Grandma Della's Story: The Best Way to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

WWGDD? – What Would Grandma Della Do? When my Grandma Della quietly left this world and ventured on to her Forever Home, she left a crowd of loyal admirers in her wake. I remember sitting, well, in her wake, with many of my cousins reminiscing about her long list of quaint, unique attributes. A woman of independence, tough moral fiber, and brimming with self-discipline; she loved to display that self-discipline next to the younger generations’ lack thereof. As the world started conversing about the trend of people starting to lose their mental capacities and memories after the age of 70ish, she became pro-active at that age. She developed a very strict regimen of mental exercises she went through daily to keep her brain cognitively superior. At the age of 99 she could still give you the genealogy from Adam to Jesus. She knew every major country, its capital, its currency, its language, its major rivers and other significant bodies of water. She could recite the Gettysburg Address, the Preamble to our great constitution and Isaiah 53. She could give you the list, in order, of all US presidents and their terms. Physically, she kept herself in shape. When the South Dakota blizzards kept her indoors all day, she’d get her daily mile done striding it out around her pool table. When she moved into a retired person’s apartment center, she finessed the management to let her bring her pool table to keep in the main lobby. She taught all the men to play pool and then whipped them daily.

Eat what you want you want during the holidays and not worry about it?

Around this time of year – every year – I am reminded of one of her coolest displays of self-discipline. She was a major “sweet tooth”, and loved to enjoy some sort of dessert serving every day. (Hence, the daily walking requirement.) About the first of November every year, she’d start to anticipate the coming season of celebration; beginning with Thanksgiving and lasting throughout Christmas and New Year’s Day. She really liked to enjoy all the yummies that were available during those weeks. So she determined early in her adulthood to take off the Holiday weight before the Holidays ever started. The first of November she’d start her severe calorie restrictive diet and get 10-15 pounds off before Thanksgiving. She was then “free” to eat however she pleased until New Year’s Day. By January 1, she was usually back up to her fighting weight, and back to only one dessert serving per day (of course, making sure to get her daily walk in!). As my cousins and I sat at her wake in late December that year, we shared, laughed over, cried over – “savored” is the best word- her angle on life. She did such a great job of taking ownership of her life. With finesse, independence and a whole lot of grit, she thrived. We marveled over our Grandma Della, and as we visited about each others’ lives and how “things” were going, we kept asking each other, “What Would Grandma Della Do?”   It has become a cousin saying. “WWGDD?” It is November, and like my Grandma before me, I do love the sweets of the season. I am applying “WWGDD?” It is time to take off the extra ten pounds right now so that I can relax and enjoy myself throughout the Holiday season. Want to join me?! We can all get to January 1 and be right back at our normal “fighting” weight. Thanks, Grandma.

What about you?

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