Changing a Lifestyle

Did you feast at the Thanksgiving feast?

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie? Something else?

If so, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You ate, and possibly overate. You might have even partaken in a wide variety of junk foods. You know, caramel corn, candy pumpkins, your Aunt Betsy’s pumpkin bars rich with cream cheese frosting.

The day after Thanksgiving my husband had a scheduled doctor appointment, but my doctor wasn’t available to take a look at the itchy rash I had developed on my back and stomach so I ended up at the walk-in clinic. I was so itchy and miserable I couldn’t get anything accomplished – I didn’t even enjoy Thanksgiving. I was given a steroid shot and a prescription for a prednisone pack; then, Monday morning we received a call from the doctor’s office that my husband’s A1C (blood sugar numbers) had risen. Although the doctor prescribed a medication dosage increase, we decided we needed to make a lifestyle change: add more veggies to our diet, change from milk to almond milk, eat less red meat, and work to eliminate grains from our diet.

Within the week, I found I had more focus and more energy. I felt happier. AND I began to lose the weight that had been stubbornly sticking around.

Saturday night, however, we slipped up. We had been out Christmas shopping, and we were exhausted. Solution? Stop at a sub shop.

If I had questioned whether my feeling better was just a fluke, Saturday night proved me wrong. I woke on Sunday groggy and lethargic and unmotivated and craving the healthy food.

Now we are heading into the December holidays with parties and celebrations that include cookies, candies, pastries, beverages, and rich meals.

You know eating all that rich food and all those sweets not only pack on the pounds during this month but they also interfere with how we feel. We feel less energetic. We might wake up with a morning headache that is not a result of too much alcohol. We might not put on weight, but we feel bloated. We experience heartburn.

We changed our lifestyle because a diet seems to temporary. In the past, I’ve gone on a diet only to disband it when I achieved the weight I was seeking. Guess what? I put the weight back on.

My husband and I have made a lifestyle change in the way we eat. It is not easy, but we already are feeling better than we have in a long time, and I am working to create new philosophies that will make this change easier for us during the holidays and in the long run.


PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #1: If you don’t have crap food in the house, you won’t eat it, but it doesn’t mean you won’t crave it from time to time. Be strong!

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #2: As you go through the grocery store and impulse is tugging at your sleeve to buy junk food, look at it and say, “Yuck. You taste gross.” Or just, “Yuck.”

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #3: As you work to retrain your palate to eat and appreciate and enjoy healthy foods, look at those vegetables and fruits and alternate choices for grain and say, “You are good for me. I feel better when I eat you and not the junk food. I will eat you and appreciate how I feel. You are yummy.”

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #4: When you go to the store, go with a list and stick to the list. If you think you will cheat, bring along someone you don’t feel comfortable cheating in front of.

PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #5: Just because you haven’t liked a food in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t learn to at least tolerate it. Maybe you didn’t like it because of the way it was processed or cooked. Try it again. Try it prepared a different way.

HOLIDAY SEASON PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #1: At a dinner party, office celebration, or even company food fest, unless it is a “served” meal, choose foods from the buffet that are healthy for you and that fit your lifestyle. You don’t have to take some of everything.

HOLIDAY SEASON PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #2: Instead of insulting your host, choose one cookie or candy. Ask for a small piece of dessert. Ask if you can split a dessert.

HOLIDAY SEASON PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #3: Don’t say no to your favorite celebration foods. That will make you feel depressed and less than satisfied. Instead, take a taste of a small piece.

HOLIDAY SEASON PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT #4: If you have a dinner party or an office party in the evening, make sure you eat as you normally would during the day. Skipping meals so as not to over-eat does not work. By the time you get to the celebration, you feel like you are starving and you tend to eat whatever is put in front of you.

If you have made some healthy lifestyle changes this year, try some of these philosophies to get you through the holiday season.

BUT now, let me get you thinking –

How does the food you eat make you feel?

How do you avert sabotaging your healthy eating habits during the holidays?

Thanks for reading.


As you move through your day-to-day activities and responsibilities, please remember to

Live Life –

Keep Things Simple –

Look for the Positive –



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One Comment

  • Danie Botha

    Hi Rebecca,

    Guilty. But not for too long. (That is when I fall off the bus with my self-induced program.) I have a little problem with dark chocolate. Three – five g/day is good. Not more. I struggle with the latter.
    Here’s the thing with “diet”—in of itself, it doesn’t work. Sorry. However, by making dietary modifications PART of our entire lifestyle change, it becomes easier.
    You mentioned A1c—the best medicine for that: exercise. Oh, use the medications the doctor prescribed, but become seriously fit. Irrespective of age. Not only cardio, also resistance exercise which will build muscle and increase metabolic speed and help regulate blood sugar homeostasis in the body.
    It doesn’t need to be a punishment.
    It’s an exciting journey of regaining health. (Whether you’re 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90 yo)
    I think your philosophy statements are excellent and doable.
    So are your holiday season philosophy statements. If you can stick to them—kudos!
    Here’s the trick to help with that—Slowly work up to five hours of exercise a week—it burns calories and helps you make wiser decisions.
    All the best for the journey! Because it is a lifelong journey.

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