Used to be that the holiday season started with Thanksgiving and ended with New Year's. And that time could be challenging from a weight loss perspective because of extra social events, work events, extra baking, and edible gifting. But within that time frame, there were only a couple of actual holiday celebrations - just a few days within a six week period. But those few days came to signal a surrender of sorts - people just throwing up their hands and saying "fill them with cookies and stuffing and pie and roast beast!!". Because truly, it's only a few days of actual holiday time, and doesn't have to mean losing six weeks or so of momentum and progress and hard-won habits.
But now it seems like people start the holiday season with Halloween, which means throwing away another couple of weeks at least, simply because there's one day that's candy and treat focused. Some of it is the insanity of the retail world, I think. I was shopping at BJs this past week and was surrounded by Christmas decorations - I had a hard time finding any Halloween items. Same at Hallmark - all the Halloween stuff was on clearance to make way for the Christmas stuff. And Halloween hasn't even happened yet!
I made a decision when I started Weight Watchers again this last time that I wouldn't write off the last two and a half months of the year to the holidays, figuring I could just start again in January. Because I can gain a lot more weight in two and a half months than I can take off in twice that time, even if I kill myself at the gym. No candy bar, cookie or pie is worth it. I can handle a couple of days that are food-oriented without tossing out the entire last quarter of the calendar. I can take this challenging time of year into account and set my goals more reasonably. Because I am stronger than any piece of candy, any cake, cookie, pie or even roast beast!