1. Plan Ahead
For me, this was one of the most important parts of my success in losing weight during the holiday's. I had to plan ahead. I had to think through what I was going to eat and stick to the plan. So, for Thanksgiving, that meant I thought through what food I knew would be there. What are my favorites? What did I really want to eat? What did I not really care about and could leave behind? The same was true at a potluck, only I couldn't plan ahead. So then, I just planned to pick 3 or so things and tried small portions of them. If I didn't love it, I didn't finish it. I never deprived myself…never!!
I don't think you can have success if you deprive yourself because then you will go off the deep end to eat the things you love. I think the key is to plan and be smart about what you are going to eat. For me, I wanted to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a roll, apple cranberry cobbler, green beans and pumpkin pie. Does that sound like I missed out on anything? Not to me. Your list may be different. I ate small amounts of each thing. I stopped at that. I even had my favorite Starbucks drink on the way to Thanksgiving. Because I ate small amounts I was even hungry for dinner that night (we eat our meal at lunch time). Yes, I went over the calories I had for that day. That is OK, I had planned that. It is a holiday and I wanted to enjoy it but not go nuts.
2. Workout (do something small rather than nothing at all)
I think this is pretty basic, but necessary to point out if you are like me, I tend to think something like, “I don't have time to get my full workout it today, so I just won't workout.” Don't fall for this! Anything is better than nothing. Going for a walk around the block is better than sitting to watch a T.V. show. If you have 15 minutes instead of 30, use it.
Using those 15 minutes or whatever you have keeps you active. For me, maybe you can be like this as well, if I keep even a small amount, it is less of the slippery slope to doing nothing. It just seems so easy to stop doing anything and so hard to get going again. Anyone else experience that? I always feel great both physically and mentally when I exercise even if it is easier and shorter than normal.
If you are a mom, like me, this time of year we have so much to do that I think we can tend to put ourselves last or ignore ourselves all together. Taking whatever time you have to take care of yourself is totally worth it! For me, taking care of myself starts with eating well and exercising. It also includes #3.
|Me in 2009 while working on losing weight during the holiday's|
Get sleep. Sleep is crucial to keeping your body and mind healthy. It is also crucial in losing weight. There are studies that show that sleep is a crucial part of any weight loss plan. If you aren't getting enough sleep you are less likely to lose the weight. Your body needs sleep. Sometimes this will mean that you will have to skip #2, workout, but you can't make that the majority of the time. However, there really are times that you will need sleep more than you need to exercise. That's OK.
If possible, incorporate #1, plan ahead, into your life for what you plan to eat, your exercise AND your sleep. I don't like to plan that much or that far ahead, but one of the things I learned in being successful at losing weight was that I had to get over that and plan. It was very hard for me to get over my dislike of planning what I was eating, when and what I would do for exercise and when I would sleep. I think my weight loss coach/partner probably got sick of hearing me complain about it. You know what, it was the only way I would be honest with myself and I believe it was a huge part in my success.
4. What's More Important? (Have an end goal in mind)
For me, it was important to have something in mind that I really wanted. For example, I really wanted to lose weight to look and feel good. I wanted to look and feel good and plan a vacation to the beach. Currently, I don't like the feel of my stomach. What I have in mind is the feeling I know of my stomach not jiggling and feeling flat. Why do those things matter?
When at a holiday party or out with friends, for me, it is so easy to just through the ‘diet' out the window and say I don't care. If I have a goal or something I want, it is so much easier to mentally go through, do I want that cookie, latte, extra slice of pie or do I want to look and feel awesome when we go to the beach next year? I know this can be hard to do in the moment, but you are more likely to have success if you have something in mind that is really important to you. It is that principle of keeping the end in mind.
The other thing I will say on this subject is that I can tell you three years later, I can't remember even one of these situations where I needed to make a choice or say ‘no' to some yummy food. I know I had tons of them. I don't remember one! You won't either. What you will remember and be proud of is that you stayed healthy and/or lost weight during the holidays. You will remember that you feel fantastic!
5. Don't Drink Your Calories
I think this is fairly obvious. I think most of us know that alcohol packs a punch in the calorie department. That doesn't mean you have to abstain, however, you need to have a plan. Stick with the plan. Yep….stick with the plan!
You haven't deprived yourself, have a drink whether it be your favorite latte, a glass of wine or something else you really love. Make sure it is a drink you love. Don't bother with things that are mediocre, whether we are talking about food or drinks. Only go for things you love. Stop with what you planned. In the long run, you are going to be so proud of yourself and you are going to love how you feel both physically and mentally because you are achieving whatever your goal is.
This is true whether we are talking about weight loss or something like long training runs for my recent half marathon. There were many times in both journeys that I wanted to throw in the towel. I am so glad I didn't. I feel fantastic! I am so proud of myself that I lost 40lbs. I am so proud of myself that this year, I didn't give up and quit on finishing a half marathon. Both goals had a lot of obstacles. It is not easy, but it is sooo worth it! You are worth it!
|2012 after losing and maintaining a 40lb weight loss. |
Showing off my new runner ornament and about to complete a half marathon!
The journey for me has been much so more about learning to love myself and less about the weight or the run. As I have learned how to love myself and I am able to be proud of myself. I am able to keep going when obstacles present themselves because I know what is important to me. Which leads me to a bonus tip:
Bonus Tip: Find a coach or partner
When I started my journey, I took a huge chance and asked my cousin if she would be willing to be my diet coach. Talk about putting myself out there in some pretty scary ways. Not only was I asking someone I didn't know that well at the time to help me (which is hard for me to do) but I was also asking her if she wanted to lose weight as well. Kind of a touchy subject to attempt to bring up. Knowing me, I bumbled it all and said things that another person probably would have hung up the phone on me, but my cousin knew me enough to understand my point.
We called each other once a week. We learned so much about each other. We supported (and still do) each other through some tough times. We could call each other and say, “I really want to forget this whole thing.” Then we would help each other get back on track. We would challenge each other to look at why we wanted to give up. We didn't tell each other what we wanted to hear, we told each other what we needed to hear. We were able to cheer for each other even if we hadn't had success at the same time or the same pace. I'm not sure I would be where I am had it not been for the support and insight I gained from my ‘Diet Coach.'
I highly recommend you find one as well. If you are interested. This book is also what I used along with a support group/ program with a life coach(The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person). I was ready to be done with being overweight and wanted to be healthy. I found ways that worked for me. My ways may not work the same for you, but don't give up. It is so worth it to feel great physically and to feel great about yourself.
What tips can you add to help others through this holiday season? What do you do to take care of yourself? What do you do to stay fit? How about eating well and not overdoing? Please leave comments below, I would love to have a great discussion going that others can benefit from.
Happy holidays…take care of yourself this holiday season!
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© 2011-2012 The Real Thing with the Coake Family. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
© 2011-2013 The Real Thing with the Coake Family. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.