Let’s face it, it can be stressful! Take care of yourself and protect your goals.
Holidays can be a wonderful time of gathering and can also be a hectic, overwhelming time. On top of shopping, time crunching and children off from school, there is the food! Ah yes, the food!
Holidays are when all the “treats” come out. They are here in pretty packaging, all served up and shiney. We give ourselves tons of reasons why we need and want them:
-Christmas is the only time Auntie Bessie makes these cookies. Better eat them now, or wait another year.
-Can’t work out as I have to get to that sale on time.
-There is no way I am “dieting” on the holidays.
-I deserve to indulge.
-I will start January 2nd.
I used to use these excuses and more to take away some of the shame and guilt, and allow myself some indulgences. If that strategy works for you, that is great…go ahead and have at it. Read no further.
For those of us that beat ourselves up, have horrible food hangovers and want a better way, come with me!
There is a way to be happy through the holidays and still stay in the same pant size and have your behaviors align with your goals. One must be strategic though. Here are some ways I will protect myself during the holiday madness and keep myself sane during the holiday debauchery.
1. Carry my snacks with me everywhere – I carry a big bag. My purse can carry my snacks. Mind you, I am staying fashionable! But, without a bag big enough to carry my snacks, I am going to fail when I get hungry.
2. I do NOT go to an event to eat. WHAT??!! That’s right…. in my head, I know the goal to gatherings is to gather, not stuff my face.
3. I pre eat!! I do not leave it in someone else’s hands to interperet my food challenges, but rather, take care of myself at home and eat “light” when I am at a gathering. Waiting for others to make my food has been a losing battle.
4. I have a big breakfast. Even in the cold, I love my smoothie. Find a good breakfast that works for you and stick with it during the season. Don’t skip this important meal because you are “saving up calories” or doing any other elaborate exchange. Take care of yourself!!!
5. I don’t eat late. I try to have most of my calories in before 5pm. I eat dinner when I am hungry, for me, that is early. Then, I allow my body to rest at night, not digest!
6. When I see holiday treats, the ones I used to love, I try to reframe it in my head and imagine how I would feel AFTER I ate them. I don’t know about you, but for me, one cookie leads to another. After I have had my fill, my body rebels. I get tired very easily, my fingers get a little swollen as does the skin below my eyes. Worst of all, I become cranky mommy!! Not fun.
7. I drink a lot…WATER that is! Staying hydrated is key. Sometimes dehydration masks itself as a sweet craving…take care of yourself around the food and water.
8. I take supplements. If you do not know what to take, consider making an appointment with someone who does and can carefully advise you.
These are just a few suggestions on how to get through these holidays without the guilt and stress. You will also arrive at January 2nd ready to hit the ground running.
Happy Holidays to all!