Hi all! Coach Stefanie here!
Holidays are hard! We all know this. Many of us go overboard during the holidays. It’s how you handle the days after the storm, that is truly important. Coach Jeri wrote a great piece about preparing for the holidays on Monday, linked HERE. But, let’s think about how we value ourselves and our journey AFTER we overeat on a holiday. Here’s my experience with getting off track, and turning it into a new way of staying ON track.
We always say that this is a lifestyle change. But what does that mean? It means, find a way to make small changes that render a sustainable way of life. Rather than finding a one time/ quick fix for a lifelong issue. With that, also comes the reality that you WILL slip up. You will have bad days. You will have gains. It’s okay!
You have to find a realistic yet aspirational form of personal success, and chase that!
There are inevitable parts of this journey that we just have to learn to embrace. Such as: eating healthier and making sacrifices. When you do go over your BITE allotment, you must choose your next steps wisely. Your reactions are far more important than dwelling on the act itself. The weight that you gain, can ALWAYS be lost again.
In the grand scheme of your lifestyle change, that gain is likely not even noticeable.
After I lost 40 pounds, I only remembered losing 40 pounds. I never remembered that one holiday (or multiple holidays) where I gained weight. I never remembered the Monday after a fun weekend, when I over-indulged. I never even remembered my weigh-ins! What I do remember, is my family’s frustration with me when I couldn’t stop thinking about my food choices, while on vacation. And that, my friend, is not worth it.
Prior to that vacation, I had decided that I would stay on my plan without counting. That is a tough thing to do, and at that point I was over a year into my tracking journey. I felt good about my ability to guesstimate BITES for my food. “Staying on track” without counting, meant that I knew roughly how much I should consume. I was aware of what optimal food choices were, so that’s what I held myself to.
To me, it was the right balance between not going overboard, but also enjoying the experience and I truly did that on vacation. I also can’t tell you if and how much I may have gained during it…because as I said before it doesn’t matter in the long run. But, I do have many amazing memories from that vacation that had nothing to do with food (and even some that involved delicious food which I consumed without guilt).
I suggest going into holidays the same way: make a plan that you can honestly stick with.
For some people that is counting, for some people it is taking one (or two) days to not count. Then get right back on track. Of course for some of us, it is a compromise between the two. No matter what strategy you have, make sure you can stick to it So that after the holidays you’re right back on track without beating yourself up over your choices.
Even if you were not able to stick to your plan or you did not make one; take a moment to think about what caused you to struggle. Think about what made you unhappy with your choices. Then change strategies for the next time. For now, get back on track and let the past be the past. Cherish the memories you made with your family and friends and don’t focus on the food choices afterwards. Ten years from now you won’t remember what you ate or gained but you will remember the time spent with loved ones.