Okay, it's here. Christmas is this week, NYE next week, and even as a Jewish woman, I can't help but get caught up in a little of the madness.
A few years ago, I loved this time of year. Party after party filled with friends, alcohol, and FOOD GALORE fueled my social butterfly spirit and I always allowed myself to indulge. Cheating was too easy and everyone else was doing it too. It was a time for celebration and with New Years on the horizon, I felt like I had an excuse to eat whatever I wanted because, come January, I was starting fresh.
It's a dirty trick my mind plays on me and, considering that "holiday weight gain" is a recurring topic of conversation, I have to assume I'm not alone.
When I spent my first year on the Overcoming MS plan, the holiday season was torture for me. I couldn't have any of my favorite peppermint chocolate bark, pigs in a blanket, or baked brie. I went to parties and watched everyone else enjoy the sugary high of cookies, cake, and brownies while I drowned my sorrows into a glass of red wine. It was hard and miserable, but it was worth it.
I got to feel good during the holiday season. I got to dress up in cute clothes, wear heels, drink wine, celebrate with my friends, and have no sluggish, self hating side effects.
The next year, I felt a little more prepared. I came with tupperware filled with desserts I could enjoy too. I made sure to eat a full meal at home before parties and make sure to drink lots of water while there. I made clear guidelines for what I could eat and I stuck to it. I practiced mindfulness about my eating and I noticed that this year was significantly easier than the last. There will always be sugar cookies, there's no emergency to eat them (all lol) tonight.
I don't want to pretend like I've never cheated on my diet. I have and I still do occasionally. It's a process I'm working on still and just like anyone else, I'm still human. What I do want to express is that, if you give yourself the holidays to go wild with your diet like I used to, just remember to breathe and be conscious. Indulging a little bit during the season isn't going to throw you off your health journey, but things like buying that entire bag of chocolate because it was 50% off after Christmas is taking it too far.
Take 10 minutes to sit down and write out a holiday road map for yourself. Set up guidelines to get you through celebrations (ex: stick to 2 glasses of wine, only eat the dessert you brought, stick to one plate of food, etc) and then stick to it! Following through on your plan will help you curb holiday weight gain and will make you feel stronger mentally and emotionally.
If you resonated with this article, just remember: You've got this. No one will die, the food won't go to waste, and there will always be other opportunities to cheat so don't be afraid to skip the buffet table and enjoy the other parts of the holidays. The people you don't usually get to see, the pretty decorations, exchanging gifts, and feeling grateful for all the warm, wonderful experiences you've had this year.
Love, light & peace.