Monday, December 26, 2011

Don't feel guilty about yesterday (Christmas) dinner

Hi Fitness Fam,

I know many of you spaz out around holiday time because you get these crazy thoughts in your head that Christmas (or Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, or whatever other holiday you celebrate with hearty meals) is going to RUIN your diet. STOP! Stop thinking this way. RIGHT NOW!

Losing weight or having a healthy diet is not about 1 day or a few days throughout the year. Think about what you eat as a relationship. YES! You have a relationship with food. You have a relationship with food just as you have a relationship with a friend or a significant other. Wouldn't you agree that there are ups and downs in a relationship with a friend? You and your best friend do not get along every day, but there is a reason that you call this person your best friend. There are significantly more good days than bad days. Over all this person is a good friend to you and the relationship is healthy. This is how you should look at food. There will be good days—eating salads, choosing baked over fried, loving your fruits and veggies. But there will also be bad days—a doughnut, or a small slice of cake, or the Christmas dinner. But you don’t throw away a 25 year relationship with your best friend over a small fight. And you don’t give up on the idea of eating healthy and achieving your weight goals over 1 meal—a small fight. Yes, the Christmas dinner is a small fight when compared to the 1,094 other meals throughout the year (just a little math here…that’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 365 days minus one meal).

Get yourself out of this holiday pity-party, this holiday guilt fest. Just be real with yourself and the time of the year. People want to celebrate and food is often associated with it. Embrace it and enjoy it—THAT DAY! Don’t embrace it for the next week though. Turn that turkey from Christmas night into a turkey sandwich on wheat or rye, maybe with a little tomato and spinach. Get creative with the dishes that are leftover from the holidays. You can mix and match a bit. You don’t have to eat the same combination of foods from the big day every day until all the food is gone. And if you love the mac and cheese don’t deny yourself the mac and cheese, just don’t pile it on the plate. It is a side dish. Eat it as a side dish. But have your vegetables and fruit and whole wheat items. It’s easier to have a little of what you like than deny yourself that food and then binge on it later when no one is looking. Someone is looking. Someone is always looking. And you’ll see that person when you look in the mirror. And when you look in the mirror be real and assess yourself honestly. Say to yourself, “Yes! I had turkey and dressing, and mac and cheese, and greens, and ham, and sweet potatoes, and pie (or whatever was on your dining room table). It is not the end of the world. I am human. I am a good person. I enjoyed my time with family and friends. I know what I need to do. Today is a new day. Today is a healthier day. I am going to stick to this relationship. I am not going to let that dinner, that small fight take control of my pursuit for healthiness. I am moving forward. I am calm and collected and I am happy with my progress for a healthier lifestyle.”