Monday, November 24, 2014

Six Tips to Surviving the Next Six Weeks (even if you are over-booked, over-stressed, tempted by treats and your family get-togethers drive you to the Bailey’s)

That may be my longest blog post title yet, however I feel it’s warranted given the madness of this topic. I’m starting to see the survive the holidaystips all over social media and talked a bit about it in Renee’s blog earlier today. Given this is a wellness blog, I thought I’d add some points that I actually use in real life. I want to be realistic and less obvious/annoying as some of the other “tip” articles out there!

Weight-wise, my most successful holiday season was last year. I got a horrible stomach flu a few days before Christmas, so I barely ate a thing. My worst year was 2010. A project at work went awry the week of Thanksgiving. I worked days/nights/weekends up until Christmas and didn’t take care of myself at all. Once Christmas came, I was able to take two weeks off of work – and I ate and drank my way through them.

Let’s find a happy medium, shall we? Here’s what’s worked for me and what I plan to do this year.

1) Don’t take home leftovers or keep tempting food in the house. If you bake or cook, it has to go elsewhere.

2) Celebrate on the holiday only. The holiday is ONE day out of the week. Enjoy the treats and foods as much as you want to on that one day. Don’t extend Thanksgiving into a four-day food festival or a Christmas through New Year’s Day eat-a-thon.

3) Stay busy. I know many folks take 1-2 weeks off of work at the end of the year because of travel or to be with family. For me, that doesn’t work. I can’t justify taking that much time off of work in the middle of winter. It will be me and the food stuck inside hiding from the freezing cold. I will work or make active plans Dec. 26-Jan. 4 to keep me in my daily routine.

4) Make compromises. “It only comes once a year.” “I never get to eat/drink such-n-such.” “If I don’t eat this, it will hurt someone’s feelings.” “I’ve ruined my diet now – I’ll start again after the 1st.” And, it goes on.
  •            It does only come once a year, but it doesn’t need to be a free-for-all. Make compromises and consciously choose foods that you enjoy versus standing in the kitchen and grazing all day. For example, “I’m going to CONSCIOUSLY have two pieces of Aunt Linda’s fudge instead of 3.” Choose what you really want and enjoy it! (And, I highly recommend my Aunt Linda’s fudge. It’s phenomenal!!!)
  •       Jan. 1 falls on a Thursday. You’re likely not going to “start again” on a Thursday. You’ll probably wait until the following Monday because that’s how we typically handle stuff like this. More days toward your goals will be lost. Seriously – try going to the gym on Christmas Eve morning. You’ll be so proud of yourself the rest of the day!

5) Write your 2015 goals NOW. Don’t wait until the post-holiday guilt has set in to write your absurd “I’m only eating vegetables and I’m going to the gym EVERY DAY” goals. Try writing your 2015 goals (realistically) now so you can keep them in mind over the next several weeks. When Jan. 1 comes, you’ll be ready for it.

6) Forgiveness. Enjoy your family and friends. Enjoy your treats. What’s done is done. Feeling guilt over yesterday doesn’t fix it. Let go of guilt and do better today.

On a personal note, it’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog. I focused on myself in 2014 – adjusting to a new job, a new home, loss of family members and learning the art of Wellness Coaching. I’m excited to broaden the Mind Over Mayo name and capabilities in 2015!

Happy Thanksgiving!