Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Game Plan...and Giveaway!

A few of weeks ago, Lori suggested coming up with a holiday game plan - and I've been mulling it over in my head ever since. Last year, I did pretty good, diet-wise, during the holidays - I stayed on plan for the most part and continued to see a loss...until mid-December. It started with my work's Christmas dinner, where I lost my head and ordered chicken-fried steak (and ate every last bite!), continued the following week with a holiday event that my workplace hosted where homemade sweets and hors d'oeuvres were plentiful and believe me, I had plenty, to the several batches of homemade fudge that I kept making, the loaves of pumpkin bread...oh, it was bad. I had about three weeks of massive over-indulging, which resulted in a weight gain...and a self-imposed ban on baked goods for the following six months.

So. How is this year going to be different from last year? Well, for one, I figured out that when I eat sugar, it unleashes a craving in me where I just want to eat more and more. Because of that (not to mention the calories they contain), I plan on really limiting my treats. Now that's not to say I won't have any treats - oh, I will - but I am really going to try and make sure that when I have a sugar-laden goodie, it's either with or right after I've had a meal, so hopefully I can enjoy what I'm eating for the taste and not start cramming cookie after cookie into my mouth because I'm hungry.

And I'm going to try and estimate the calories (or look them up if I am able) to make myself aware of what I'm eating...we all know that the first bite of fudge tastes great, but does the second or third piece taste as good? I'm hoping that this will give me a nudge toward a stopping point.

One thing I did do well last year was to keep a veggie tray on hand all the time. It became a habit to take it out of the fridge every day in the late afternoon and everyone (my husband and sons, once they were home from college) would gather round for a healthy snack. I need to get back into the habit of keeping a lot of fresh raw veggies around - this is going on my shopping list as I type!

I'm also going to wear my jeans when I'm at home, and not my stretchy old workout leggings like I usually do, so I can feel if my waistband starts getting tight. I think just the reminder alone will do the trick - all I'm looking for is something to snap me back into the moment so that I realize what I'm eating.

I've worked too hard these past 18 months to have a massive setback over the next five weeks - and believe me, based on previous years, I have it in me to do a lot of damage, weight-wise, in the time spanning Thanksgiving and New Year's. With this week being the beginning of what I consider "eatin' season," I'm gearing up to protect what I've achieved and who knows...maybe even show a loss on the scale come January 1, 2010! Join me, won't you?

Speaking of good eats, this week I have two one-year subscriptions to my favorite "foodie" magazine - Cooking Light - to give away! That's right, two lucky readers will each receive a subscription! Why am I doing this? Well, I'm so thankful for such sweet, supporting comments on my 100 pound post that I wanted to give something back - y'all have really been so wonderful to me on my journey down the scale, so hopefully this will help a couple of you with your trip!
Feel free to ignore (as I reluctantly will) the scrumptious-looking cookies on the cover and proceed to the healthier fare inside this issue!

I have always liked Cooking Light (although I have not always followed their "eating lighter" lifestyle, as evidenced by my "before" pictures, haha) and about a year ago I finally subscribed to the magazine. What I like about it is that they show pictures of every recipe (yes, I am such a visual person that I need an idea of how whatever I'm making is supposed to look), and they include a variety of recipes, from Quick and Easy, to Make Ahead, Kid Friendly and Freezable.

This looks so good! I plan on making it one of the nights my kids are home over the long weekend...and woohoo, it's a 30-minute meal - just my speed!

To enter, just leave a comment stating the name of your first pet...and if you never had a pet (I'm sorry), what you would name one. Winners must have a U.S. address - and be willing to share it with me via email so I can get the subscriptions sent. I'll let draw the winners this Friday - yes, Black Friday, as I won't be out among the crowds! If the winner(s) doesn't contact me by 12/4/09, another name will be drawn. Good luck!

**Legal mumbo jumbo: Just to be clear, these are gift subscriptions that will be paid for by me, not Cooking Light.


  1. My 1st pet was a cat named Spazz. We called her that because she got dropped on her head as a baby and was unable to ever walk a straight line. But she could sure love ya!

    Thanks for reminding me I need a holiday plan. Sometimes (ok, all the time ) flying by the seat of my pants does not work.

  2. My first pet was a beagle named sniffy.

    I have been on my own weight loss journey for the past 4 months and I have lost over 50 lbs. I would be wonderful to have a resource for new healthy type recipies I seem to be stuck in the same diet rut with my meals because I have found food that works for me.

    I check out your blog everyday for inspiration so I am thankful for you this holiday season!

    Best wishes for a happy healthy holiday season.

  3. My first pet was a big old Alaskan Husky named Snowball. I remember him clearly although I don't remember that he followed me everywhere and wouldn't let strangers come near me, which is what my Mom says. We had to give him away when we moved but we knew the people and he had a good home until the day he passed.

  4. I consider my first pet the one that I adopted as an adult, as all the others belonged to my mom (in my mind) and his name is Milhaus. He's 9 years old this past September and getting to be a cranky old man. Long black hair and yellow eyes, he's massive. Love him to death.

  5. my first pet was names KITTY...I know how original. It was a stray cat we found and very cute.

    I loved the post today. Funny but I was planning to wear the tightest jeans I own on Thanksgiving to help keep me in check. Also i'm preparing a big veggie tray and will pull it out each day around 4pm which is when the munchies start!! I have 15 coming for the holiday.

  6. My first pet was a cat named Muffet. I still have a picture of me feeding the cat in front of the refrigerator.

  7. My first cat was named Tiger (original, huh?).

    Thanks for the heads-up on devising a plan to get through the big eating day. I know I'm going to need one too.

  8. Cooking Light is available at my public library so I won't enter the contest. Just wanted to say that your ideas and plans sound great and achievable. Best of luck this holiday season.

  9. My first pet as a kid was a cat named "Miss Kitty." She had a lot of different litters of kittens on our farm. My first pet as an adult on my own was a cat named Peaches, whom I had to get rid of after a year in order to move into an apt. I wasn't too sad, b/c she was not a very sociable. 2 years ago, I tried again, and now have 2 very sweet (but mischevious!) cats Addie and Sadie.

    I'm going to my brother's for Thanksgiving 7 hours away, and I have no idea what we will be eating. I'm not taking anything, partially b/c traveling with anything is kind of tough, and also my sister-in-law didn't ask me to bring anything! Guess I'm just going to have to try to use the "balance and moderation."

  10. Well...since my daddy is vet we have had so many animals, that I surely do not remember my first pet. However, the first one I remember was "BOOTS". What a trouble maker...barked so much the neighbors would call in the middle of the night. We had his voice box removed and 6 months later he could bark again. Once he escaped from my Aunts while we were on vacation and made it to my Grandmothers 15 miles away and 3 months later!

    Love ya, Shelley, your a machine!!!

  11. My first pet was a black cat with white feet that we called Mittens - pretty original, right ? LOL!

  12. You'll do great this season. Just think about that magazine article!!

    My first pet was my dog Bear. My dad was a cop and presumably made some "bad guy" mad and he was poisoned. But I have lots of pictures of him. He was a cutie.

  13. My very first pet was a sweet cat named Calico....cuz she was! I know, pretty original for a first grader. :) Thanks for the great post on your plans for the next 5 weeks. My mantra will be - holi-DAY, not holi-WEEk or holi- MONTH!

  14. Continuing the trend of highly original names that is amusing me greatly, my first pet was Miss Cat. She was a wonderful cat.

    I really like the way you phrased this as a game plan for the holidays. That's what I need! Something to help me make my behavior predictable and not left up to chance.

    Sometimes I do well over the holidays because I look at it as a real challenge and rise to the occasion, bringing fruit salad to parties, figuring out healthy holiday dishes. It can be done and I bet this year you will do it!

  15. I like the jeans game plan. Elastic waistbands are evil seducers, especially during the holidays.

    There were a lot of pets in my family growing up, but they technically belonged to someone else.

    My own real first pet was a russian blue persian named Baby. She was a kitten that my grandmother (who was a breeder) got from another breeder for free. Baby was ugly and skinny, her lower jaw was crooked and jutted out so she was not good breeding stock. When we got her, she was covered in crust and balding.

    I immediately took to her, bathed her and took care of her. She was my frankenstein kitty. So ugly, she was cute and very loving. I got her when I was 12. She died 11 years later, when I was 23. Loved that cat.

  16. My first pet's name was (is) Cloud. My husband brought her home as a puppy when we'd been married for about 6 months and I was quite pregnant with our first daughter.

  17. My first pets names (they came as a pair)were Amos and Birdie.

    Birdie was a big slobbery St Bernard and Amos was just a mutt but those two dogs followed me everywhere.

  18. I am not sure which "first" you were talking about--so I decided to include all of mine...My first dog was a terrier mix named Skipper. I believe that he was a rescue that was bestowed on my parents. Unfortunately, we lived on a very busy street and Skipper was found on the side of the road by my Dad one day. My first dog as an adult was a cocker spaniel mix named Lucky (yes, I have often wondered how many animals leave the shelter with such a name). He still lives with my Dad and is vibrant 10 year old pup. My first cat, was inherited from my husband, and is named Cartman. My first pet, as a married couple, is a border collie named Bally (the smartest border collie brown eye and one blue eye). He keeps us very active (probably was not the ideal breed for two couch potatoes like my husband and me) it's a win win for all of us!

  19. My first pet was a cat named Fluffy. (Original I know.) Here's the sad part. When my dad came back from being stationed on a ship he took the cat and her kittens to the pound. He said, "I hate cats." Poor Fluffy - poor me!!

    What a nice thing for you to do!

  20. Hi! I want in! The name of the first pet that I remember is Heidi....a cute little red mini doxie. :: sigh ::

    I really appreciate your generosity, Shelley. :)

    Yeah, these five weeks will be tough. But I think we've come far enough along that we might gain a pound or two, here or there, but will jump right back on the horse and exercise/diet overtime to make up for those days. And at the end of it, we both know that the self-pride from succeeding far, far outweighs and lasts longer than the tasty dishes do... ;)

  21. My first pet was named Princess...she was a Siamese and acted like a Queen :)


  22. I'm sure you will do better this year on the holiday season: you've got it in you!

    Remember: Thanksgiving is 1 day, Christmas is 1 day (or do you celebrate 2 days just like us), New Year's Eve is 1 day! So that's 3 to 4 days which leaves over 30 days when we don't celebrate anything so why should we overeat?

    I'm getting better at the holiday season every year so I'm confident I will too this year!

    Good luck and I'll be here watching you!

  23. A dachsund named Tralfamador Frieda. Some great ideas for the holidays... I too am trying to come up with A Plan.

  24. I think you have a good plan in place. I really like the idea of wearing jeans at home. I usually wear comfy stretch work out clothes, but jeans are a great idea for this week! I love Cooking Light magazine and just got a two year subscription for my bday in Sept. No need for me to be included in your giveaway. I plan on joining you losing weight this holiday season!

  25. Our first family pet was King, a German Shepherd and Brutus a minature poodle. LOL!

    I totally agree with wearing jeans at home and not stretch or sweats. That keeps me more accountable and if they get tight they are unconfortable. Agh!

  26. My first "adult" pet was a cat named Maggie. Then a dog named Fergie.

    I love Cooking Light, and seriously hope I keep my act together!!!

  27. OOO goodness Shelley what a great way to see how many people actually read your blog on a regular basis.

    My first pet was a Full bred German Shepard called Wolf. Yep, brought him home as a puppy and all 5 of us kids grew up with him until he passed away from having a 12 pound tumor in his tummy. He sure was our protector. It was hard to let him go. He passed when I was about 14 and my dad brought him home when I was a year old.

    Nice memories.


  28. I am new to your post and have enjoyed reading everything so far. You have done a remarkable job with your weight loss. Keep up the good work. I am starting my journey and hope to do as well as you have.

    My first pet's name was Pennie. She was a black & white collie who was the best dog ever. Ironically, my favorite pet now is my horse whose name is Pennie also. (named before I got her).

  29. My first pet was a cat I had with my ex-husband, Besa. My 2nd and 3rd are my current cats, George and Frank.

  30. My first pet's name was Chippy. He was a dog that belonged to my oldest brother (I was 2 or 3). When I finally got a dog of my own, at age 10, I anmed him (Ta Dah) yep, I named him Chippy. My oldest brother had married, started a family, and this, for some odd reason, made me feel closer to him!

  31. HERCULES!!!

    If I win I promise I shall cook more.

    Pinky swear :)

  32. Stubby was my first cat. He was a manx.

    Hope I win. LOL.

  33. My first pet that wasn't actually my parents was a dog named Dusty. She was awesome!

    (I bought your magazine and I loved seeing your name and your blog in is like you are famous!)

  34. My first pet was a mixed breed dog (German shepherd and wiener dog) named Fang.

    (can we enter three times?) ;-)

  35. My first pet was a little white cockapoo we called Muffin. So named after I had become enamored with the little dog that Mrs. Roper on Three's Company had. Nevermind my Muffin was a boy. Poor guy. I bet the other dogs laughed at him.

    @POD - I'd love to see what a German Shepherd/dachsund mix looks like!!! :)

  36. Love the idea of a Holiday game plan. That shall be my project tomorrow!

    And love to cook, so would LOVE to win the magazine!!

    My very first pet was a dachshund named Schatzie. We didn't keep him because he was too big and knocked my baby brother over too much. Funny that now my brother and I are confirmed dachshie lovers 50 years later (no dachshunds in the inbetween years!)

  37. My first pet's name was Cocoa. Congrates on your weight loss! I have just started my weight loss journey. To get into the middle of normal range for my height I need to loose 69 lb. I know it will be a slow process, but after reading your blog I know I can do it!


  38. My first pet's name was Rags. Well, he wasn't really my dog, he was a stray but I fed him and named him.

    I sure would love to have that magazine...

  39. My first pet was a poodle named Smokey. He was named that because of his gray, smokey color.

    He was the best dog ever! We had him for about 13 years. He died tragically when my older sister ran over him with her car. (I kid you not!)

    We've had other pets, but there will never be another one like him!

    Thanks for the chance to enter your giveaway! I love your blog!

  40. My first pet as a child was a beagle named Brandy---she was the worst pet ever! My first pet as an adult is my 2.5 year old Belgian Malinois mix named Kharma. We like to sing "Kharma Chameleon" to her a lot (you know that cheesy 80's song)!

    Shelley, I just have to tell you that you are such an inspiration to me as I begin my lifestyle changes in order to be a healthier weight. Your posts make me laugh, make me tear up and are always so real! Thank you! Happy holidays to you and yours :-)

  41. My first pet... the one I picked out and had all to myself... was a big yellow dog named Rocky. I still miss him everyday.

  42. I want the vegetable tray! Maybe have one for Thanksgiving? I've over indulged this semester. Stress eating all the time. Not good. We also don't get fresh vegetables enough, we should, but it's so expensive. The vegetable tray is a good idea.

  43. Daisy La Peau
    You look great. Thanks for the inspiration.

  44. Good for you for having a game plan for the holidays. With one in place you're sure to succeed in avoiding the extra calories! Sadly I'm not in the US but just wanted to say how generous your offer is and now I'm off to check out subscriptions for the magazine here :-)


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