Holiday Weight Gain - A gift you can certainly return

Guest Blog by: Dawn Hurlebaus

Last year in November I said to myself, “I am going to enjoy this holiday season and taste a few of the foods I normally stay away from.”  In 2 months I was up 20lbs and the weight slowly kept creeping up. It was by far one of the biggest mistakes I have made since having weight loss surgery, but one that taught me a valuable lesson.

This year I have asked Santa NOT to bring me this gift!  I would rather not spend the time in line trying to return it … if you know what I mean.  So what am I doing to equip myself this holiday?

I am choosing to move.

One of the best ways to maintain your current weight through the holidays is to exercise! Take a walk around the block with your family and look at decorations. I am trying to walk our dog more rather than ask my kids. My focus is to just keep moving.

I am choosing to make healthy food choices.

Consult with your dietitian about the right choices for your body.  I speak to mine quite often. I love that I have been able to take some of my favorite family dishes (traditional meals and desserts for the holidays) and recreate healthier versions of them. 

I remember my grandmother always picking fresh berries and putting them in sweet evaporated milk and serving as a dessert. Now, I take the same berries but put them in a little vanilla protein shake.  I serve and eat it the same way … in a bowl with a spoon.


I am ready!

Prepare yourself for social gatherings, family dinners, and festive holiday parties.  

  • Eat a healthy meal before going to holiday parties. If you’re not hungry, you’ll indulge in fewer unhealthy foods.
  • Focus on enjoying the company rather than on the food. Engaging in conversation will allow you to forget (momentarily!) about the food buffet.
  • Bring a dish. Volunteer to bring a few of your “bariatric friendly” dishes. You might surprise yourself and others. I can tell you I started doing this and now some of my healthy dishes have become the new family favorites.
  • Use smaller plates. Don’t use big plates this year.  Get smaller ones. We have a terrific resource in our community too that has beautiful tableware … Check out Livliga!

Create your own gathering

I am super excited this year to be spending time with people I care about.  We are gathering for an evening social and each of us are bringing a healthy dish along with the recipe.  When everyone leaves, not only will they have sampled tasty foods, but they will have a handful of new recipes to take home and make themselves.


Peace and Blessings,

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