How Will I Shed the Holiday Weight?

No doubt about it, I enjoyed the end-of-year holiday foods this year! My wife, Caryn, and I suspended our 5-2 intermittent fasting regime and shelved the “drinking on weekends only” plan on December 21.

Now, with at least a dozen mince pies hanging around my waistline, it’s time to get back on track and shed the Christmas kilograms.

I Know From Past Efforts What Works for Me

Losing weight — particularly in the middle of the cold, dark winter — is never an easy task. It can be even more difficult if we try to take it off in nearly the same amount of time it took to put it on. Somewhere around the 18th or 19th year of life, that option got taken off the table.

One good part of having a couple of years of healthier eating and physical activity under my (now much tighter) belt, is that I know what works for me. It was working before the holiday excesses, and I’ve no reason to think that it won’t work after.

Quick Fixes Are Less Effective

Healthy living with multiple sclerosis (MS) isn’t about drastic course changes after the storms of an exacerbation or a couple of indulgent weeks push us off our intended track line.

As I learned in my first career as a ship’s navigator, minor corrections that get us back on course safely and in a responsible time are far more effective and efficient than major, knee-jerk changes which take time and energy away from reaching the eventual destination.

I’m taking a measured approach to my course changes.

First, I’m not getting on the scales until I’m a week or so back on my old routine. As I mentioned, my belt has already told me that damage was done. I don’t need a number to tell me how far over the line I’ve gone in the past fortnight. My trousers have spoken.

I’m Setting Long-Term Goals

The long-term goal is to continue reducing my weight at about the same pace it had been coming off before the season of three (or more) starches per meal and tiered trays of irresistibles hanging about the house.

So I’m looking at the long game. It went on over a couple of weeks, it’ll come off in about three times that. Then I’m back on track. I’m not going to beat myself up for enjoying good food over another pandemic-restricted holiday season.

It’s all about averages. Over the past couple of years, I have averaged taking off about a kilogram per month. Some months more, some less, but on average, I’ve been maintaining that pace.

I’m not an immediate satisfaction junkie. I don’t find it necessary to get on the scales every day, or ever week for that matter. About every four weeks or so I’ll pop on, if I’m feeling it, to check my progress. How I feel is more important than the number reflected anyway.

Know Your Limitations and Your Strengths

Age isn’t on my side. I’m well 2 ½ times beyond that age when it comes off as fast as it goes on. Understanding that age and heavy steroid use for my disease have changed my metabolism is important.

So, too, is the knowledge that I’m shedding the extra weight at a manageable pace using healthful techniques.

Let’s cut ourselves some slack if you’re spending the opening weeks of 2022 trying to get rid of a bit of extra weight. Slow and steady wins the race. Find something that will work for you long-term. And remember to be kind to yourself. We can do this.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.



My book, Chef Interrupted, is available on Amazon. Follow me on the Life With MS Facebook page and on Twitter, and read more on Life With Multiple Sclerosis.

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