"Would you like some more mashed potatoes?" my Oma (grandmother) will ask me when I visit. She will say this as she puts the mashed potatoes on my plate.
"No, I'm okay," I'll say back before realizing the mashed potatoes sitting there. I'll have already had a plate and a half of delicious food and I'm not THAT hungry. My Oma loves me, and equates food with love. It's very sweet, but hard sometimes.
While not an entirely "Jewish" problem, it's hard to lose weight with a family and holidays like this. Yesterday evening we celebrated Purim, a holiday where you're commanded to get so drunk you can't tell the good guy from the bad guy in the story. Those shots of vodka add up, and I'm always more likely to eat while drunk. Plus, I just made some hamantashen, and if I say so myself, they are delicious!
The next big holiday coming up is Pesach (Passover). Pesach you're supposed to drink 4 cups of wine and the entire day/evening is concerned with a great feast. There are traditional things you're supposed to eat and eat, and only THEN do you get to the meal. And, of course, as I have both family and friends (imagine that!) so I'll be enjoying more than one Pesach feast.
Of course, there's also the weekly holiday of Shabbat. Challah, while delicious, is very caloric. And that nice dinner once a week can also be a lovely, caloricly strenuous, meal.
I'm not so religious that I celebrate every holiday (I stayed home last night) or honor all Shabbats, but I work for a Jewish institution and I do celebrate with infrequent frequency. So, despite my unpious nature, being Jewish does give perspective to my weight loss. Which is to say, the only way I can lose weight is if I can control my portions. Obviously this isn't a Jewish concept, but it does help me to remind myself of it before I begin my celebrations. It's hard to say no to my third helping of kugel, but I can do it! At least, sometimes I can do it. And all that needs to happen is I need to show restraint more than I don't show restraint. I will slip up (oh, how I love challah), but I will also be learning. I need to remember that this is a journey, not a daily exercise in winning or failing.