I’ve reached a point where I’m still determined to lose the 10lbs I’ve been wanting to lose for a year, but also no longer trying to convince myself to eat only fish and salad for two months. I just don’t have that kind of strength anymore. Maybe if I still did pageants and knew I had to be onstage in a bikini, it’d re-light a fire under my butt, but I can say with confidence that that’s never happening again.
With this newfound lack of panic (for now) about not fitting into my size 4 jeans (which is a ridiculously small size when I think about it), I’ve decided to embrace holiday food. However, I also don’t want to give up on myself completely. I really do want to lose a few pounds, so why make my job even harder come January by gaining another 5lbs this December? I don’t need to panic, but I can at least be aware.
So, here are my tactics for enjoying all the holiday goodness this season without hating myself in January:
1. Wear leggings
Just do it. Jeans will only feed the guilt. Leggings allow you to stop worrying about the weight, and instead be driven by health and happiness. It’s pretty hard to self-loathe in leggings. No buttons to undo, no rolls hanging over the sides, no splits when you sit down. Start with some self love in your wardrobe, and let that be the motivation for #2…
2. No seconds
Enjoy the food. Eat up. But just tell yourself before every meal that you won’t have seconds. One plate of food only. This means choosing what you REALLY want to eat. Or having a little bit of everything, but just so it fits on one plate. That way, you’re not depriving yourself, but you won’t hate yourself either.
3. Cut your pie slice in half
Simple. Eat the dessert. But only eat half of it. And don’t expect yourself to eat half of a regular slice on your plate. We all know you won’t have that kind of self control once it’s in front of you. Cut your slice to be half the size of a regular slice to begin with.
4. Don’t starve yourself
If you know Christmas dinner is at 4 p.m., don’t wait all day to eat. Have a small breakfast when you wake up, and a small snack between 12-2. That way, having just one plate and a small piece of pie won’t seem as painful. Just make sure you’re not snacking all day. Be intentional about what you put in your mouth.
5. Go on a walk to see some Christmas lights
If you can’t bring yourself to go to the gym, instead of driving through neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights, why not walk? I love going to the neighborhoods that are known for the best yard decorations, so this year I think I’ll bundle up and stroll on through.
6. Drink wine
I always feel less compelled to eat when I’m sipping on a glass of wine. Seriously, it’s like my go-to appetite suppressant. Way better than gum or a diet pill. I know wine has calories, but 150 calories a glass is way better than gorging on 500-1,000 calories worth of cheese and crackers or spinach dip.
7. Bring a book
I think I eat a lot during the holidays because I kind of get bored. I feel like I should be interacting with family, but don’t always know what to do with my hands, so I eat. Realistically, my family just watches football the whole day, which I can never get into, so it’s high time I find my own form of entertainment. This year, I’m bringing a book to read while they watch. A real book– not on a kindle. The kind that takes two hands to keep the pages open so that my hands are occupied and can’t reach for the snacks.
8. Remind yourself that you’ll see this food again next year
For whatever reason, we feel like we have to eat more of the Christmas food because it’s rare, and the best. But you’ll probably see turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes again in your life, so remind yourself you don’t need to eat a lifetime’s worth right this second.
9. Drink water
I know I already told you to drink wine, but basically, I’m in support of lots of liquids. Wine is great when you need to satisfy the craving for something tasty in your mouth, but water is great for filling you up and curbing those cravings to begin with.
10. Don’t say anything about these tactics to anyone else
The last thing people want is to feel guilt during the holidays. Do. Not. Mention. Weight. Just take care of yourself and your needs quietly, plus the less you talk about food guilt, the less it will consume you. And remember– this is about BALANCE, so wear those leggings, don’t talk about it, and ENJOY your celebrations!