Healthy Holiday Guide Part 1: Family

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Part 1 to this multi-part installment has to deal with family. The holidays are fast approaching! American Thanksgiving is in a week and then it’s time to prepare for the Christmas season, and with that comes lots of reunions with people, food, and maybe pounds. The average American gains 1-2 pounds over the holiday season, consuming around 4,500 calories from Thanksgiving dinner alone, not including breakfast, lunch, or any snacks. Those pounds gained over the holiday season also tend to stick around instead of going away once life returns to normal, so they can add up over time. It’s not too much if you look at it one year at a time, but it can add up, and if you’re trying to lose weight it can be a cause of emotional distress. And the holiday season shouldn’t be a time to be upset! So I’ve written this series to help you get through the holidays as best as you can.

Part 1: Unwanted Family Comments

If you’re like me, and like most families, you probably get a few unsolicited/unwanted comments about your life over the holidays. I’m a college student who is married to her high-school sweetheart and getting a degree in screenwriting. You can just imagine all the questions this seems to warrant. But on top of all that I also get comments about my weight.

I’m too skinny so I need to eat more. Have another roll! Are you sure you don’t want seconds? You get the biggest slice of pie! Have another! Of course you’re cold! It’s because you’re so skinny. If you ate more you wouldn’t get so cold.

And if you’re trying to lose weight you’ll get all kind of compliments about how much you’ve lost and that’s great. Say thank you and try to move on, because chances are that whatever comes after that won’t be so nice. They probably won’t be on purpose or intended to be rude, but I know they sometimes can come off that way. People just don’t know how to comment on weight because of their own insecurities. Maybe you’re successfully losing weight and they can’t even find the motivation to start. That’s their problem and not yours. Don’t let it get to you if they say anything rude. They might not even realize that what they said was inappropriate. If they mean it as a compliment say thank you and strike up a new conversation immediately.

“Thank you! How’s Jane doing with her science project?”

If it does get out of hand and you feel the urge tell them politely that you’d like to talk about something else and/or that the weight subject is off the table.

When it comes to your choice of what you put on your plate that is your plate. Any comments on what you’re eating are no one else’s business. Feel free to handle this politely in any way you’d like, but try not to let it get to you. Know that however you look and however you eat you are taking care of yourself and that is all that matters.

I don’t mean to make it sound like the holidays with your family are going to be a battlefield of comments you have to try to dodge. It’ll probably only last a couple minutes and then the fun and happy holiday memories can begin. The key things are to smile and nod when someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, maybe let them know you’re not okay with those comments, and then enjoy the meal and stories of Thanksgivings and Christmases past while you create new ones.

That’s all for Part 1. Part 2 will be coming out soon and it’s all about healthy eating for Thanksgiving! Subscribe and follow my Facebook and Twitter to be alerted when I post the next part of this series.

What is the worst comment you’ve ever gotten about your healthy lifestyle from a friend or family member?

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