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This Holiday Season, Ho-Ho-Hold On and Think Before You Eat

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One for you… one for me. One for you…two for me. One for you… three for me.  That’s my philosophy on Christmas cookies.  I’ve never met a Christmas cookie I didn’t like.  I actually celebrate Hanukah but cookies, I have found, are very inclusive.

It also seems to be my philosophy on (just kill me now) Thanksgiving pie—whether it’s apple, blueberry, pecan, or yummy pumpkin pie. Mm-mmm!

I confess, I always put on a few pounds in November and December, and it’s amazing how much harder it is to get those couple pounds off then it was to put them on. But this year has to be different. This year I am training for a spring marathon, and I don’t want any extra baggage weighing me down.  

Believe it or not, runners can really struggle with their weight. If you run, it’s easy to imagine that it’s okay to eat those extra calories.  That you deserve it and you’ll burn it off.  But calories are calories and they add up way faster than you ever think.

That’s why this year I am trying to be more mindful about holiday eating.  The reality is, every single bite you put in your mouth, counts.  If it’s a little Kit-Kat that was left over from your kid’s Halloween basket (NOOOOO, I didn’t steal their candy, how dare you think such a thing, I said “IF”), or even an extra slice of pie, it counts.  If it’s just half a cookie that the best cook in the office made, it counts.  If it’s off of someone else’s plate, it counts.  You get the idea. I’m not saying you can’t have those things, I’m just saying, it all counts, so count it.

Pay attention to every single bite because every bite that goes into your mouth matters. I have good friends and family members who struggle with their weight and fall into the mindless eating trap.  They don’t know why they are not losing weight but then I see them grab a handful of peanuts or chips while they are chatting or puttering around the kitchen.  I see them finish their kid’s dinner plates. I see them grab whatever treat is on the table as they walk by.

So this holiday season, let’s all try to really THINK about every bite we put in our mouths.  Eat what you want but do it mindfully and in moderation.  Sit down and look at your food. Look at it’s shape, color and texture:  the pretty sprinkles, the creamy frosting.  Savor it.  Enjoy it.  Smile and make it count!  Let’s all do it and we’ll compare notes in January!

Guest blogger Joyce Gottesfeld, MD has been an Obstetrician/Gynecologist with Kaiser Permanente Colorado for the past 17 years. She’s a mother of three young daughters, ages 15, 12 and 8 and married to Marshall Gottesfeld, also an OBGYN in Denver. To read more of her blog check out http://bit.ly/DrJoyceBlog. Kaiser also recently introduced a new weekly podcast series of which Dr. Joyce is apart. They are are free and available through mobile devices and personal computers at Kaiser Permanente’s recently launched website, TotalHealthRadio, and will soon be available on podcast-distribution platforms such as iTunes and Stitcher.

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