I’m back from a week in Michigan for Christmas, and spent lots of great quality time with family. I was determined to stay focused on my health and fitness all week, and made lots of wonderful choices, and some not-so-wonderful ones, too. I’ll get into all of that, but first… SANTA!
That’s Lynn on the right. Our families have been friends my entire life, and a group of us went to brunch a few days before Christmas, where we saw the jolly man himself. He wasn’t too jolly with us, truth be told. Maybe he was stressed with all the toys he still had to make.
The brunch was very fancy, with LOTS of choices. My standard protocol at buffets is to scope everything out first, before even picking up a plate, so I did that, and started my meal with a big plate of salad. Then I went back and got some eggs, sausage and bacon (from the ‘breakfast’ portion of the spread), and some salmon and green beans (from the ‘lunch’ portion). I skipped the dessert table altogether, and got some fruit instead. (I’ve posted these pictures on my Twitter.)
I was very happy with how I ate at that brunch, because I didn’t eat well at all the night before. I went to a holiday party that some friends hosted, and hung out with many of the people from the wedding I went to in November. There was tons of food, and at first I stuck to my plan of trying small bits and pieces and walking away, but I went back for more and more and more… cookies, pigs-in-blankets, mac and cheese… I overate. Way too much.
But I got back on track the next day at the brunch, and had plenty of other good days, too. My mom got bagels and lox for breakfasts, but I swapped out the bagel for slices of cucumber.
I met my friend Jen for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Ann Arbor, Pizza House, but we both got salads instead of pizza. Mine had cherries and blue cheese, and honey dijon on the side, and I had them add grilled chicken.
On Christmas Eve we had Honeybaked Ham and green beans with almonds, and I loaded up on both (with a little bit of Brie cheese on the side).
The sauce on the ham is leftover remoulade sauce I made the night before, for crab cakes that my mom made. The crab cake was served over a napa cabbage salad that had apples, grapes, and walnuts, and we had shrimp cocktail, too.
I also worked out like a maniac. I went to the gym every single day except Christmas, when it was closed, and on that day, I rode my parents’ exercise bike for a half hour and helped my dad clean out a room in the basement (including ripping up carpet and padding) for about two hours.
That’s right, manual labor on Christmas! It’s because our Christmas was very low-key this year. It was just me and my parents on Christmas day, with my sister and her boyfriend joining on the evening of the 26th. So we held off on opening presents until they arrived, and had our big Christmas dinner on the 27th.
My mom and I spent most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (when I wasn’t ripping up carpet) doing a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, which we finished less than 24 hours after we started it. Teamwork!
I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but it’s a photo of a huge pile of Hershey’s products. I stared at Reese’s and Mr. Goodbar wrappers for so long that I went from craving them to never wanting to see them again!
Our actual belated Christmas Dinner was delicious. My mom made prime rib and her cheesy potato casserole dish that we have every year at Christmas, and I made broccoli. We also had some salmon, because my sister Laura doesn’t eat red meat.
There were lots of Christmas cookies, and I ate too many. Like I did a few days prior, I didn’t dwell on it, and just went to the gym the next morning and got back on track.
It was the day after Christmas that I came back and saw, on the front lawn, four deer lined up like they were waiting to be hitched to Santa’s sleigh. They had moved out of formation by the time I fished out my camera, but it was still a neat sight.
I returned to Los Angeles yesterday, and picked up JJ from the kennel where he was staying. He was really amped up from a week of playing with other dogs all day, so this morning, we went on a 4-mile run. I thought a workout would be good for both of us, and I was right – he conked out afterward. I was also excited to break in one of my Christmas gifts for the first time – a new Garmin Forerunner 35 heart rate monitor and activity tracking watch.
Oh, excuse me, it was a 4.11-mile run!
I also learned, when I got back, that I had gained two pounds during my week in Michigan. But I had been really focused on my diet and exercise during the rest of the month, so I’m hoping it will all cancel out and I won’t end the month with a gain. We shall see. My next weigh-in is on Tuesday.
Have a wonderful and healthy New Year, everyone, and…
…keep it up, David!
PS: One more picture! I drew a tray table maze on one my of flights, and it might be one of my favorites so far.
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