Ok, so today is Wednesday the 15th. A week from today will be the night before Thanksgiving. Let’s plan for the kind of holiday season we want.
My overarching goal is to help you create the kind of holiday you really want, and my “Sneaky Dietitian” goal is to help you stay on the food plan you chose for this holiday.
My very first boss had a favorite saying, “RULE of THE SEVEN P’S” “ Proper Prior Planning Prevents Positively Poor Performance.”
So, let’s look at the next seven days and be aware that this is the last normal, peaceful, week, before January. Next Wednesday is the eve of Thanksgiving, and then the holiday chaos begins. Some people in my neighborhood already have their Christmas lights up and Santa in the front yard. And the stores are already advertising holiday gifts and ribbons, bows, and shiny wrapping paper. This is our last calm coherent week to plan.
What are your goals for this season? My goal is for you to be able to follow your food plan and avoid binging, starving or abusing yourself with food and eating.
How can we do that?
First, check your kitchen. What do you need? Do you have several meals in the freezer for emergencies? Can you make one or two this week? When can you get to the grocery? You want to buy the ingredients for the meals you love, and set it up to make them and freeze them this week, so it will be easy. Stock up on the staples you always need; and double check the things like tissues and toilet paper.
Groceries sometimes run out of the best stuff, so buying it now saves time and energy. Think about what you will need, both food and non-food.
Now what did you want to do for yourself this season? Are there friends or family you want to be with? Set up times and dates for these special people. Is there a play or show you wanted to see? Now is the time to order tickets.
Is there someone special you need some quiet time to talk with? A sponsor, long-term friend, or trusted advisor perhaps? Some overdue step work? Or is it that you never get enough quiet time, peaceful time to relax? Write it in your calendar now. Think about the changes you thought of last week. Where will they fit? What do you need to plan in to make the holidays wonderful FOR YOU? What else do you need?
Here is the rule about holiday calendars: If it went in before Thanksgiving, it may be moved, but it may not be replaced. What you are putting in here now is the stuff you really want to do, and it does not get replaced by obligations.
Take time to reflect, to pray if you do that, to meditate, to focus on positive thoughts, on what is going well in your life, on what you want to change and how to do that. You have seven more peaceful days.
If you have changes you want to make, now is the time to implement them, inform others of these changes, and set them up. How do you want this holiday to be different? How do you want next year to be different? What do you need to do now to make that happen?
Hug your loved ones and then hold on for a second or two. Plan some healthy exercise, and stay off the scale! The weather at this time of year is so unpredictable that we can gain or lose 3 to 5 pounds of fluid in one day!
Recovery is supposed to be joyful! You don’t need to torture yourself this way!
What about your recovery program? Do you need more meetings? Different meetings? Would it help to make a list of new meeting possibilities for yourself? Would it help to make a commitment to something?
Now think about the parties and obligations. How will you meet them without compromising your recovery program? When you are invited, ask about the food. Offer to bring something like a vegetable tray or a fruit bowl. Or, if the food is usually not ok there, plan to eat before you go, so you won’t go hungry.
How will you handle Dear Aunt Matilda? “O but darling I made it just for you! You can have just one small piece!”
When you need to be in this situation, prepare well.
Make a list in your mind of what you want to accomplish:
I want to see Dear Aunt Tilly and find out how she is;
I want to see Jessica’s new baby;
Mark and Jennifer are engaged, I want to see the ring;
I want to talk about the wedding;
I need to ask Uncle Paul about his friend the lawyer;
I’m going to annoy Cousin Scott by watching the football game and rooting for the other team;
I want to spend time with Grandma, since she just had surgery.
The holidays bring out Gertrude (my addiction) at her worst, strongest, and most creative. I need to do things that keep my body and mind occupied. Maybe I will do the dishes and help clean up, maybe I will take the little kids outside to play, take the dog for a walk, or curl up in a corner with my knitting.
And after this is over, will you go for a quiet walk in the park with me or meet me on a Zoom meeting?
Or maybe we should just admit that we need more support than we’ve got.
Maybe we should sign up for Emergency Road Service, Theresa’s next Zoom program about how to get through the holidays happy, without losing our mind or our abstinence. The flier is right here. Won’t you join us?
Blessings to you,