Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight walking in a winter wonderland. That is right everyone! Tis’ the season full of cheerful holiday festivities, warm, joyous laughters and a truckful of home cooked goodies every holiday event you attend.
Due to consistent mean training, sweaty cheeks, callus dominated hands and 90% clean eating; you have lost a significant amount of weight. After a summer full of dedicated hard work and serious mental focus towards achieving your fitness goals, you look great and people notice. Every where you go, you are being complimented on how fabulous you look and people are astonished by the healthy transformation that you have made. It makes you feel pretty amazing. You become really close towards the body that you have always dreamt of.
Whether you are a student or employee, you have been so mentally focused that you have passed every kind of test that was brought upon you.
- You’ve passed every junk food item when you went out to get-togethers with friends
- You switched to a “no alcohol” lifestyle and said no to every alcoholic beverage
- You walked right by the table of warm, chewy, home made brownies that your co-workers
- brought to work
- You go straight to the salad section instead of hamburgers and french fries in your
- school’s cafeteria
- You only took one bite of grandma’s cookies to make her happy and you were able to stop
Whatever the situation is, you felt as though you have passed the ultimate test.
“Hmph, I’ve gone through all that, nothing can phase me now. I got this! Mwahahaha” You think to yourself.
And then the holidays happen. Most people call it caving in. I call it craving in. Now let’s talk about it.
I was not as mentally prepared as I thought I’d be. I completely underestimated how badly this would end up effecting me and the great progress I’ve made thus far. The holiday season is different than the situations stated above because you are with your family. Family that you may not have seen in a long time. You’re in a comfortable setting and everyone is enjoying food so mindlessly. It’s winter time and all you think about is comfort; comfort food, comfort company, comfort treats. My mother for one, is huge on Thanksgiving and always has the largest dinners. I’m not talking just one normal Thanksgiving dinner, I’m talking 3 days in a row of feasting.
O_O ? Right. Yeah I hear you on that. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I said “No thanks but I’m okay!” Eventually when all you are eating is turkey and green beans while everyone else is having a bit of everything, the table gets talking. “Well why aren’t you trying out everything else?” ‘It was my first time making this and it’s really good, just take one piece.”
- Suddenly you become the talk of the dinner table about how “you can still eat everything and exercise it right off, its okay!” Eventually you get sick of hearing it.
- Then you try to compromise and think to yourself … well I did spend months of eating clean so I could just indulge in whatever I want for one day… and I did work my butt off at the gym this morning to prepare for this … and it is just one treat.
- Next thing you know, one turns to two which turns to four which somehow turned into me eating a 1/2 a tub of Reese’s Peanut Butter Premium Ice Cream in one sitting by myself! You got it. I lost complete self control.
I kept making excuses for myself like “Ooh my stomache’s still tight looking, I can fit in more goodies. Might as well go all the way and just start on a clean slate tomorrow.” Then tomorrow came. Then tomorrow I said tomorrow again. I eventually hit this wall and got completely discouraged by the damage that I did to my body. I stopped believing in myself. For the first time in this fitness journey I felt beyond weak minded. I became stuck in this deep rut finding it so hard to get out. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t stop eating all these horrible foods even after Thanksgiving that I almost was back to where I started at the beginning of my fitness journey. Every day since then has been a struggle to stay away from unhealthy foods.
I have finally gained 100% mental focus back. That’s where it all begins, YOUR MENTALITY. My head is back in the game and it sure wasn’t easy to myself back here. More importantly, I gained back the light of tomorrow instead of the darkness of today! I remembered to BELIEVE. This is also why I created the “Missiongetfit2013 Challenge” the way I did, to encourage myself and others to get where we should be. Now that I have the experience of a horror tragic story (haha, not really). I can share with you my insights on
10 Ways to Combat the Holiday “Crave In”
1. Mentally prepare yourself
When you are an “all-or-nothing” personality like me, once you eat clean you eat clean. Once you eat anything bad at all, you keep eating bad. This is why during my fitness journey, I never indulged in bad foods but made healthier versions of the things I loved. This is partially because I know that once I eat something unhealthy, it’s hard for me to stop. So prepare yourself to stay super focused. Envision what kind of fitness goal you are looking to reach and see it coming towards you.
2. Practice self control
Before you go to the event, tell yourself what kinds of situations may occur and how you can object to them. Worst comes to worst, practice self control and stop after one bite. Do something else to keep yourself occupied. Got a chatterbox mouth that everyone is afraid to come too close to at the party? Well guess what, you can go talk to her/him so she can keep you occupied.
3. Express yourself
Like I said the biggest problem for me was dealing with family. If I had Thanksgiving with friends, things would have gone off a lot easier. You love your family and you want to make them happy. But you also don’t want to ruin your progress either. Before the gathering, explain to them your goals and why it’s so important to you that you stay on track. This way they will be more understanding instead of you just saying “No thanks” to every item and making them feel like you’re not fond of their cooking.
4. Bake your own goodies
If sweets are your biggest enemies, make your own treats. It will just taste just as delicious. It will not make you feel a disastrous tummy ache afterwards and it will accommodate your fitness goals. Who knows? Everyone else might like it too. I didn’t think my family would enjoy my Healthy Pumpkin Pie as much as they did.
*I highly recommend you all make the Apple Coconut Upsidedown Cake to bring to holiday dinner parties!
5. Chew gum
Bring a lot of sugar free gum with you every where. Wrapper after wrapper just chew it and don’t think so much about the food that you are not even hungry for. Mindless eating can easily ruin your progress.
6. Analyze your year
With holidays occurring towards the end of the year, you can take just 5 minutes to sit there and think about how hard you worked to get to where you want to be. How happy you physically feel. How smooth your thinking is. How clear your face is. How stress free you became. How content you are. Immerse yourself in those feelings so once you encounter unhealthy foods, you are not tempted to reach out for them.
7. Eat well before you attend
Have your proteins and vegetables throughout the day so you aren’t starving and grabbing onto every food in sight. Try to stay low on carbs because if you do end up eating anything at a party, I’ll bet cha it’s full of carbs.
8. Plan out your workouts
If you know you are going to a party at 6pm. Wake up early and perform a mean, dirty workout session . Preferrably HIIT (read this informative article from The Greatist about interval training if you are unfamiliar with it) so that your body is burning calories even 48 hours after you are finished working out. Also when you plan your workouts for the week, you will feel more of an obligation to get it completed.
9. Do not let other people’s opinions phase you
Sometimes the sister, sometimes its the friend, sometimes its the co worker. People see how healthy you eat and it almost seems like they are trying to make you feel like you have an eating disorder for being that healthy. People already have the plan to give up on their fitness goals over the holidays. They use the excuse that it’s winter time, no one will see their body and sweaters can do the trick. But guess what? You, my friend, are not one of them. So do not listen or clue in to anyone else’s expressions but your own!
10. If you happen to fall off the bandwagon, hop right back on
HOP RIGHT BACK ON. I’m talking hop right back on that bandwagon like someone is lighting burning fire under your ass! I cannot express how important this last point is. This is where I failed. I kept saying tomorrow I will. Tomorrow I’ll eat my regular 5 meals a day. Tomorrow I’ll make sure I eat my proteins and veggies. I’ll have one cookie now and tomorrow, I’ll go on a water cleanse and clear it all up. Do not wait until tomorrow to get back on track. Do NOT make excuses. That is exactly how you will gain everything back. Begin your normal regimen immediately, drink a lot of water and you will be back at your normal physique within 2-3 days.
I can only hope that my experience and this post will help you all along the way in achieving your fitness goals. The last thing to keep in mind if all goes down hill is to confront yourself.
- DO NOT hide away from the situation. It makes matters worse when you are not dealing with it
- DO NOT feel discouraged. You’re living for tomorrow not for today. Things will change when you take the course of action
- DO NOT blame or pity yourself for falling off so hard after working your butt off
- DO NOT become weak minded and lose your sense of strength and power
Yes it’s a constant struggle and you will watch me fail time and time again. But each time, you will watch me rise even higher. Some people choose to give up on themselves and stay in that deep pit, I choose to stay positive and fight back.