Easter weekend is here and I am very excited to sit back and relax with my family, enjoy someone else making me a delcious meal (hehehe love it when my mom makes me dinner, kids don’t know how good they have it), some wobbly pops (aka wine) and well yes some CHOCOLATE!
I know that all sounds rather indulgent, and you may be thinking Katie your on a “maintenance” lifestyle and not trying to lose weight. But, I want to share with you how I have treated Holidays while both actively losing weight and on a maintenance plan over the last 2 years and its worked for me. I stress the ME part, as we are all very different and what works for one doesn’t always fit for another, but I think there is some “sense” to this plan.
While on the journey to lose just over 100 pounds (fluctuating from 102-105 pounds lost since January) I did not DIET, I approached the idea of losing weight as a LIFESTYLE change. Folks, real life involves these fabulous celebrations called HOLIDAYS! And for most of us those celebrations include celebrating with our loved ones and FOOD.
I know its sad that we need food to celebrate and blah blah blah….no I love food, Turkey Dinner, My Mom’s Stuffing…Wine..I’m pulling my seat up to the table! But I think there is a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle balance while enjoying the holidays without putting yourself in an inert food and sloth coma, that essentially means the end to ENJOYING the holidays and your peeps! No one wants to kick back and socialize feeling physically ill or haunted by feelings of guilt.
So what’s the secret to balance? For me, I have found the key is to keep moving. I keep up with my planned workouts, even if I am travelling for the holidays I bring my running shoes, my yoga matt and some exercise DVD’s. Often my workouts aren’t as intense at they may normally be, but I am moving, getting my heart rate up and sweating! The workout serves two purposes, one it burns calories to help offset the calories I will be eating (all though lets be honest my hour workout isn’t going to begin to touch Easter Dinner LOL) But more importantly, it sets the tone for the day, it reminds me that I am fit and healthy person, that I am not the same girl I was 2 years ago binge eating and hiding behind humour. That reminder helps me to enjoy what’s in front of me, and to stop when I am full. It helps me eat one plate of turkey dinner and not 2-3. Do you see what’s happening here? There’s a difference between enjoying and savouring and mindlessly stuffing yourself. Trust me its a hard one to see, it took me a long time to find that line (and truthfully still end up on the wrong side of that line sometimes). I also find its easier to stop when your full, when mentally you know this is not your LAST opportunity to eat this food, when your not in that black and white zone.
The other thing I do, is I eat a healthy breakfast (a homemade smoothie, or oatmeal) and a healthy light lunch. There’s the balance again, healthy nutritious, somewhat “lighter” meals for breakfast and lunch and a more indulgent dinner and evening (I did mention the wine part right?) Its also important to EAT (yes I just said EAT!) during the day and NOT go without in anticipation of big dinner. I think that’s a trap that many of us have fallen into while in the “diet” mentality, and all it does it set up for a “binge” because you are so hungry and mentally in the all or nothing zone.
If your still with me, you can see that there is a theme emerging, and it isn’t one of weight loss, but one of freedom. Freeing yourself from binge eating, guilt and all or nothing thinking. How many of us have gone into a holiday celebration with “pure” intentions and anticipation of good times, only to spend them beating our selves up and making strict promises for the following Monday. This is not a lifestyle I want to live any longer.
I also think that if we can maintain that balance of healthy lifestyle and some indulgence we are much more likely to get back to our regular scheduled programming after the holidays. How many times have we let the holiday mentality spill out for days…weeks after the holiday is over?
Holiday Healthy Balance Tips:
- move every day, wether its sticking to a planned workout, or just getting out and going for a walk with family or friends and socializing a bit while you move.
- Enjoy a nutritious breakfast and lunch and healthy snacks to help keep you from getting to that “crazed” hunger zone when all the yummies come out later.
- Stay well hydrated, drink lots of water, especially important if your going to enjoy some alcoholic beverages and high salt foods
- Indulge in your favourites at dinner, fully enjoy them, savour them, and STOP when your full.
- Need motivation not to fill your plate up with seconds? Save room to enjoy a little dessert! If you have a little of everything you enjoy you will be SATISFIED.
- if enjoying some “wobbly pops” alternate with glasses of water
- enjoy the holiday, your family, your friends….fill yourself full of LIFE
- after the holiday get right back into your regular scheduled programming of healthy living and in a few days any water retention (AKA Holiday Bloat) will be on its way out.
- most of all don’t fall victim to GUILT…even if you really over do it, let it go, move on…it won’t undo you and there is no need to berate yourself.
Wishing you all a very happy and balanced Easter Weekend