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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Premium 468x60
    December 5, 2003    PAGE 4       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

Featured Articles
 Light The Lights!
 Breaking Bread
 Managing Christmas Stress
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Holiday Wishes
 An English Christmas
 The Leaves of Wrath
 Confessions of a Gift Giver
 Holiday Cookies!
 Travel: Wading Thru Venice
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Holiday Treats or Traps?



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Atkins Crunchers


              Should I Eat the Mashed Potatoes? by Jo Cordi Sica
                                  "I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have
                                     than to have things I am not able to appreciate."
                                                                              Elbert Hubbard

With the impending holidays comes the question of whether to stay "on plan," or indulge in typical Holiday fare. This often becomes a firestorm debate, and seems to inspire a great deal of righteous indignation. I am rather opinionated on most things; indeed, I have strong feelings about what is best for me during this time of feasting and celebration. Nonetheless, I fail to see how this topic merits a great moral debate. For heaven's sake, it's only food!

Some people will decide to set aside their low-carb lifestyle for the holiday, and then get right back on plan the next meal. If you are able to do this, more power to you. I know several people who have done so, and experienced no ill effects. I also know many people who intended to set aside their plan for only one meal, and ended up staying off plan for months - sometimes gaining back all the weight they had previously lost.

Ultimately, each of us has to make this decision based on an honest assessment of ourselves. For the record, I will be staying with low-carb choices throughout the holiday season. My choice is neither right nor wrong; it is simply the choice I am making.

I have considered both sides of the debate. From a purely logical standpoint, I cannot see any reason to change my eating habits, simply because there is a holiday involved.

Of course, I didn't always think this way. Historically, I looked upon holidays as a time to indulge in rich, decadent foods without feeling guilty. The rest of the year was about dieting and being deprived; holidays were an excuse to enjoy those delights that seemed far too sinful the rest of the year.

Well, times have changed and I am no longer deprived. I enjoy rich and satisfying food every day. Since I don't consider my way of eating a diet, and I am quite happy with the variety of food I eat daily, what would be the point in doing anything differently? I already eat luxuriously; bread, potatoes, and sugar seem to pale in comparison to my typical fare. Case in point: I am nibbling on a slice of chocolate fudge peanut butter pie as I write this article. What could be better than that?

This is not to say I won't splurge a little. I certainly won't be counting my carbs or measuring my food. But neither will I be gorging myself. Food no longer has control over me. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am sated. In my mind, there is nothing I cannot eat, but there are many things I choose not to eat. For me, using the holidays as an excuse to eat sugar and starch would give food far too much significance. I refuse to relinquish my power to a loaf of bread or a slice of pie. As my young nephew once proclaimed: "I am the boss of me!"

In all fairness, I must admit that I learned my lesson the hard way. Years ago, I lost a great deal of weight, and kept it off by keeping my carb intake at a moderate level. Last year, I made the mistake of enjoying too much Halloween candy. The result was a full-scale binge that lasted well into January. I suddenly found myself 35 pounds heavier, and unable to control myself. It took me twenty attempts before I could get back on track with a low-carb eating plan. I strived to get back into the groove by New Years Day; it was January 20 before I made it through one day of induction.

On that day, I decided that this is the last time I will ever lose weight. I vowed to make this a permanent way of life, and find ways to make it a lifestyle I enjoy enough not to abandon. Apparently, I have succeeded, because I just don't miss any of the "old food." Unlike some, I have no profound sense of sadness at the thought of never eating potatoes or bread again. In fact, both of these items will be on my table during the holidays; I'll just be choosing other tasty morsels.

While there will be plenty of delicious cuisine to enjoy, I am looking forward to all the aspects of the holidays. After all, the holidays aren't just about the food; they are about family, friends, the spirit of the season, and counting our blessings. When I count mine this year, I won't forget my low-carb lifestyle, or the journey that returned me to it.

Come January, I won't be hiding under baggy clothes, trying to camouflage the extra pounds - there will not be any. I will not experience any self-loathing or regret, because I will stay in control.

Best of all, I'll be able to take advantage of all the after-holiday sales. While everyone else is picking through the larger sizes, I'll be at the other end of the rack, secretly smiling at all the choices still available in the smaller ones. That thought alone is enough to keep me on plan.

                  Jo Cordi Sica,
                  SPHR Organizational Development and Training

Copyright © December 2003  Jo Cordi Sica and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2003  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury

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