Monday, November 26, 2012

How to avoid those Christmas Cookies

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas cookies.  I love to eat them!  Oh, how I love to eat them.  But I hate that I can't control my eating once I eat them.  And I hate that I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning when I eat them.  And I hate that I gain weight when I eat them.  And I hate that my feet get achy at night and I can't go back to sleep when I eat them. I'm sure I could think of more.

So I must strategize to keep myself from eating them. As cute as those cookies are (not to mention yummy), they need to be part of someone else's holiday tradition, not mine.

Here are a few tips I've found for avoiding the Christmas cookies:

  • Out of sight, out of mind.  Hopefully they aren't even in your home, but if they are, keep them where you can't see them.  I know, I know.  You can find them if you want.  But if you don't see them, you are more likely to not think about eating them.  I don't crave what I don't think is there.  But if I open a cupboard and see some sugary treat, my brain starts thinking that's what I need.  It's funny that way.
  • Don't buy any cookie making ingredients.  I used to have to avoid going down two aisles at the grocery store -- the ice cream aisle (I can finally handle that now without any temptation) and the chocolate chip aisle  (still an issue from time to time).  I tend to tell myself myths in the chocolate chip aisle like "I'll make these for the classroom."  or "I need these for that pumpkin bread next month -- I'll just buy them now while they're on sale."  They never last until that later date and I end up either making cookies (and eating them myself) or just eating them out of the bag.  So the best thing is to win the battle in the store and you never have to fight it at home.  
  • Tell yourself a new lie.  You may think that you don't lie to yourself in the first place, so how could their be a new lie?  Well if you ever tell yourself that you'll just eat one or that the cookies won't do you any harm, those are lies, right?  Tell yourself a more helpful lie.  Tell yourself that the cookies are stale or that they have been sitting in your grandmother's freezer for months.  Tell yourself that they've fallen on the floor or that ants have been crawling all over them.  Do whatever it takes to help you resist.  I've tried these ploys.  They work!
  • Fill yourself up on something better!  There are so many yummy good-for-you foods that you can enjoy.  Eat those first!  Start associating Christmas joy with eating baked apples or pears with a bit of pumpkin pie spice on top.  Or just eat fresh raspberries or pomegranates plain.  There are so many fruits that can fill you up in body and spirit!  Oranges and tangerines are super tasty this time of year.  Read "Christmas Oranges" for a bit of perspective on how blessed we are to enjoy fresh fruits year round. 
  • Light a candle.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't need to eat around the clock.  There are other things that fill my soul like lighting a candle and seeing that flame glow.  Lighting a fire in the woodstove is something I love to do, too.  But I know that not everyone has a fireplace or stove.  Candles are pretty easy to come by, though.  Hot baths are nice, too.
I think I'll go light a candle now.  I may just take a hot bath while I'm at it.  TTFN!