Someone commented to me: "Rickismom, I feel for you trying to balance your religious heritage while working to maintain your weight loss." Yes, part of it needs balancing. It is a religious precept for me to eat Friday night and Shabbat day a meal with bread, fish, and meat. (And when my husband is not feeling well, I need to fit in the calories of wine or grape juice that we drink to sanctify the day as well.)
BUT other things (like donuts and fried potato latkes on Hanukkah) are only tradition. I could very well, theoretically, eat salads all of Hanukkah week.
HOWEVER (AND THIS IS A POINT I WANT TO MAKE HERE) for the long term haul, I feel that to lose weight and maintain that loss, one needs to make their way of eating LIVABLE. And that means OCCASIONALLY enjoying certain higher-calorie foods, especially on holidays, family gatherings, and the like. It has to be done VERY CAREFULLY (or you will pay the price later....). (For example, I was not careful enough a month and a half ago during the fall holidays, and it has taken me a good 5-6 weeks to get back to where I was.... although this process may have taken longer since I am dealing with a lot of stress right now....)
What does being very careful entail? One, you need to try and keep the "damage" to the minimum, sometimes substituting ingredients, using less oil, etc. One can also increase activity level to reduce the damage.
But sometimes one needs to swallow (pun intended) that loss of weight for a week or two, because being able to live normally, enjoy family and holidays, will help give us the will to stick to our full plan the remaining 90% of the year. And I would rather loose slowly, even very slowly, than feel after three months that "I can't take this anymore" and throw the towel in completely!
(OK, I'm getting down from the soapbox....)
PS. The upside is that after several months of staying on a diet, your tastes in food change, as well as the quantity. This Hanukkah, when I allow myself a potato latke or two, (or maybe even three???), it won't come close to the amounts I ate 4 years ago (and here I plead the 5th….).