The plan today was to finish up our series on Christmas Traditions in other parts of the world. However, I had a meeting this morning with Melissa, my health coach, and now my mind and heart are reeling from our talk . . . so much so that I'm having a hard time thinking about anything else! I do love switching things up around here, so here we are, discussing staying lean at Christmas!
Melissa and I were talking specifically about my journey and what is next on our long list of things to work on, and maybe sometime I'll share some specifics about that. But for today, this whole process I'm in got me thinking too about the holidays and weight gain and the aftermath of all that. For a couple years now I have been a part of a Facebook group whose goal is to maintain our healthy habits throughout the holidays without deprivation. Say what?
It seems almost impossible what with all the extra sugary treats, rich foods, parties to go to, cookie exchanges, etc. to emerge none worse for the wear. And, even tho some studies show that we, on average, gain only about 1 pound over the Christmas holiday, so often momentum that was hard won prior to the holidays is lost, and that takes much longer to recover. I'm going to share with you some of the things I have learned, both through that group and from my health coach that can help to avert that crisis.
Keep that momentum going while still enjoying the most wonderful time of the year! Here's how:
- Set your mind. Once we set our minds to accomplish something, to do something, to be something, it is often very difficult to change, good or bad! Decide ahead of time what you want, what you really want. You don't want extra pounds in January, right? You don't want a foggy brain or an energy sap, right? Then, adjust your plans. Decide. Then, when it comes time to make choices at the party or the family dinner or the cookie table at work, you'll intuitively know what will and what won't serve you best.
- Maintain your healthy diet and exercise regimen. Many people use the holidays as an excuse to take a holiday from how they know they should eat. The trick is turning that "shoulda" into something that you want to do. Once you find what's right for you and your body and you don't feel deprived, stick with it. You will enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas far more and feel so much better about yourself. And, who knows, your good habits may just rub off.
- Go for a walk. After that family dinner, enlist others to go for a walk. I know I know, sometimes all you wanna do is lay on the couch. But, just a short 20 minute walk about 15 minutes after eating a large meal burns more calories, plus aids your digestion. It doesn't even have to be a fast walk. Take a stroll in the snow or at the park or wherever you want.
- Choose your indulgences wisely. Some people decide ahead of time they'll enjoy just one very decadent treat, so that means they are constantly on the lookout for what that'll be. Once you find it, have a small piece, or even just a bite. Often that's all our taste buds really need to feel satisfied.
I am not a health coach or a personal trainer or anything like that. I'm just a person who strives every day for good health. And, I'm wondering why it should be any different at Christmas. :)
Have a happy, healthy holiday!