I love that line. I love Robert DeNiro, and even though I hated his character in 'This Boy's Life', that line has stuck in my brain for many years and won't go away. Anyhoo, as I was elipting* at the Y the other day, it came to me that what I want to write about this week is how to get through the holiday season without overdoing it. I realize that this topic has little, if anything, to do with real estate in Northampton MA. But it does relate to entertaining and to the holidays. So let me put my nutritionist hat back on for a second and say a little something about moderation.
Before I was a realtor, I was a nutritionist in private practice for 10 years. Even though I have switched gears, professionally speaking, I still believe in, and try to live by, the notion of "everything in moderation". With Thanksgiving/Chanukah behind us, and Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice, New Year's Eve, Boxing Day (and other other important holidays that I might not be remembering) before us - many of us have at least a couple of holiday functions to attend in the coming weeks. Aside from that, anyone who works in an office generally has to navigate the mounds of chocolates, cookies, cakes and candy that tend to show up this time of year. In addition, it's getting colder outside, so we New Englanders tend to spend a lot of time inside vs. outside, and inert vs. active. With all of these factors in mind, here is my list of suggestions to enjoy the holidays without overdoing it.
1. Plan Ahead! Have an idea of how many nibbles and drinks you are going to allow yourself before you get to a party. 2 pigs in a blanket, 2 crackers with cheese, 1 small slice of pie, 2 glasses of wine, etc. The same can be said for the office - if you really want a chocolate, have one... just don't have 3.
2. Never show up excessively hungry!! If your event is in the evening, make sure to eat a sensible lunch and breakfast that day. Even a late afternoon snack will help stave off the desire to scarf down everything in sight upon arrival. Again, the same applies to the office. Make sure to eat real meals so that you aren't scavenging for cookies and chocolate in place of food.
3. Always put your food on a plate! This will both give you context about how much you are eating, may allow you to eat slower, and help discourage you from filling your plate multiple times. If you find yourself doing so, refer back to item #1.
4. Plant yourself far away from the food table. If the party is crowded, it will be harder to get there (once you have had something to eat, of course)
5. Try to stay away from the "all or nothing" mind set. "Well, I really screwed up already so I might as well have at it. I'll pull things together after the holidays". This type of thinking is what leads to unwanted weight gain. Even if you overdo it on one occasion, that does not negate more positive eating behavior before and after the event.
6. Don't drink *too* much (again, refer back to #1). Drinking lowers inhibitions and will make it harder to makes good choices.
7. Try to stick to your exercise regimen (if you have one) during the holidays. Hiking, skiing, sledding (if there is snow), even walking can take the place of the gym if you can't get there.
Those are my words of wisdom for the day. Happy Holidays!
*I must give credit to the creation of this semi-newly minted verb to my dear friend Katy Schneider - artist, musician, chef and humorist.