Are you just as excited as I am?! Why, you ask?! Because it's the holiday season!!! Yay! And almost the "cover yourself up because it's too damn cold outside not too," winter season. We become like bears that stay inside to hibernate for the winter but not before we eat real good and maybe put on a few extra pounds, ugh! We've got Thanksgiving right around the corner in exactly 11 days, then Christmas exactly a month from then, and finally New Years a week later. With all those great holidays, we've got a lot of good food to enjoy along the way that might just give us a little more of a "healthy size" than we would otherwise plan for so let's talk about mindsets and behaviors, shall we?
Do the Work or Not?
Oh boy, now this is real talk! I'm at the place in my life where my metabolism isn't as high/fast as it used to be. You feel me? You know what I'm talking about? Can you relate? Yes, more than likely you're reading this and saying "Yeah, girl, I feel you!" Well with that not so high/fast metabolism that I had in my early 20s, I've got to be a tad bit more mindful of what I stuff in my mouth because not everything that tastes good, is good for the figure. When I eat that yummy cheeseburger, or them greasy fries, or even that decadent pie, and yes, don't get it twisted...I have my times, and my savory and sweet indulgence moderation moments, I don't think that I'm just going to miraculously poop out that crap and nothing will be left to show for it all. A few extra pounds always decide they're either trying to stay and rent some space in my body or buy the space and permanently move in because they've invested in their ability to seduce and I got seduced so they think they've earned the right to stay. Yeah, let them try until I evict them.
Deciding what you're going to eat, and drink, for that matter, has to be a conscious choice. This comes from your relationship with food and knowing how to talk back to food when it talks to you. We'll get to the talking part later. What I can say is that when you consciously choose to put that "whatever" in your mouth, hopefully, it's not coming from a "whatever" mindset but rather a mindful one. This is how I generally approach food (and trust me, I love all types). I think to myself "do I want to do the work?" And by that I mean, if I'm eating this now and know it's going to stay with me later, if you catch my drift from what I said earlier, then I have to decide if I'm going to be like "whatever" about it in that I'm going to do nothing with my actions other than enjoy it; or if I'm going to enjoy it because I'm going to do something about it later like put some fun or even not so fun movement in to evict the extra pounds of fat I put on. For me, it's doing the work later because I want to stay fit. Notice I haven't mentioned anything about health per se because good health is only 20% about the exercise you put in for your body and the remaining 80% is about nutrition. Holidays and good nutrition don't usually go together so let's not include this in that 80%, okay? Okay!
My mindset of do something about it later, allows me to splurge when I feel like it as long as my "feel like it" isn't everyday/all the time. I'm not trying to "work this off" everyday but let me just tell you that 5 days a week I put in is closer to everyday, than not. The reason for five days is for health reasons. You see, this body has to last me at least another 40 years and as it goes, more older, more problems! Additionally, my trade off is that I've traded in the couch potato for a healthy lifestyle; one of eat well and also enjoy what I eat- mainly healthy with a healthy splash of naughty, but then also moving my body on a regular basis. This is the mindset that I transformed into, by choice and for prevention such as heart disease and high blood pressure reduction. I made this choice about 12 years ago and it has just become a healthy habit to enjoy doing both. O.M.G., I can't believe I just acknowledged that I enjoy working out but I do because it feels so damn good to take care of my body! Don't you agree?! I mean with taking care of your body! And it's not one of those feelings that you only get to feel every time you buy yourself something nice, or better yet, someone else buys you something nice. It's all about what you feel after you move your body. The self rewards are amazing. I mean, how much does energy, the feeling of strength, personal power, confidence, endurance, high performance, determination, self motivation, positive attitude/mindset, unlimiting beliefs...(okay, you get my point) cost you? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! PRICELESS! Who doesn't want to have these rewards on a regular basis?! If you say you, then stop reading my blogs. Seriously because we're just not a fit for each other any longer ;) Ha! Note: I'm not saying/recommending that you exercise 5 days a week but at least 3 is highly recommended.
So I say eat, enjoy and then consider doing the work because you get so much more out of it than just doing the work!
Plan Before You Eat This Holiday Season
Plan? Plan what? You might question. Well, here is how I see it. You're going to eat some REAL GOOD food, right?! Right! So would you consider planning what you will or will not do in the way of eating? Think about your relationship to food. Does food talk to you and say something like "Damn, don't I look so good. You just want to take a bite/scoop of me dontcha, Tina?! Well go right ahead. You won't regret it!" or something like that, right? Sounds crazy, right? But you feel like food is actually talking to you. You feel like it's calling your name. Making you go and eat it. You're fooled into thinking you're the one controlling your food but if you're honest with yourself, it's the other way around. You only ever feel 'out of control' around food because you've been desperately trying TO control your food in the first place. Food is not going away, it's here to stay unless you don't plan to stay since it's needed to live. However, we can have a healthy relationship with food and consider it part of the lifestyle we choose to live and not the diet we choose to try and learn that it doesn't work.
So let's briefly discuss the holiday plan. Now we all know we plan to enjoy eating some really good holiday food over the next, roughly, two months. Is there anything we might do differently if we are trying to watch our figure? Now if we're not, then don't read any further. If we are, then here are a few tips to happy and hearty eating without the guilt!
How much are you eating? Decide ahead of time how much you're going to eat. Will that be one, two, or three plates? Ha! You laugh but holiday eating is NO JOKE! The food is that good and it's hard to stop eating when all that extra food is just sitting there calling your name, right?! If you decide you're only having one plate, then honor your decision and build that into your mental plan. When that second plate calls you, then say to yourself "Sorry, you're not in my plan" and keep it moving and not with a second plate in your hand. Go drink a tall glass of water instead. It will distract your mind from telling you you should have more as well as fill your belly more and help you be satisfied. We'll get to more on satisfied next.
When do you stop eating? Oh this is my favorite aspect of eating and it's called Honoring Your Fullness. Here is how it works. When you load your plate up, you take at least 20 minutes to eat it. It gives your brain time to realize you are eating and ultimately starting to get full. However, here is the shift. You don't eat until you're full. You eat until you are about 80% of full or the other term is until you're "satisfied" and NOT FULL like a plump blueberry that needs to be rolled over and onto the couch. The kind of full that you have to unbutton your pants or loosen your drawstring because you're so miserably uncomfortable. If you are this type of eater, then you are going to love this if you start putting what you're learning NOW into action LATER. This is what I want you to do when you're satisfied. I want you to put your fork and knife crisscrossed in your plate, put your napkin in the plate, push the plate away, and say to yourself or out loud "I'm satisfied." Saying it makes a huge difference in your mind and stops you from going back in for more. Trust me!!! I do it all the time. I've been practicing honoring my fullness for years and during this time, I've never eaten past my satisfaction level. I just can't do it. My mind doesn't allow me to. There is always room because I'm just to the point of satisfied and never come close to the point of miserable. By doing this, it has also caused my stomach to shrink because I've stopped stretching it from overeating. Stretching the stomach allows it to take in more. Why though? Why do we want to do that? Yes, I know we were taught to finish our plates as children even if we were full and it turned into a bad/old habit but now it's time to replace that habit with a new one and stop doing that which is not serving us and not the healthy way to live. SERIOUSLY!!!
Sweet drinks/alcohol? Okay, I'm not here to say no sweet drinks (soda, juice, punch) and/or alcohol but I do recommend considering between the two. In my humble opinion, I say ditch the sweet drinks and go for a glass of water so you can have alcohol versus having both; especially if you're planning to have dessert. Just sayin'! I personally don't like drinking my calories (total waste) unless it's for some good alcohol! Again, just sayin'! I'm all about that water, all the time/everyday over sugary/flavored drinks- side note: I used to hate water! If you can't pass up that Egg Nog with rum, I don't blame you though. It's one of my favorites too. Go for it! ;) SERIOUSLY!!!
Dessert or no dessert? Hell yeah, we're eating dessert after we have our X number of plates (maybe it's just one). How can you have good holiday eats without the yummy pies and/or cakes? It's freaken insane of you not to. And if you're only eating until you're satisfied, keep that in mind before digging into dessert to ensure you have enough room for it to satisfy your sweet tooth. So how are you going to get that sweet tooth fix and that's what your mindset should be, in general? Here is how you do it. Get a small plate, if that is an option, and with the normal size piece of cake/pie, portion you normally would have, cut/split that in half and grab or eat only that amount of each sweet you put on your plate. Remember, you're going for the sweet tooth fix (a tasting mindset) and not the full bakery blowout (eating full portions of everything- don't even put all that on your plate because it will be too tempting to turn into a plump blueberry)! SERIOUSLY!!!
Create New Healthy Habits
Alright now! You already know this. Everything I've shared isn't just about doing during the holidays but this is meant to be your future lifestyle goals, if they aren't already. Eating what you want to eat in moderation but then doing the work! Yep. I'm at the point now where I workout to eat which is where you want to be. Maintain your weight goals and then indulge in moderation, knowing you're going to work it off so it's always a conscious choice with self rewards later that we discussed! Honoring Your Fullness is a must and never stops. Trust me! It will just be what you do because your body will let you know when it's time to stop eating and when you do, you'll still feel comfortable in your body. So comfortable that you could eat more but I caution you to stop while you're ahead. Tip: If you have a very large plate of food, put half in a to go container before you start eating and eat the rest later. It's the same amount of calories but you spread it out verses eating it all at once and then eating more later! Yikes!
Now, get after that holiday eating before you hibernate for the winter. Enjoy!
If anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, I welcome you to leave a comment below.
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