Friday, November 22, 2013

Survival Plan For The Holidays

Happy Friday Bleeps!

Oh Happy Friday....thought it would never get here. At any given time I have several posts that I have been working on for a while. They just need to be polished and then I can post them. But, more often than not I come in and my thoughts take me in a different direction.

I want to get this one out as early as possible though and I've been putting it off. This one is about surviving Thanksgiving.

If you are like me, you have been drooling and fantasizing about this year's Thanksgiving dinner for about a month. Thinking about one meal for so long isn't exactly the healthiest thing. But, again I am a food addict. I'm not a foodie. I am a food addict. It's what we do. I work hard to control my addiction though.

If you've been with me for a while you know that when I really started to take control of what I ate was back in 2007. I had been working out at that point, but really needed to make a change in nutrition. I started the South Beach Diet right before Thanksgiving, quite possibly the worst time ever to do it. The first two weeks you are cleansing your body and cutting everything out.  It's pretty much vegetables and protein for that period of time. Slowly you introduce back whole grains and dairy. I wanted to cry over Thanksgiving. I still ate the dinner, but I skipped pie, seconds, and left overs. And I lost weight that week. I was very proud.

The Former Fat Girl LOVED the Holiday season. After all, it's just expected and assumed that everyone eats what they want and gains a few pounds. We're all on level playing field. The problem is that there was never a plan to shed and so those pounds add up. And there was no guilt. I never felt bad about eating. I hated how I felt, but never wanted to change my habits.

Fast forward to when I started to lose weight and see results, the Holiday Season which I love so dearly, becomes a living nightmare. All of my hard work gets washed out. It's winter and dark so I'm not getting the walks in that I want. I was working out at home, but not nearly as much as I should have. Temptations as far as the eye can see. At the store. At work. Wherever I go to visit someone. "Come on, it's the Holidays. You can have a little." Well okay...I almost resented the Holidays.

When I started training for my first Half marathon it was awesome. I made it through Thanksgiving so easily. "Nope, can't eat that. I have to go out and train right now." That was my motivation. But then after the race was over I still had a few weeks before Christmas. I did nothing. At that time I didn't belong to a gym. I was miserable about staying inactive. And so that January when Planet Fitness had their registration push I joined.

So last year I had a race in December to get me motivated and I had signed up for a race in March to push me through Christmas. I had all of these great plans to workout down in Florida while I was there. I didn't do anything. I needed rest, but was mad at myself. I didn't workout and I ate chocolate. Argh.

This year is sooo different. I made that decision to cut out the treats back at the end of Halloween. It's been tough, but rewarding. I feel better prepared to take on the Holiday season this year. I still have a race in December and I will be signing up for the March race again. And this time we will be in Florida a little longer. I am seriously thinking of only packing running clothes. If that's all I have then I can't see myself sitting around...although I really am terrified of Alligators (and there are lakes everywhere). Although I am a little faster this time around.

So my plans are in place. I will take a little time off after the December race, for my sanity, but I won't give up working out. I will get back to training in January and I WILL run over Christmas.

I am not losing steam. I am taking on the Holiday Season head on. I feel good and I'm not about to lose that feeling. So now let's talk Thanksgiving.

I put together the Wellness newsletters for work. Last month I was putting together this month's and was told that I was ruining Thankgiving.

The main thing I did was list items that we generally eat on Thanksgiving. I included the serving size and calories. If you stick with the given serving sizes and skip seconds, the typical Thanksgiving dinner is well over 2000 calories. And truly, who is measuring out the serving sizes? Do you really want to have leftovers?

Check out this website. You plug in what you want to eat (1 serving though) and it will calculate the calories and tell you how many miles you need to do.

Putting it in perspective, you generally burn 100 calories for every mile you walk. You have to walk over 20 miles to burn that off.

Now I'm not saying don't eat it, but I am saying be smart about it.

Stick to one serving. Make sure you fill your plate with greens. Choose white meat over dark. Have whole wheat rolls and stuffing. Saute your green beans in olive oil and herbs. Don't bake them in cream of mushroom soup. Choose vegetables and hummus for your appetizers, not cheese and crackers. Have baked sweet potatoes instead of candied yams. Offer fresh fruit for dessert.

My other tips:

*Serve it buffett style. If you don't have to get up to get seconds and you are looking at the leftover food on the table in front of you while you eat, you are more likely to eat more.

*Don't skip breakfast. Make sure you have a nice healthy breakfast and lunch depending on what time you eat. Don't come to the table hungry.

*Make sure what you are wearing has a waist. Stop eating when it gets snug. No dresses or sweatpants.

*Offer to set the table or do the dishes so that you aren't snacking and tasting if you are preparing the food.

*Don't make excessive amounts of food. If you are cooking for 4, don't make enough food for 8.

*Send leftovers home with guests.

*If you are being sent home with leftovers, take the veggies.

Don't forget to stay active.

*Sign up for a Turkey Trot. Most areas have them. 3 miles for run/walk or 1 mile kids/walk.  I actually signed up for two this year. One for Saturday and one for Sunday. I'm going to walk one and run.

*Play a game of flag football as a family.

*Go for a walk/hike together after dinner.

*Play a round of golf or bike ride around town.

*If you are going shopping, take a pedometer. Try to hit 10,000 steps.

I recently attended a webinar on Holiday stress and they said in actuality the average person only gains 1 lb over the holidays. I laughed so hard I almost choked.  I've thought about this. And here's my theory on that: The more you weigh, the more you must consume to maintain that weight. That, and clearly they aren't conducting the survey correctly.

If you have any Survival tips or healthy options that you enjoy I would love to hear them. I am always looking for ideas to help me. Please post them on my facebook page:

*Don't forget to leave off the l at the end.

Have a Blessed Night

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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