Have yourself a merry… sugar-free Christmas #weightloss #healthylifestyle #positivechange


Christmas presents all sorts of challenges for those of us in the midst of a healthy weight-loss campaign.  This is my second such Festive Season…

This time last year, I was looking forward to my first healthy lifestyle, sugar-free Christmas with some trepidation, wondering how I would cope. I’d been working on my mental attitude and better dietary and exercise habits for four months and by then I’d lost 33 pounds – not bad going, if I say so myself. But… Christmas is Christmas, and when it comes to food, the temptation factor is off-the-scale.

Checking back in my food diary, I can see I ate well on Christmas Day:

  • For breakfast: Homemade Bircher muesli; a slice of cheese
  • For lunch: Six mini savoury oatcakes with cream cheese and smoked salmon; Roast turkey with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and pancetta, broccoli, carrots, red cabbage
  • Evening: A little leftover smoked salmon
  • Drinks: Black coffee (copious!), a half-glass of Prosecco; a half glass of red wine.

But there was self-restraint too, I’m happy to report; I didn’t partake in Christmas pudding and mince pies, with their layers of sugar, fat, alcohol, sugar and more sugar. Nor did I drink except with the main meal. Nor, so it seems, did I trough my way through mountains of nibbles whilst watching TV. You know, that mindless time when you seem to have one hand permanently in the confectionary tin or the bowl of nuts; when you say yes to everything – sandwiches and dates, canapés and cake, jelly fruits, chocolates and a tsunami of the sort of icky, syrupy snifters you never partake of at any other time of the year, but somehow can’t get enough of at Christmas – even when your stomach is fit to burst.

My Christmas Day 2015 was still a good day’s eating by anyone’s standards (and cooking too – for it was me taking care of the day’s big feast for the family). My diary says I even made time for a good walk; 50 minutes, first-thing, whilst it was still dark outside.

The rest of the week involved a couple of meals out and, as far as I can make out, an ocean of turkey and vegetable soup.  But at the end of that week, I’d lost weight – an unexpected but joyous 1.7 pounds.

A few things have occurred to me as I look back. I was thoroughly in-the-zone then, keeping an uncompromising tight rein on my eating, planning all meals and being rigorous about regular exercise – even on Christmas Day. I know I’ve become a little more lax lately on both food and exercise fronts. I know this is why my weight loss has levelled off at 70 pounds, and I’m struggling to get it moving again.  To be perfectly frank, there are too many days when I excuse myself from exercise, too many sneaky (though still sugar-free) little treats, and some questionable portion control.

So I’m reapplying myself, as of now. I still have at least 30 more pounds to go and I’m eating for maintenance at the moment, not loss. Keeping on keeping on is the only way to succeed at this game; one day at a time, one pound at a time, until it’s all gone.

When I reflect on my first healthy lifestyle year and reconnect with all the benefits I’m already enjoying (here and here), I kick myself for stalling, as my life, health and wellbeing can only go on improving as I shed the remaining excess. But I’m also going to congratulate myself for having made it this far, because beating-up on yourself, anything more than momentarily, just isn’t helpful.

Happy Festivities and…. THANK YOU!

So it only remains for me to wish all readers and followers of my humble blog every happiness at this festive season, good health and contentment – and success in pursuing your goals, whatever they are – in 2017. Thank you all so much for reading my blog posts, being interested in my progress, commenting, supporting and encouraging me throughout the year.

YOU have all been the wind beneath my wings throughout 2016.

Author: Jools

Abundant, Bold, Confident, Determined, Empathetic, Forthright, Grumpy, Healthier, Individual, Just me, Kind, Loving, Mellifluous, Natural, Optimistic, imPatient, Quirky, Real-world, Single-minded, unTreatable, Unwound, Verbal, Wilful, eXtraordinary, Young and old, Zero-tolerance.

8 thoughts on “Have yourself a merry… sugar-free Christmas #weightloss #healthylifestyle #positivechange”

  1. I’ve been in Thailand for the past few months– lived here for 10 years– and I find it is very difficult to maintain a proper diet. Of course the food is good and mostly nutritious, but Thais put sugar in everything. On the other hand it is so peaceful and stress free here, for me, that I think these two thing counter one another. Merry Christmas, Jools

    1. Hey Dannie! What a joy it must be, to pass weeks at a time in Thailand. For sure it must disrupt healthy habits, but maybe sometimes you can let that worry go, because all life is about balance, isn’t it? And stress is such an important feature influencing health, that if you can be somewhere which nurtures your soul, that can only be a good thing. Merry Christmas to you too, Dannie.

    1. I couldn’t agree more; good health isn’t just about the food. Though for now, my ‘moderation’ won’t include added sugar for a while. Thanks for joining the conversation. 😊

  2. Heres to a very Merry Christmas and healthy/happy New Year. I certainly admire your healthy lifestyle, so do keep up the good work. I definitely need an inspirational role model at present having had some Toblerone and Lindt festive treats already! All best wishes, Brian

    1. And here’s wishing you the same, Brian. My healthy lifestyle has taken a bit of a blow this week, as I’m suffering a nasty winter virus, my first since I began those healthier ways!m. Feeling groggy, claggy and generally a bit seasonally compromised. So the TWO boxes of chocolates I’ve been given (lovely, thoughtful neighbours who don’t know I don’t eat chocolate) are no temptation at all! Enjoy those festive treats, but don’t forget that most useful word… moderation.

  3. I applaud you for looking back and seeing how far you have come rather than beating yourself up too much for any slip-backs. We are all humans and need to recognize our imperfections, yet still move forward with our positives. Well done for a great year and may this continue throughout 2017.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I’ve had a challenging Christmas (mostly due to being unwell with a winter virus) but am back on-track already. Only 2 pounds above my lowest weight, I haven’t been knocked so badly off course that I can’t recover within a week. The healthy weight loss train rumbles on!

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