A Winter Holidays Encyclopedia — 5

These are new remarks on subjects covered by previous seasonal posts. If the reader can glean even one useful idea from this collection, the expenditure of attention will be totally worthwhile! Because there is no use in pretending. Sometimes, so-called celebrations are looked forward to with dread, and looked back upon as… well… dreadful.

Manage Holiday Stress and Eat Less!

The post referenced here discusses some ideas put forth by the venerable Mayo Clinic, in an effort to help people emerge from the winter holiday season with mental health intact. It includes a reminder that even the most enthusiastic hosts and the most highly anticipated guests will sometimes not quite meet behavioral expectations. People are still human, even during holidays. Especially during holidays.

What can anyone do about that? We can each take a look at ourselves, for starters, and decide whether any of our standards and expectations could be a bit less rigid. The holidays really shine most for kids and elders, and all of us who fall in the vast middle ground between the need to just shoulder the burden of making sure that those two demographics have a good time. Nobody said it was fair.

Merry Christmas and/or Any Additional Holiday/s of Your Choice

Many past Childhood Obesity News posts talk about the need to change certain mindsets, and one of those is the “I Give Up” mode from which so many Americans seem to operate. Here’s how it works, with probable variations within other traditions, but the same basic blueprint. At the edge of winter, there is the sucrose festival known as Halloween. Pretty soon, along comes Thanksgiving, a feast characterized by excessive consumption, and what do a lot of people secretly think?

“Okay, we’ve come this far without gaining too many pounds. So now, we’ll just give it a rest and eat frugally for a while, because Christmas is coming up.” A noble ambition, but somehow the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas dissolves in an unconscious blurry mist, and the next thing we know, it’s three days until Christmas and our good clothes don’t fit anymore.

Is it over? No.

As if this were not bad enough, there is only a week between Christmas and New Year, and it would be mind-blowing to know the actual number of otherwise responsible adults who simply abandon all hope of reasonable behavior, and give themselves a pass for that whole time period. With, of course, the most staunch avowals of determination to get back on the good path immediately, the very moment that calendar page is flipped over. And then somehow, who knows why? it just doesn’t happen. Everything goes sliding into the next year in worse shape than before. In the worst shape it has been in, actually, since the previous year’s holiday season.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by Christian Collins/CC BY-SA 2.0

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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