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How a 4-Minute Break Keeps Me Abstinent during the Holidays

My family celebrates the Christmas holidays the weekend before the 25th. Two of us have birthdays that earlier weekend and rather than two big celebrations (birthday and Christmas), we combine it into one. This is my third holiday season abstaining from sugar and flour, and I can say with relief that it gets easier every year. But there are still some tough moments. That’s where the 4-minute break comes in handy.

I’m talking about dessert time. I discovered the 4-minute break a year ago at Thanksgiving when I’d attended a big potluck. Dinner was leisurely and there were plenty of things on my food plan to choose from. I helped with dishes and then went back into the dining room just as everyone was going through the buffet line again, only this time to get pie and brownies and ice cream and whipped cream. So I went to the bathroom. I took a long time washing my hands, combing my hair, counting my wrinkles. I was gone about 4 minutes.

When I came back, everyone was done. I didn’t have to look at it, smell it, want it. It was not an issue. I practiced that again this year when my family was having bowls of ice cream. I could have had a piece of fruit but I didn’t want it or need it, and I don’t eat now just to eat with others. I didn’t even want what they were having but I didn’t want to be confronted with it so I just excused myself.

Sometimes stepping away is the safest thing we can do.

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