This past Saturday was cookie day.
Friday is Friends-mas pizza party.
Sunday is Christmas snacks with my dad.
Monday is Christmas Eve dinner with my mom.
Tuesday is Christmas morning brunch.
This could seem like a lot of scary food to someone who is trying to control their food, body and diet. And it used to be super scary to me, super stressful. I would either be miserable trying to hold myself back from the “bad” food, ultimately not enjoying a second of my existence, or, more often than not, it was a binge fest where I would eat and eat. I would eat til I couldn’t anymore and then when I finally wasn’t sickly stuffed, I would eat again. Because I never allowed this food. Because I wasn’t sure if it would be another year until I got it again. And I figured one bad meal meant I might as well go nuts on all of them. I also had it predetermined in my head that I would just have to deal with holiday weight gain, knowing I could diet again January 1st. Like I couldn’t possibly enjoy this food and not gain pounds upon pounds.
Man, I hate even writing all of those thoughts again. Because life is different now. And I speak to clients about how I changed and as simple as this sounds, I honestly got sick of it. I got sick of controlling. I got sick of revolving my life around my fear of food and weight gain. I got so tired of feeling like I couldn’t trust my body. Like dessert meant 5 pounds and it would be weeks before I could feel good again. I just got sick of it.
So I changed. And this isn’t about how I changed. Just how the change has made my life so much more enjoyable, flexible, and less stressed.
I have 4 containers of cookies at my house right now. I have a grocery list of things I will be making in the next week. I have back to back days and meals of food I don’t eat on a consistent basis, and I’m sure you do too. And guess what one key point is…
“A CONSISTENT BASIS.”
These gatherings don’t happen like this year round. Yet we fear when they do come. But the point they don’t happen year round is what should allow us not to fear them! It’s just a blip in the radar. And there’s still a lot of healthy food to incorporate along the way.
So I eat my cookies because I know there aren’t containers of cookies at my house year round. I have many gatherings coming up and I can promise you that my tip to you is not to just “BRING THE CELERY TRAY” so that you have something to eat and then pig out when you get home, starving. Nope, this is how these parties look for me as of now…
I will enjoy my pizza party Friday and I’m in charge of the salad, where I’ll bring my favorite one with a mix of cashews, craisins, apples, pears, cheese and romaine.
I’ll go to my dad’s Sunday and since I can’t eat the turkey subs due to pregnancy, I’m bringing my favorite bean dip. Beans and veggies in a vinegarette, eaten with tortilla chips.
I’ll go to my mom’s Christmas Eve and I’ll eat my favorite meal of the year, lasagna and meatballs. I’m in charge of the cheesecake for dessert. And we will go home and pass out on Christmas Eve, stuffed, like usual. But I won’t be mad. I freakin love that meal and the memories that go with it.
Then I’ll wait til we are hungry again in Christmas morning and make our brunch. Eggs, fruit salad, cinnamon rolls, among a few other things. And then we literally lay around all day until it’s time for lasagna leftovers.
And I love it all. Because among these gatherings will be work and workouts, just like everyday life. There will be other meals where I will choose what makes me feel good. There will be some rest as I await my baby boy and there will be joy of good company.
Now before you think my mindset is all rainbows and butterflies, know this-
I ate pizza bread and cookies yesterday. I had a salad for dinner, but no meat on it. I felt quite crappy. Not gonna lie. Between 37 weeks pregnant and carbs galore, I wanted to just go to sleep and forget how uncomfortable I was. And I did. And I woke up and walked. Then had a chicken wrap. And I felt so much better after that wrap because I needed protein. My blood sugar was on a ride I had to stop. But I have learned this over the years. When I eat crap, what makes me feel better is usually at least one of these four things:
So I did that. And I remember those things around the holiday festivities. And I accept that some days, I’ll eat too much. Some days I’ll eat food that doesn’t make me feel my best. But most days, I don’t. And that’s why I’m in the best place I’ve been. Consistent with feeling good, with workouts, and with a mindset that is far from the Hell hole it used to be.
I wanted to share this with you because I’m not just someone you should look at as “lucky” because I’m athletic and have good genes, because I own a gym so I can workout when I want, because I LIKE to workout, because I don’t have kids yet, because I don’t struggle with food, because whatever reason you want to give that prevents you from making the strides I made. Because you can too. It’s a choice. Over and over. Those consistent choices, choosing flexible, loving thoughts over fearful, controlling ones ultimately dig a new path in your brain where this life becomes the more enjoyable way. It doesn’t mean I never struggle. It doesn’t mean I always eat only when I’m hungry or stop when I’m full. It doesn’t mean I always feel beautiful, healthy and great!
It means I’m human. It means I overeat. It means I wish I felt better sometimes. And it means I know that’s all temporary. It means I’ve learned what makes me feel better. And I’ve learned that what used to scare me has no reason to. These festivities, gatherings, meals… they are memories to be made, not events to be feared.
It’s what you do consistently that matters most. Stop giving these things the power to stress you out. Trust your typical lifestyle. Your general way of eating. Your consistent workouts. And you will be just fine.
Like I’ve said before.
Do not throw in the towel.
Do not overcorrect.
And don’t wish away the holidays just so you can start your next diet January 1st.
Consistency trumps control. Everyday.