How many years have you said in October or November, “Ok, this year it’s going to be different. This year I’m not going to give up my healthy lifestyle to indulge in holiday eating debauchery.”?  Well, hang on to your calorie counters; we’re headed into the holidays. I can hear recipe books everywhere opening to some of the oldest, most enthusiastically shared, richest and utterly  delicious foods we cook all year. We’re staring down the barrel of consuming in one day what we usually enjoy over an entire weekend. Remember how I slipped into the oblivion of trans fats and tannins last year? Well, I’m determined not to repeat that again this year.

Effects on Us Senior Citizens

          As older adults, we’re more susceptible to what comes with not eating and drinking right. The effects of all that fun and partying we did when we were younger now, more than ever, plays havoc with our bodies and results in longer lost days spent nursing hangovers, heartburn, and other … ahem … unmentionable ailments that bring about the need for unplanned alone time.  Alone time during the holidays is not what we need.

When Does It Start?

          For some, the holidays and over-indulging doesn’t begin until Thanksgiving, which turns into a mere month of pigging out. For others like myself, the minute I’m shopping for Halloween candy, I start thinking about pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, Almond Roca and beef short rib stew served over polenta. Okay, okay, I need to stop already with the food description!

          If it starts for you at Halloween, that’s nearly 60 days of dealing with the push and pull of overeating, or eating the ‘wrong’ stuff or just not eating the way you normally do in order to maintain your health. That’s nearly 20% of the entire year! That’s a lot of time spent not feeling your best, taking meds to compensate for not feeling your best and then all that time it takes to get back on track. (You may recall I wrote a piece on that subject just this past July. Sadly it took me until July to get back on track!!!)

What Are You Going to Do?

           I know I’m not alone in this conundrum. I’ve hear too many groans and seen too many eye rolls when I bring up this subject. There are, however, always going to be those people who never deviate from their normal eating routines. I envy these naturally thin and focused people. I also secretly think they can sometimes be boringly in control when confronted by a lavish party spread, hot toddies or holiday stress comfort foods.  

          What about you? How do you handle the season of indulging? Does it even bother you at all? Do you just allow yourself to gain and then do damage control later? I’m curious about your strategy for making it through the holidays without tossing your whole healthy lifestyle.

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