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happier thanksgiving - part 2

Success after weight loss surgery includes getting rid of the diet mentality and creating a balanced life. Remember weight-loss surgery is not a diet, it's a lifestyle.

Understanding how to successfully maneuver through holiday meals is important. The key is to have a plan, create a motivator, and refocus your mindset from feelings of deprivation thankfulness. Here are my basic tips for the day. 

1. Have a plan. Decide ahead what items you will eat and what items you will avoid. If you decide ahead to take a bite or two of something you might not ordinarily have, don't condemn yourself—if you plan to have a bite or two (and no more) then you will have accomplished your goal of sticking to the plan and not feel deprived. Use wisdom when making your selections.

Food is not "bad", but don't choose something that you know that you will not be able to control. Planning a treat for yourself that is within your boundaries is wise, such as finding a holiday centered protein shake using pumpkin, coconut or your favorite flavorings. Plan a fun activity or time of fun with the people you enjoy. The key is to plan ahead. 

2. Create a motivator . A motivator will help instill your goal and help you follow your plan. Try on an article of clothing that you wore at your heaviest weight or focus on an article of clothing that you want to be able to wear. Remember how it feels to be healthier. Focus on your health or on other benefits that losing weight affords. Refocus your mind on the rewards for sticking to your plan. The key is to find something that motivates you to stick to your plan and not leave you feeling cheated or deprived.   

3. Be balanced. Don't skip meals in an effort to save calories. Deprivation and over-indulgence do not create a healthy balanced life. Eating a balanced breakfast will allow you to better control your appetite during the rest of the day. Remember lifestyle not a diet. It's not about limitations or over-indulgence, it's about balance and remaining in control. You can eat several times during the day—don't just focus on one meal. Focus on what you can have and enjoy it. 

4. Be thankful. Replace self-entitlement for gratitude and the "I can't" self-talk to "I can". "I can eat a few bites of one of my favorite foods. I can enjoy the fellowship and remain on target. I can wear a smaller size than I could wear a month ago or a year ago. I can be proud of my accomplishments. I can enjoy better health and emotional freedom. I can enjoy the day and the fellowship. I can succeed."

Plan activities that offers you satisfaction that you can do. The holidays don't have to be centered around food. Reward yourself with a home spa, a family game night, or a movie at the end of the day, reconnect with an old friend, or make a new one. It's ok to pamper yourself - you're worth it. 

Check in next week for more holiday tips!

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