Christmas counts more [than calories]

I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas filled with family time, relaxation, presents and – obviously – food.

Christmas card

Spending most of the time from Sunday afternoon to yesterday evening unplugged reminded me on how important it is to focus on yourself [and your family, obviously]. Not comparing to how much other people exercised or ate on Christmas. That’s not to say I didn’t appreciate the blogging community for all of the great inspiration, motivation and support it has provided me with already. Still, I am somebody who tends to compare too much and get unhappy with myself. That’s why this break was helpful for me.

Christmas 2012 1

For some, exercising and watching what they eat is the right thing to do during on Christmas is the right thing to do. For me, though, it was important to learn and do the exact opposite. Letting go of old habits and daring to allow myself to eat what I wanted and rest. Take a deep breath and relax.


Resting in front of the chimney – if only my parents had one, too …

Regarding my Christmas bucket list I wish I could say I had done better but I’m trying to see the small accomplishments I did achieve.

No, I wasn’t able to truly let myself have everything I wanted. But I did enjoy a full-on Christmas Eve dinner with vegan roast, potatoes, a massive pile (times ten) of my Grandma’s red cabbage, vegan cream sauce and Brussels sprouts. It might not seem like a huge accomplishment to some but:

It was my first time having a dinner fully prepared by others including a homemade roast by my sister. Plus a sauce that – according to her, not me, as I didn’t watch the preparation (yay!) – had a huge amount of vegan butter even compared to her standards.  Not knowing about the ingredients before I let myself have plenty of it and was delighted in every bite.

Christmas dinner

Sorry for the blurry pictures and using flash but everybody was about to start eating so I had to be quick. Having dinner at around 7 PM doesn’t exactly provide the best natural lighting, either.

Christmas 2012_Dinner

Don’t worry: This was just my first plate. I had seconds (and thirds) of everything.

If you were wondering about the title: It indicates the – for me – biggest achievement. I didn’t measure any foods excluding my breakfast grain mix that I’d bagged at home for two days rather than the one I’d planned. Yes, there was a scale at my aunt’s but I had made the promise to myself so I stuck with it. Guess what? It was easier than I thought. After years and years of counting I obviously still had a rough estimate but was able to push the amount aside quickly each time it arose. While I definitely didn’t eat as normal as everybody else I moved forward after all. Not letting numbers dictate my choices was a freeing experience.

Admittedly, I went back to counting – but still rather roughly – when returing to my parents’ house yesterday. But at least now I know I can do without it and will try to regularly have a non-counting day and hopefully working up from there.

Sing, relax and enjoy.

Sing, relax and enjoy.

What I can say for now, though, is that Christmas really does count more. Being with my family counts more than going for a lonely run outside. Eating a dinner like everybody else counts more than filling up on piles of steamed vegetables. Christmas is meant as a time of thankfulness and spending time with the ones you love – and I am thankful for my family more than I could ever be for any present. Seeing all of my family surely was my favourite part of the holiday.

How was your Christmas?

What did you have for Christmas dinner?

Was there any part of the holiday you especially enjoyed (family tradition, food, a certain present, …)? For me, going to the Christmas church service with my aunt and uncle while everybody else prepared dinner was special. My family doesn’t usually go and it truly enhanced the Christmas spirit. Also, the pastor’s message made me reflect on the past year and get even more appreciative of all I’ve blessed with.

17 thoughts on “Christmas counts more [than calories]

  1. Alexandra says:

    YOU. ARE. A ROCKSTAR. Oh my gosh girl you should be so so so proud of your accomplishments!!!! The fact you buckled down, didn’t count, and did what was right for you in a world where “losing weight, feeling guilty and eating right” on the holidays is the norm, makes me SO happy! 😀 Talk about inspirational! And the cooler thing–you didn’t allow ED to ruin your time with family and were able to witness your own strength coming to the forefront. That right there is the best feeling EVER 🙂
    Keep up the fabulous work my friend, you are amazing!

  2. Kat says:

    This post makes me so happy,dearest,I cannot put it into words.
    I am super proud of you,but what shall I say? – I KNEW you’d be able to do it,I just knew it! 😉
    I understand what you mean saying you tend to compare yourself to others if spending too much time reading blogs and stuff. Same goes for me,so NOT reading as many WIAW-posts and deleting some pretty… well,triggering blogs from my reader definitely helped me A LOT.
    However,once again: AWESOME JOB! 😀

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Thanks, Kat! It made ME happy to hear about how good Christmas went for you.

      I agree on keeping my attention from triggering blogs. There are many better and motivating ones out there that are welcome to stay :).

  3. Carli says:

    It is so wonderful to hear that you were able to push aside your ED thoughts and enjoy Christmas! That is certainly not an easy task, so you should be very proud of yourself. I agree that it helps a lot to focus on the important aspects of Christmas, like enjoying family time, counting your blessings, and just relaxing. Also, the no counting thing is something I have been working on as well. I find that I am actually very accurate when estimating portions (probably from the years of measuring), but I just don’t trust myself sometimes. I am guessing it is the same way for you. But I agree that it feels VERY freeing to be able to just eat without measuring/counting, and I’d love to be able to do that all the time. We will get there someday, I know it. Keep up the great work!

    P.S. Your Christmas Eve dinner sounds (and looks) super delicious!!!

  4. Irina @ Chocolatea Time says:

    Congratulations! It’s the little things that count (no pun intended), and you took huge strides on Christmas by not counting calories. Habits, whether big or small, are always hard to break and you should be incredibly proud of yourself for stepping away even for a day. It showed you your inner strength and ability to rise above counting and enjoying life as is. It will be difficult (old habits die hard, after all!) but as long as you keep pushing yourself out of that calorie-counting zone day by day, it will get easier! I wish you only the very very best and hope that you will continue to work towards your goal 🙂

  5. Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie says:

    Awww I’m so proud of you that you were able to enjoy food that others had made for you and you were able to forget about counting calories for the day! I know it’s incredibly hard not to count calories or worry about ingredients and nutritional content in food but the more practice you get at doing it, the easier it will be in the future to just eat to fuel yourself and enjoy the food.

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      You’re totally right about this. Really, it’s all about the practice. While the food might not have been overly healthy in terms of nutrition the fact it was prepared with love by others mattered a lot more. I don’t regret eating it a single bit.

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