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Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

10:08 am - Posted by Gregg

This label represents the only diet plan you need throughout the holiday season. Relax. Revise. Enjoy (in moderation) — and be good to yourself, mentally. (And know that I wish you a very Happy Christmas, New Year and “all of the above.” Thank you so much for being part of the Just Stop Eating So Much family! Here’s to a great 2016 for us all!)

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December 22, 2015

Making a small difference

10:24 am - Posted by Gregg

Want to make a small difference this Christmas? This is one of my favorite ways to help the less fortunate, the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more actual joy to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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11:59 am - Posted by Gregg

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved the season of fall most of all. Perhaps because while living in New England as a child, the changing leaves offered a range of beautiful colors. Or maybe it was the crisp Northeast sweater weather (that demanded clothing that hid some of my figure flaws — which I was admittedly concerned about as an extremely overweight kid). Or it could have been that autumn acted as an annual sign that Christmas was on its way. Whichever. Suffice it to say, I consider autumn to be a golden time of year.

Today, living in Los Angeles, there’s not a lot of autumn to be had. Sure, there are a few maple trees (with changing leaves) in Beverly Hills. And every now and then we get a cooler day that requires a sweatshirt in the morning hours (before the temperature gives out to LA’s warm sunshine by noontime). Thus, one must be creative when it comes to feeling like it’s autumn. Some of you may be familiar with warm-weather-autumn drill: plastic fall-leaf wreath hanging on the door, a mini Styrofoam pumpkin or two lying around the house, an autumn-scented candle burning in the evening (even as the air conditioner blows), etc.

Those who know me won’t be surprised that one of my go-to items for a “hit” of autumn is an edible (well, drinkable) one. For years now, I’ve been addicted (potential 12-step-group-addicted) to Pumpkin Spice Lattes (AKA PSL or, as I refer to them, “fall in a cup”). And as someone who once weighed over 450 pounds, I was risking the encouragement of my past food addiction by ordering an extra large size and drinking down every last autumn-y (read: sugary) drop.

I was not only committed to downing this drink throughout the fall season, but virtually every day of the fall season. Needless to say that even before Thanksgiving, the results of this annual endeavor would start to show themselves in the form of tighter jeans and more pronounced love handles. In other words, my love of fall was adding up (calorie-wise) fast.

Thus, one sad day, I decided I had to abandon my love of “fall in a cup” and simply make do with the plastic wreath. But as usual, the denial of something led to the over-consumption of it. It did not matter that I’d lost over 250 pounds of excess weight over a decade before and had kept it off ever since. When it came to “fall in a cup,” I was going down. Or my weight was going up as it were. As usual, denial led to obsession and obsession led to… Well, let’s just say I feel like I have personally funded many of the more recent coffee places that have opened up in my area.

Then I hit upon an amazing, original, highly innovative idea… To treat these magical and seductive Pumpkin Spice Lattes as a treat (yeah, that’s right — categorize them in an appropriate way). I decided I was going to indulge — but was going to do so in a fashion that wouldn’t harm my psyche or extend my waistline.

So I blew out my autumn-scented candle, hopped over the Styrofoam pumpkins, trotted past my plastic wreath, and marched into my nearest coffee joint, where I ordered up a small Pumpkin Spice Latte.

As I pressed the smaller sippy cup-like lid to my lips, I wondered if I’d get the same autumnal rush that I did from lifting the larger size to my mouth. And, to my surprise, I did. The smallest Pumpkin Spice Latte was just as delicious, just as tasty, just as soothing — and offered just as much “fall in a cup” as its giant predecessor had before it. In fact, I didn’t even suck out the last sip like I usually did with the larger size (as if I were Sandra Bullock’s astronaut character in Gravity, trying to get a last gasp of oxygen in space). Instead, I enjoyed most of the drink, decided I was finished and tossed it.

Of course, the next day, I wanted another one. And here’s where I tried out another innovative tactic. “Sure, Gregg… You can have another one… Next week.” Yeah, that’s right. I acknowledged I wanted it, let myself know when I could have it, and then gave myself several days to anticipate it. And when that “lucky day” rolled around, I got another small one and enjoyed every reasonable ounce.

It turns out what I’d always heard was true: Less is more. And I marvel at this fact as much today (at around 175 pounds) as I did when I weighed over 450 pounds. I guess there will always be lessons we can learn and new adaptations we can make (to the way we consume treats) no matter what end of the scale we find ourselves at. And this is good news. Because it means we can treat ourselves, when appropriate — as long as it’s with portions that are equally appropriate.

Now, one should keep in mind that even the small Pumpkin Spice Latte has a bunch of calories in it (even when made with 2 percent low-fat milk, as I have mine made with). But when these approximately 200-300 calories are consumed just once a week (or even less often), they’re not going to hurt your weight loss or weight maintenance plan one bit. Again, it’s all about moderation. This means not denying one’s self as much as it does not overdoing it. (Win-win for “moderation,” y’all.)

At long last, my love of autumn (and devotion to “fall in a cup”) can be celebrated without worry — even here in hot n’ sunny Los Angeles. And this means whatever food or treat obsessions you have can be handled in the same way. Less is more. But not too much less. Get it?

(Feel free to insert your own seasonal “horn of plenty” reference here.)

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December 19, 2014

To give is to get

1:10 pm - Posted by Gregg

This is one of my favorite ways to help the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more JOY to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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December 18, 2013

To give and to get

12:41 pm - Posted by Gregg

Looking for a way to get more from giving this year?

This is one of my favorite ways to help the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.

By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.

If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more JOY to the world! (Fa la la la la!)

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