For celebrations, for giving thanks, for family, for fun, for food............and weight gain......ugh.
Yep, it IS my favorite time of year. I love the holidays. Right now we've already got Christmas lights on the house (no, not lit up yet, we have an official lighting of the house on Thanksgiving night). My kids are out of school, as is my High School Teacher wife, we are planning foods for Thanksgiving in 2 days. We've already bought some Christmas gifts. The turkey is defrosting in our fridge. I am ready for Christmas music (though I am ritually avoiding it until Thanksgiving). I love this time of year!!
But yes, even as thin as I am normally, I struggle with watching my weight during the holiday season (for my Christian friends, don't be offended by my term of "holiday season" please, I use it to describe the entire season, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years). There have been seasons where I've put on 8-10 pounds. Yep, that's the truth. But in more recent years, I've been able to stay within 1-3 pounds of my weight as the season starts, but it takes a plan.
That's the key. If you have read much of my FB or Twitter or blogs before, you know a saying I have is "People don't mean to plan to fail, but they fail to plan, which IS, of course, planning to fail". So as I sit here 2 days before Thanksgiving, and knowing I already had a chaotic day yesterday that included eating.....ready for this.......FAST FOOD last night, I am seriously contemplating my plan and focusing on making sure I hit it hard going into this season. Later this morning a trip to the gym is on the agenda, a healthy breakfast is on the agenda, and maybe some juicing for this afternoon. But what can YOU do to offset the temptations that you'll most likely fall prey to this year? What kind of planning will it take?
How about let's start with shopping. Make sure, that as you are shopping for some of the sugar/calorie filled goodies, you also make a concerted effort to keep healthy snacks on hand for you and your family. Stop in at the produce section of your store every time you go to buy food. Buy a variety of fruits. Buy some nuts and seeds. Keep these on hand all the time and encourage your kids if you have them, to partake of them when they're reaching for that candy that seems to always be available right now.
Which brings up another point. I think we should indulge in some tasty sinful decadence from time to time this season. But why not put a cap on what you consume? Don't purchase all that you normally purchase. Don't keep it available all over the house, or better yet, don't put it out in easy reach. Keep your selection of fruits and nuts in easy reach instead. If your kids want to have some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, limit their intake, and make sure that they get to eat an orange or banana, or seasonal pomegranate too. Have fun shelling pecans or walnuts together, and of course eating them afterward!
Also take the time to plan healthy meals for yourself with some meat, some good fresh roasted or grilled veggies. Planning this out makes it more likely to happen. And while you're cooking it, why not cook extra so that two days later you can have leftovers without having to cook again? This way you only cook once, but you get to eat two healthy meals. Simple idea that is very effective!
Alright, speaking of planning, don't let the busy holiday schedule cut out your gym time. Get your calender out on Sundays, look at your schedule. Yes it may get tough to get your gym time in, but learn to be efficient once you get to the gym. Or just decide to work out at home to save time. A round of pushups, crunches, lunges, dips, and jumping jacks can get you a decent workout in, especially if you decide to combine two of the exercises together and do 3 sets of each without stopping (ie 10 pushups, 10 lunges, 3x, with no rest between each set). That will get your heart rate up AND give you resistance training.
Friends, enjoy this season, but honor your God given body too. Plan things out so that you CAN indulge and enjoy, but still manage to keep things under control and not be regretting what you did or didn't do on January 2, 2013.
Until next time... Be Well!!