Note From Carolyn:  I have put up a special page with holiday health tips and anamazing trick for quickly arresting the common cold with a product that costs about $1.00 at any drugstore. This has really worked for our family!  Click HERE or paste in this link:  http://www.mymiracletea.com/html/healthy_christmas_2010.html

 Kyani updates:  If you love a child with Autism please do not miss the special video
I have posted and meet Dr. Gerald Edwards, a doctor in Los Angeles, talk about Kyani and his austistic son.  Click HERE or paste in this link: http://www.kyani.info/html/kyani_for_autism.html

You can now purchase a one-week trial of these life-changing health products at my website, www.Kyani.info

The holiday season is officially launched!  Thanksgiving and Black Friday are history for 2010.  Lavishly-decorated stores and radio stations that started playing Christmas Carols two weeks ago are now within a respectable calendar range of the big event.  There is no way to deny that it is less than a month away.  There is also no way to deny that most of us ate too much over the Thanksgiving weekend and we are looking for ways to quickly establish damage control before the holiday goodies and calorie-laden social events commence.

The Monday after Thanksgiving eleven years ago became life-time turning point for my own eating.  Though Weight Watchers in my late-teens had arrested what could have been extreme obesity for my entire life, my weight has been a constant challenge.  Much earlier that year I had decided that since no one seemed to notice or care about what I weighed, I no longer needed to care either.  I had abandoned the roller coaster (both the scale and attendant emotions) and  eaten whatever I pleased and put on some weight.  My biggest jeans no longer fit and a thick roll around my middle was making me uncomfortable and unhappy. So much for abandoning the emotional roller coaster. 

That Thanksgiving we’d spent $1,000 on air fare to be with my sister Susan and her family.  To justify the time and expense, I felt duty-bound to eat everything in sight and “celebrate” for the entire four days. My dear sister (we shared a twin bed until I was 10 and still talk almost every day) is a tremendous cook, never one to skimp on anything in any way.  I “celebrated” around the clock not for just myself, mind you, but for my four children as well, clearing off their plates, taking on their second portions of things they didn’t enjoy … mothers who are reading this know how it goes.  It’s not a pretty (or healthy) picture.

During the entire Thanksgiving weekend, I secretly read a popular book at the time “Make The Connection” about Oprah’s weight battles.  I vowed that if there was anything at the end of the book that was different than what I’d known was correct since joining Weight Watchers as an older teen, I’d follow it to a T.  I finished the book on Saturday night, alone up late, reading in bed with some of Susan’s delicious double-chocolate pie to keep me company.

Surprise, surprise! At the end of the book, her program was defined:  lots of vegetables, steamed or lightly cooked. Some fruits.  Limited protein.  Extremely limited refined sugars and white-flour carbs. Whole grains.  Exercise.  A healthy attitude.  A journal for accountability.  Regular weigh-ins. A friend for accountability.  Sigh ….  I had another piece of pie and went to bed.  On Sunday I ate until my stomach groaned and beyond, even eating several of the donuts we’d promised our kids when we got home.  I knew that Monday morning would be different.

And it was.  I got up and faced the scale.  It was awful, but not as awful as not knowing.

I laid out my well-known plan, again.  I cleaned out the old stuff in the cupboards, leaving a few snacks I didn’t like for the rest of the family.  I loaded up on veggies and salad fixings.  I started preparing and eating regular, healthier meals (that the family also enjoyed) instead of constantly grazing.  I stopped eating in the evening.  I got out my exercise videos and spent 15-20 minutes each day.

On a quiet place on the busy family calendar that I saw everyday I wrote my weight.  In the four weeks that followed, on the same day of the week, I’d weigh and put the number up.  By Christmas I’d lost five pounds. Not much for men and those of you who lose weight quickly, a but a huge amount for me.  I was into jeans again – not my skinny ones by a long shot – but at least pants with a fitted waistband that snapped. Not only that, I was in control, at peace and optimistic! 

In a magical, only-at-Christmas way, this accomplishment became a gift that I had given myself.   In fact, it was the nicest Christmas gift I received that year and the only one that I remember from that particular year.  Everyone knows that the best gifts are a joy when opened, and then continue to bring joy.  With that definition, it was, indeed, the best as over the next six months, I very slowly lost another nearly ten pounds, putting me at the tip-top high of the normal range for my height.  When you’re not even five feet tall, every five pounds looks like ten. This was a huge emotional and physical lift for me.  Within six months after that, I started working for Weight Watchers.  It led to the writing  and publishing of my little book (see it at CarolynAllen.net and order from Amazon), and my connection to Meridian, and the other health products that I now share online

And it all started the Monday after Thanksgiving! 

Three Quick Tricks for A Healthy December:

1:  A Wish List All Christmas shopping starts with a good list!  What do you want for a Healthy Christmas?  And what do you need to do to get it?  What I wanted was to “feel better about myself and to stop continual grazing.”  That specific, identified thought resulted in the five pounds I lost, and the ten pounds that followed in the new year.  You can print off a PDF wish list . HERE

2:  A Calendar.  It’s very important that it not be unrealistic. The best way to face reality is to get out a calendar or print the one that I have at my link HERE,  You may want to choose your day of the week weigh-in day and fill in the amount. 

Look at the many hours and days when there’s nothing in your way to limit time or circumstances for healthy meals, snacks, prep-time and  exercise.  Circle the busy days and/or gatherings so you can plan ahead.  Seeing it all on the calendars completely eliminates the false mentality “it’s the holidays so I eat” excuse.  Make a list of the foods you enjoy most and  be very, very selective (for me it’s sugar cookies with icing and a little fudge) then plan to include a small amount and identify when you’ll eat them down to the event, people you’ll be with and amount you will eat.


3:  The Perspective:  More important than even the calendar, however, is the mental and spiritual  perspective that turn the list and the calendar into the desired gift.

When Susan, my sister who I visited that Thanksgiving long ago, and I were teenagers, we had very similar tastes in jewelry, music, etc.  It was not unusual for there to be several gifts under the tree labeled “To Carolyn and Susan, From Susan” or “To Carolyn and Susan From Carolyn”  It was our way of saying, I bought it for you, but it’s meant to be shared.  We had so much fun and still do with that happy memory.

With that thought, step back for a spiritual perspective on healthy eating in December: To control what we put in our mouths, to master ourselves, is a priceless gift, not just for ourselves, but for our family and dear ones.  Self-mastery with our eating and exercise brings health, energy and peace that truly comes in no other way.  Improved health, higher energy and personal peace change relationships and how we function in the world.  As members of the church who live the Word of Wisdom, we do not drink, smoke, use recreational drugs, etc.  Yet many of us do overeat, even when we know better.  It is a matter of integrity to not eat everything that comes our way – especially in December. 

In our hearts, many of us overeat to fill empty spaces that, in truth, no food or person can fill.  Christmas is often the emptiest time of all for many of us, when hurts and life’s disappointments are magnified.  The overabundance of inappropriate food during the holidays makes turning to food instead of prayer, patience and forgiveness, even more challenging.
 
Would it not be a marvelous gift, to our Savior, He who exemplified self-mastery in every way, He who asked us to follow him, He who suffered more pain and disappointments than any of us can conceive of, to give ourselves – and Him — the gift of controlled eating and exercise this Christmas?  Would it not be a gift to think of following Him in this way as a gift “To Me and My Savior from Me”, even as Susan and I gave gifts to ourselves and each other so very long ago? 

You may even want to wrap a tiny gift and put it on your kitchen counter as a reminder of your “Come Follow Me Gift”

Though “Come Follow Me” is a sacrament song, with these holilday health thoughts in mind it becomes a personal guide and inspiration for the best Christmas gift of all: peace through self-mastery.

“Come, follow me,” the Savior said.
Then let us in this footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With God’s own loved, begotten Son.

“Come, follow me,” a simple phrase,
Yet truth’s sublime, efullgent rays
Are in these simple words combined
To urge, inspire the human mind.

Is it enough alone to know
That we must follow him below,
While trav’ling thru this vale of tears?
No, this extends to holier spheres.

Not only shall we emulate
His course while in this earthly state,
But when we’re freed from present cares,
If with our Lord we would be heirs.

We must the onward path pursue
As wider fields expand to view,
And follow him unceasingly,
Whate’er our lot or sphere may be.

For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow’rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words, “Come, follow me.”

Be sure to check out the healthy Chrismas links:
HERE or paste in this link:  http://www.mymiracletea.com/html/healthy_christmas_2010.html

and the inspiring Kyani videos and products at www.Kyani.info