I had quite the chuckle when I realized that within the first four prompts of my writing challenge, staying on track was a theme for two of them. I guess this is something that is on my mind and that I am concerned about. So here we go:
1-Make a plan
For me, it is hard enough to stay on track and make the right choices on a day to day basis with all the "temptations" around me, Therefore, the thought of the abundance and change in routines adds an extra layer of difficulty, I am stronger but not strong enough. I make mistakes and have lots to learn. So I am making a plan. This plan can be whether you have decided to call Thanksgiving a "cheat day", to increase your exercise to have a bigger calorie intake, to not do anything different than you are doing now or to just adjust your menu. Just make a plan. That will be beneficial not only to your weight loss but also to your emotional health. I know I am not the only one out there, who can beat themselves up and judge myself very harshly when I disappoint myself.
You know how they say you cannot go to battle unprepared? Well, for me this is my battle. I am at war with my own self. Because just like I know I am on this journey and I need to be. Sometimes, my brain and my emotions can try to sabotage my body.So I have to make a plan that will allow me to fight myself to make myself better....that doesn't sound complicated at all now , does it? ha!
While I have it a bit easier than those who have to host family gatherings or have children and/or a husband to feed. I still have to compromise so that my journey does not reshape or "mess up" the way my friends and/or family are used to doing things. Just because you are on the "spinach all day every day" diet program, should not mean you will be serving spinach ten ways to your guests and nothing more. And if you are not the host, you cannot expect your hostess to cook you that spinach ten ways...you know what I mean? That's when you compromise and add that to your plan.
I always bring green bean casserole to our Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year gatherings. It is one of those things that EVERYONE loves and gets only on those occasions. I am talking about your good old canned french cut green beans, cream of mushroom, french fried onions recipe. One year, I decided to make it with fresh green beans instead....first time we had leftovers lol plus a request to make it "normal" next time.
This year, I do not want to eat all of that but I shouldn't deny it from those who love it made that particular way. So my way to compromise is that I will make it but I will also make some roasted green beans and squash. I am hoping that others will partake on the fresh veggies, but if no one does, I know that I will have a good option for myself without taking away from anyone. If no one but me eats them, then I will have a bonus with ready made veggies for a couple of days...That's a win-win in my book!
3- Have a drink or two
Yes! Have a drink or two but not of the kind you are thinking ;)/ I have found that if I have water or tea with me, I am more likely to keep drinking. If I drink enough, I am less likely to need to nibble on something. Sometimes when I think I need a snack, I make a deal with myself: I will drink something first and if after a 5-10 minutes I still want to eat something, I will. Sometimes, I forget. Sometimes I don't.
Having a drink with you, may help in not wanting to try everything and anything during social gatherings. I do not know about y'all but we tend to gravitate towards the kitchen. In the kitchen there is always something you can nibble or take a bite off. Having a drink ( a water bottle can be your friend) may help reduce your instinct to do that.
4- Weigh Yourself
I know this is a controversial one. There are some that say you should and some that say you shouldn't/ All that I know is that I avoided the scale for so many years and it aided in me deluding myself that things were not too bad and I was not THAT big. Well, turns out I was! One of the things that this journey has taught me is that I have to be honest with myself and weighing in is one of the ways I do that.
The scale can be a very tricky thing. One day you are up, one day you may be down. Sodium, Health, Weather and even what you are wearing can make a difference on your number. Regardless of that, I NEED to see that number. If it starts going the wrong way, seeing it allows me to stop and think about why it is doing that. If I know, I wasn't as good with measuring portions, did not get my exercise in or had a fall off the wagon I have to do something about it. If I know there was nothing that I did to make the number go up, I have to let it go and try again within the next day or two.
I think that If I didn't do that, I would be more likely to make a bad choice then another one and another one because I wouldn't be seeing what its doing on the scale. Before I would know it, I would have gained 10 pounds. Seeing it, makes a big difference for me. Of course, we are all wired differently for every thing. Some may have a bad response to seeing the number fluctuate. You just have to figure out what works for you.
5- Take a deep breath and Enjoy
This one should be a no brainer. I find it funny that I am usually good about telling myself what I can't or shouldn't do, that it seems that I forget to remind myself of the things I should. Like relaxing, enjoying quiet time, having fun and enjoying all the little things. The holidays are a perfect time to do that. Don't let your journey be the reason you don't/
One of the things that can trigger my binges is stress. Holidays can be a stressful time as it is. Don't add to it. Don't over worry yourself by creating a plan or an expectation on yourself that is impossible to accomplish. You will beat yourself up and may end up making it worse on you. I am not going to plan and expect myself to work out 5 hours a day from today until January 1st. But I will plan to get 3-4 workouts a week. That is doable. I will continue to avoid my portion distortion by measuring/weighing my food and logging on MFP. I have been doing that, so I will continue to do that.
One last thought: If for some reason you do get off track, let yourself wallow for five minutes but after that pick up where you left off. Talk to someone or write about it if you need to "cleanse" yourself of it.Do not let one bad choice sabotage all your hard work. Don't be too hard on yourself. Learn from it if there is anything to learn, brush yourself off and get back on track. Remember that there is always bumps on the road, sometimes it just gets easier to avoid them when you been through them before! Until next time, I leave you with my 6th way to stay on track ;)