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Christmas Baking Challenge

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I've said this before, but must say it again. "Hello. My name is Carol and I'm a sugar addict."

Since starting my Spark journey, I have learned so much about how to deal with that addiction. Instead of total abstinence, I've learned how to use moderation and really evaluating my desire if I do decide to eat a (former) no-no. DH has been very supportive by occasionally buying something sweet (he's one of "those" whose metabolism burns all the calories he consumes- never gains weight!) and then shares it with me. Usually one or two bites will satisfy my cravings and I can go again for a long time without a fix.

But each year at this time, as addicts must, I have totally avoided one of my former passions- making goodies for the holidays. I used to give little packages of homemade cookies and candy to casual friends/acquaintances. I was "famous" for those little masterpieces. I used to host a Christmas open house where I prepared 40-50 appetizers and desserts for large numbers of family and friends. Since we retired and moved to the mountains, that tradition has quietly faded away.

This year I wanted to revive that tradition somewhat by having two other couples over for "dessert" this weekend and having some small packages of treats to give to fellow volunteers at the library. So I used some of the great tools Spark has given me and made a plan of how I can do this without jeopardizing my health plan.

First of all, absolutely, positively, under no circumstances can I taste or sample anything while I'm creating! Oops, dropped a raisin/nut/candy/marshmallow- no, it either goes in the garbage or back in the bowl (depending on where it lands).

Once the goodies come out of the oven, no tasting to see if I did it right. I'm only making recipes that I've done for the last 40 years and if I didn't get it right by now, oh, well.

As I finish a goodie, I thoroughly clean the kitchen (burn those calories!) and put everything away- out of sight, out of mind.

I am sticking to my 6 days a week of exercising (plus all the cleaning and decorating to get ready for company!). All the baking is tiring, but it doesn't excuse me from doing my routine exercise program. After all these years, I'm finally learning that 40 minutes on the treadmill or hiking up our very steep mountain GIVES me energy, doesn't take it away.

As for eating, I haven't had a "pig-out" meal yet (nope, Thanksgiving was just another day) and don't intend to. When my DD comes on Dec 23, she and my DH are taking me out to dinner at Carrabas, but the "rule" still applies- eat half the meal and bring the rest home. Carrabas sent me a coupon for a free dessert on my birthday. Great! I'll use it and ask for 3 forks. DH will gladly finish it after DD and I take a bite or two (she has her dad's metabolism- ugh!).

So that's my plan and I'm sticking to it! I am looking forward to this Christmas more than I have in a long time (well, since cancer 4 years ago and starting Spark 3 years back). I am so grateful that I found Spark and have used it to totally change how I look at food, my body, my health, and life. Thank you Spark friends! Your love and support means so much to me. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
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  • no profile photo CD10477399
    You spit it out!! Way to go. I love all the smells and items that you only have once a year, but I am staying away. I chose carrots over cheesecake! I will have a sausage ball and I will have a chocolate covered peanut butter cracker, but not until christmas day and I will only have one. Keep up the work!
    3525 days ago
    You did wonderful! Let us know how you do tomorrow. I know you are a good cook and you are right that is probably how we get in our situations. Sounds like you have a grip on it though. emoticon
    3525 days ago
    An update to this blog-
    This plan has NOT been easy! One time time i got some "yummy" on a finger and popped it in my mouth without thinking. Now isn't that how I got in this mess to start with? But I spit it out immediately. I'm almost done with the baking and have not put one bite of it in my mouth yet. Tomorrow I will watch what I eat during the day and when my friends come for "Cookies and Coffee with Santa", I'll taste small bits of those new recipes then and see how they are!
    3527 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6687446
    Hey Girlfriend!

    What a great blog. You have a plan and it's in writing - something I definitely need to do.

    Thanks for sharing these tips and tricks with us. It's always better to be prepared.

    Have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas! emoticon
    3527 days ago
    I like your rules and sounds like you are doing a great job! emoticon
    3528 days ago
    Wow!! You are doing amazing! I am so impressed at you discipline. You rock!!
    3528 days ago
    Great Blog, and so inspiring! I made my huge gaffe over the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays and am currently scrambling to drop two more pounds so that I end 2011 where I started it, and not higher! I know, only a couple of pounds, but that's what remains of a chunk more. I scared myself good and proper, and could see the abyss of going back where I came from...

    I am proud of you, inspired by you, and glad I found you here on Spark. Because you're helping me keep my balance... and when I do my Christmas baking for my son in uniform, this post will keep me doing it right!
    3529 days ago
  • APED7969
    Great baking rules! I am going to try to stick to similar ones this year :-)
    3529 days ago
    Good for you. Sounds like you have your plans made and that you will follow them.
    Congratulations on finding a way to do this without causing problems for yourself. Cleaning the kitchen after doing the cooking sounds like a good way to get rid of all those little items that are just waiting to be tasted. Keep up the great work. Sounds like you are working towards a wonderful Christmas.

    3529 days ago
    Awesome! You'll be a "skinny minnie" in no time.
    3529 days ago
    Right there with ya looking forward to the holidays armed with all these awesome tools! And those are great ideas! I'm facing baking cookies for my in-laws today for our trip this week, and I didn't do so well not dipping into the batter when I did the test run last week ('Yote gave me puppy dog eyes and asked me to make my Sparkpeople Butterscotch Pumpkin cookies, what was I supposed to do? LOL). Today I'm determined - I'll get through it without throwing off my calories for the day!
    3529 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5645667
    Absolutely Right on!! .... Way To Go!!.

    You are truly a Sparkie!
    This is exactly what we are meant to be doing ..

    I am so proud of you!!!!! and I am so sure YOU are so proud of you !!.
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    Love and Hugs Susie
    3529 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10600301
    Good plan... great job sticking to it so far...
    3529 days ago
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