Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Struggles.

I've never been a big eater when it comes to holiday meals. One scoop of the things I like (I'm a picky eater), one plate only, and I'm good. Beyond good. Generally full and, sometimes, too full.

I love to bake. Even just putting little things together is fun for me. It's one of my hobbies. Last year, I was crunched for time so my Mom did most of my holiday baking. This was not only super helpful but I didn't have those temptations in my house. Instead, they inhabited hers for a few days.

This year is different. This is not going well for me.

The tiny temptations are becoming giant monsters. Or at least it feels like it to me. I have not overindulged or eaten an entire batch of anything, like some people do. However, from my perspective, the little I've had is too much.

How much is too much depends on the individual. My "too much" is probably lower than the average person's "too much."

Keep this in mind as you read.

I have not yet been found sitting on the floor, bowl in hand, and batter spread across my face. No, no, no. The dangerous territory I'm in is not quite that extreme. A few years ago, maybe. Now? NO WAY.

Last night I made some fudge (super easy recipe, by the way; and thanks to Sarah at Sarah's Deals!). I sampled a tiny bit to make sure it was good, but that was it. The rest went into containers and into the freezer until it comes out this weekend travels from my home to its new home. Out of sight, out of mind. Plus, I'm viewing it as a gift so that makes me less willing to want to sneak a piece. I like to think of it as taking someone else's present from under my tree, opening, and keeping it for myself. That's not going to happen. It's easy to resist when I look at it that way.

Temptation one? Resisted. Take that!

I also made some of those pretzels with a Hershey kiss melted on it, and topped with an m&m. I honestly cannot remember what they're called, if there is a name. Those were also easy to make, and really it was a matter of assembly more than anything. I ate two of them. Really not that bad, considering that's not even half a serving of kisses, m&ms. or pretzels. They're good, just so you know. I love the sweet and salty mix. It's definitely one of my favorite taste combinations. Those also went into containers and into my freezer.

Temptation two? Resisted. I'm on a roll!

My third treat won't be baked for another day or two. I'm making some peppermint whoopie pies. Those will be really easy for me to resist. They're large, so it's not like one tiny thing can lead to seventeen more. I look at them and see fat and calories, before I see sweet yummy goodness. Those? Not an anticipated problem.

My problem? The leftover m&ms from the pretzel treats I made last night. Those little things are hard to resist. I'm not going to throw them away because that's just wasteful. If I take them to work, they're still in the office, and still within my reach. Well, if I get up and walk to them, but you know what I mean. Plus they're kind of difficult to share with groups.... I mean, multiple hands in one bowl... GROSS! I have a feeling if I were to take them to work, they'd sit untouched.

Also, they're little. It's very easy to eat "just one handful." This wouldn't be so bad if it was only once a day. One handful turns into three reallllly quickly.

The funny part? I have never been much of a sweet eater. I've found this with other foods and have heard it from other people too. Although things have never been favorites, they're THERE, begging to be eaten. I think it's because in the mind of someone who's focusing on being healthy, or trying to lose weight, they're taboo. They're a "bad" food. Those tiny little shell coated chocolates are mighty dangerous.

I hear them call to me. Those commercials are lies. The little guys don't want to be avoided. They actually WANT to be eaten. I hear a chorus of little squeaky little voices saying "eat me, eat me," every time I pass that container. I may only grab a few, not even half a handful. Guess what though - those little dips into the bowl add up over the course of the day. Not. Good.

Here's the odd part... I cannot eat them in odd numbers. I have this thing with even numbers. It's slightly bizarre. Or maybe a little OCD?

I'm not sure what it is but I like things to be even. Maybe it's because odd numbers don't match up. Evens do. If you have four of something, there are two here and two there. If you have five you either have two and two, with one left out, or you have two and three which is unbalanced. Maybe that's part of it. I like harmony and balance in my life. Maybe the fact that odd numbers don't allow for a perfect balance is what bothers me. Maybe it's just an odd little quirk.

Yes, I also eat them with the correct amount of colors too...So that I am eating an even number of red and green (these are the Christmas m&ms). Yes, sometimes I even count them out and match them up so that they're all in perfect harmony before I eat them.

I do not do this EVERY time. I think this is where OCD is just barely out ruled. I can easily grab a handful and toss them into my mouth, without having to arrange them. If I had OCD I couldn't function this way. It'd be too scattered for me, and would cause me to have great anxiety. Yes, I'm pretty sure I am not truly OCD.

It's a showdown between those pesky m&ms and I. Their squeaky little voices are just too cute, and too annoying, to resist. So far the m&ms seem to be winning. They haven't won overall though. If that were true, I wouldn't even be writing this. Why? They would all be g-o-n-e. I'd have eaten them already.

I am hoping that my mindfulness of the temptation will help me to resist it. I'm not saying I won't allow myself to have any, but it needs to be in moderation. I can't eat the equivalent of a bag (the small size) in a day. That is too much for me. One handful, okay, that's acceptable. If they're sitting there tempting me, it's probably better to give in and eat a few rather than wait and later eat the entire bowl (which by the way is a small bowl. There honestly are not THAT many left after making those treats).

In the end, it'll be a tie between the m&ms and I. I will have eaten them, but not at once. I will have exercised restraint. I will have been in control. I will have kept my strength to do so. That makes all the difference. Actually, that may make me a winner in the end, even though I will have given into the temptation that they have been throwing in my face.

I guess my idea of struggling is different than that of others. A few years ago, the little snacks would've been there and I would've eaten them. I would not have had a second thought about it.

I am happy that I view this little hurdle as a problem. It makes me feel good about myself. It helps me to know that while I will have my bad times, I've changed. The bad times are much less than they were in the past.

I've come a long way, baby.


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