It was December 22, 1982, and we were driving down I-90, flinging Christmas cookies out the window at 75 miles an hour.
We had just gotten married and were headed back to Montana with a car full of presents and a box full of Christmas cookies.
600 miles from the wedding, my self-control (and my stomach) had reached its limits. There was only one answer:
Get rid of the cookies.
Now, 29 Christmases later, I no longer have to resort to throwing cookies away, but I still have to be careful. Here are a few things I do to keep myself from gaining five pounds worth of Christmas cookies each Christmas.
1. Wait as long as possible to make the Christmas cookies.
The longer we wait to make cookies, the less likely we are to look at Christmas cookies as just another December food group. If you’re a procrastination eater, wait until you’ve finished all those hard Christmas jobs before you make cookies.
If you have kids and they’re clamoring to make cookies, make one or two early batches, but give them away. Bring them to the older people in the neighborhood who don’t do much baking anymore. They’ll appreciate a little visit and some homemade cookies.
2. Make only the "necessary" cookies.
Another thing we’ve done the last few years is to cut down on the variety of cookies we make. We have about three favorites and we try to stick with those.
3. Don’t eat any cookie dough until all the cookies are in the oven.
I could easily pop five or six cookies’ worth of dough into my mouth while making cookies, but I’d feel too piggy to actually plan to eat that much. So instead of eating as I go, I decide how much dough I want and save it until all the cookies are in the oven. Then I sit down and enjoy my snack.
4. Make special Christmas boundaries for the cookies.
I vary these boundaries depending on the year. It all depends on what else is going on my life and how desperate I am for cookies. The more desperate I am, the tighter I make my boundaries. If I’m really desperate, I don’t have any.
5. Truth journal after every cookie that breaks a boundary.
I hate to say this, but I’ve had four brownies today and every single one of those brownies was outside my boundaries. Remember my last post when I had to renew my mind four times before lunch? I never even felt like breaking my boundaries again after I wrote that post.
Today I haven’t renewed my mind once. Instead, I just kept eating brownies. If I don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning and have a brownie for breakfast, I’ll need to renew my mind before I go to bed tonight.
The sooner, the better.
In fact, I think I better go do that right now because I’m feeling like another brownie.
And if that doesn't work . . . I'll head for the highway with the windows open.