After a very busy start to the autumn calendar my thoughts have been increasingly turning to the early winter months and all the special holiday festivities that come with it.
For many people, these holidays are a great time to get together with friends and family in order to have fun, catch up, or simply enjoy each other’s company and be grateful for everything they have received and the good health they enjoy. Whether it’s a religious festivity like Hanukkah or Christmas, or any other reason to come together like Hallow’een and Bonfire Night, the bottom line is to enjoy it as one.
However, trying to strike a balance between being a gracious guest and managing a diet or bariatric regime is difficult at times. It can be a social and dietary tightrope for weight-loss surgery patients, whether they choose to host it for friends and family, or to attend as a guest for the same.
In a way, attending a celebration as a bariatric is similar to attending as a person with food sensitivities and allergies. For, despite all the changes in technology and education (and in the media?), some people who are unable to eat foods like dairy or gluten are often questioned about how and why they abstain from certain foods and specific meals. It’s very likely that they have one well-meaning friend, just like we have, who absolutely insists on them eating something and that “one bite won’t hurt at all” without really knowing the full impact one bite might have!
While many people do ask questions without malicious intent, it can be very stressful for the person on the receiving end to be subjected to the questioning over and over again. Sound familiar?
My quest therefore this year is to gently inform and educate those around me about bariatric eating and drinking, so that the holidays are enjoyed by all, no one feels left out and no one feels stigmatised by their choice to have surgery and their on-going need to eat well and healthily.
How shall I do this? Well I have a busy round of Support Group meetings to attend where I shall chat about mindfully preparing for such holiday festivities; plan ahead so that I don’t get caught out with poor food, present and social event choices myself and pass on some of my great ‘finds’; and finally bring you over the coming weeks lots of special food ideas (some traditional and some new) that will help you sail through the festivities.
This year I am therefore starting early with my plans … it will be a first! Food suppliers, supermarkets and chain stores have already started to stock their aisles and on-line sites with their specialities, so I have made a start to make great use of many of their early-bird offers. Three for the price of two offers particularly appeal.
My first stop is to M & S not just for their great food (you know I like their ‘Fuller for Longer’ range) but for some potential gifts. I like the look of the 2014 Kitchen Organiser (£10) for meal planning (but could also be used for weight-recording and bariatric up-coming appointments). That’s a whole host of people ticked off my to-buy-for-list!
The bariatric cookery kitchen here will welcome some Frankincense & Myrrh diffuser sticks (£15) or room spray at £6 (especially after a heavy day with the garlic) and I know countless others who will adore them too, so more ticks.
And finally, for the office party and group support meeting get-togethers, I shall load up with their special Christmas Paper Plates pack (8 for £1.50) which everyone will agree is a great find since it dispenses with the washing-up!
It’s a great start….