butter over the holidays! (A stick of butter = 91 grams of fat.) The following are the grams of fat in some typical foods:
fudge pecan sundae 62g
slice of cheddar cheese 10g
1 chicken breast 13g
slice of pecan pie 27g
2” square brownie 10g
1 serving fries 14g
Danish pastry 17g
1 muffin 8g
1 chocolate nut bar 19g
bacon, egg & cheese bagel sandwich 18g
2 chocolate chip cookies 10g
slice meat & cheese pizza 17g
The following are grams of sugar in foods & beverages (4 grams = 1 teaspoon sugar):
12 oz soda 38g
1” cube of fudge 15g
3 oz pancake syrup 59g
slice of fruit pie 20g
chocolate candy bar 25g
¾ c. processed cereal 12g
piece of cake 20g
hot fudge sundae 54g
2” square brownie 36g
2 iced cookies 25g
6 oz of ice cream 40g
energy drink 68g
Do the Math. It's dangerous.
Stay tuned to DiseaseProof or DrFuhrman.com for complete details about the upcoming Holiday Challenge. The kick-off begins in just two weeks!