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Temptation Alley

Posted by on October 23rd, 2012 with 0 Comments

Written By Gail Engebretson






Do you know what the scariest part of approaching Halloween is? It’s the adult equivalent of the children’s House of Horrors– the descent into Temptation Alley. (Spooky sound effects, please.) October, November, and December can be the scariest months of the year for many of us.

It’s a time when we tend to eat more and our bodies instinctively start adding weight to prepare for winter. It’s a time when we may be eating candy on Halloween and for days after, a time when we stuff ourselves as well as turkeys as a way of giving thanks. It’s also a time when we're likely to be spending more time with the TV and snacks, and — with the holidays ahead — more fast-food meals while shopping, more processed foods at home, and (of course!) more parties.

Do you find yourself stressing out about this time of year before it even begins? Do you read every article you can to find strategies to get through the holidays? Or do you just throw in the towel and say, “What’s the use?”  

How about trying something new this year?  Here’s my secret. Stay completely focused on your long-term goals. We’ve often been told that we should focus only on short-term goals — goals that are easily attainable. But by only focusing on the short term we often lose sight of the bigger picture, the reason we’re doing all of this, the dream that keeps us going and won’t allow us to give up on ourselves.

My goals — short-term or long-term — never include a number on the scale. When I was losing weight after my gastric bypass, everyone kept asking me what my goal weight was. I always said, “I don’t know.” And they’d insist that I needed a goal. And I’d tell them that my goal wasn’t a number. That I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I would know it when I got there. That my body would let me know by how it looked and felt, and that having a number for a goal might mean that I’d be disappointed even if I looked and felt great.

There are so many ways to judge your successes. You might have a physical goal of being able to hike up a mountain, like I did, or running a marathon or biking a certain distance. It might be the ability to participate in activities with your kids or grandkids, or looking hot and sexy in your jeans. It might be getting off all your diabetes and blood pressure medications and staying off them for the rest of your life. Or it might be all of these and more.


Your ultimate goal is not about losing weight but about changing your life.

If you stay focused on that statement and the goals that go with it, you can go into the holidays with a different attitude. An attitude that says your life is different and you’re not perfect, but you are on a mission with a clear vision.

This may help you resist sneaking two Halloween fun-size Snickers bars for every one you hand out to trick-or-treaters. It may stop you from going for that second helping of stuffing, or allow you to be satisfied with one small plate of goodies at the office Christmas party. Or you might decide not to make or buy any Christmas cookies at all this year. The thought of running five miles and feeling light and free can help you keep your perspective this season. You might allow yourself a few holiday treats without letting that inner voice tell you that you’re disgustingly lacking in self-control and cause you to spiral down into an all-out binge. These are attitudes and actions springing from a new mindset – one that focuses on the ultimate goal.

Here’s a novel idea. All those diets or programs you’ve been on all your life were not failures. They were steppingstones, part of your learning process. You were learning what DIDN’T work for you. Now you’re on a better path, one of healthy thinking, eating, and living. And it’s another steppingstone — maybe the one that will get you to your goal.

There will be ups and downs on this journey, days to celebrate and days to reflect. Keep your eye on the ultimate prize, which is a healthy, happy, sexy you for the rest of your life.

What is your long-term goal — your dream? Write it down and post it somewhere where you’ll see it every morning. Start your day with that goal clearly in mind.




Gail Smiling Gail Engebretson struggled with her weight and the issues surrounding this from early childhood. By age 50 she weighed 330 pounds and began having medical problems due to obesity. She explored hundreds of diets through the years but could never keep the weight off. She took the big step of having gastric bypass surgery on March 21, 2004 and within 18 months had lost 170 pounds.

Her bigger challenge has been keeping the weight off — a challenge for all weight-loss surgery patients. She has been succeeding through educating herself on the effects of weight-loss surgery, dramatically changing her lifestyle and receiving life coaching and support. She has become more confident, outgoing, and active, spending much of her free time enjoying biking, hiking, tennis, kayaking, dancing, pilates and swimming.

Gail has been teaching violin for over 40 years. She has also written articles for local newspapers and magazines. When she was deciding on weight-loss surgery, a regional magazine invited her to write a series of articles on her experiences with weight-loss surgery. Those articles became the heart of Fat No More.

Gail has mentored people considering weight-loss surgery through the UW Health Bariatric Surgery Program in Madison, Wisconsin. She has provided inspiration and mentoring both to individuals and to groups across the United States. She is using that experience, coupled with training from the Coaches Training Institute to provide coaching for WLS patients to help them make the most of their new lives. She has also coached motivated individuals seeking weight loss or weight management through non-surgical solutions.


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Written by Ange Anglade

Ange Anglade, MSW, CHHC, is the founder of Ange Anglade Coaching and Consulting Services, a holistic lifestyle company dedicated to working with women and girls around health and emotional wellness. She has combined her passion for social work, along with her training in psychotherapy, emotional freedom technique and holistic nutrition to help women and girls freely and openly love themselves first without apology. It is her mission and life work to empower women and girls to embrace self love, self confidence and positive self talk into their soul.

Coined as an ambassador for emotional wellness; Ange develops holistic and wellness programs, coaching girls ages 8-17 through her innovative program girl INSPIRED™ to look within themselves and fully embrace their unique talents, skills and inner beauty. She works closely with women through her Weight Release Program, Reclaim Your Sexiness™ designed to empower women to get off the diet roller-coaster, breakthrough their limiting beliefs, heal their body story and end emotional eating for good. This unique holistic approach looks at the total picture to address all areas of a person’s life in relation to releasing excess weight, providing them with tools that they need to take back control of their life, creating balance and wholeness.


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