This week Thursday is the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the US. On most dining room tables in the US there will be a cornucopia of food that includes roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, croissants, seven layer salad, broccoli, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, and lots and lots of gravy. At the end of the meal there will be pumpkin pie, pecan pie, lemon squares, cookies, chocolates and more. The meal will be served with wine, juice, milk and water.
That day kicks off a season that culminates on New Year’s Day. Along the way there will be cookie walks and exchanges, Holiday parties at work and with friends. Cocktail parties, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas day dinner, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s day. All of these will feature sweet treats, and complex meals with many course.
For me you can throw in a birthday party or two for family and friends.
Just to make matters worse, the days are getting shorter and colder, activity levels (in terms of exercise) are on the decline, and all those calories make couch time quite attractive.
Oy, I think I gained weight just typing this opening.
Most people gain weight in this season. For some that gain continues into the coldest months of January and February. By the time the snow starts melting in March, many of us have packed on 5, 10 or more extra pounds, and the struggle begins to get back into swimwear shape.
BUT NOT ME! NOT THIS TIME!
I do not plan to gain weight this season. I am going to beat the trends of my past, and continue on my Journey toward better health. Here is my 5 part plan of attack to make that happen:
1. Exercise and activity. As many of my readers know, I am in the midst of the Daytona 500km Challenge. Between November 16, 2014 and February 22, 2015, I plan to walk a total of 500km. When the green flag drops in Daytona, I will have completed this challenge. With the weather outside being uncooperative, it will mean that I will be spending more time in the gym, and finding creative ways and places to walk indoors. I will do this, and I will be more active this Holiday and Winter season
2. Planning, Planning, Planning. I am using Weight Watchers as my method for managing my food intake. Armed with the WW app on my phone, I will be planning out those big, Holiday meals. I will still get the full enjoyment of the meal, and the camaraderie of my family and friends, but I will do so without going over on my points. I know when the meals are coming, and I usually have a good idea what will be served. I will plan in advance to consume fewer points at the meals leading up to the extravaganza, and I will plan ahead how much of each item I will eat. I will eat that and no more, and spend more time visiting and talking with my family and friends.
3. Relying on my network. I am blessed with a very supportive network among my family and friends. The people I hang around with on a daily basis all know what I am doing, and they have been incredibly supportive in the past. Part of the reason this works well is that I don’t ever ask for special favors with food. I will eat whatever they are serving, but I will eat only what I can sustain to remain on track. Along with all that I have the blog world. I have a network of fellow, like-minded, weight conscious blogger friends. We are all in this together, and I will be relying on the support of that network as well.
4. Be strong and confident in the face of food pushers. We all have them in our lives. They are those very well-intentioned, loving people who will encourage us to eat more food. Many of them are themselves fantastic cooks and bakers. They offer sweet and savory treats that have tremendous visual appeal. They speak in soft tones and tell us that “just one won’t hurt”, as they slide the mounding plate of cookies our way, or offer us another slice of whatever is on the platter. They love us, and they want us to be happy. They see their culinary delights as a wonderful way to make sure our tummies are full, and our hearts are warm. They are tough nuts to crack, but I am going into this season prepared. I plan to smile, be polite and tell them that while I know their food is amazing, I am making the choice to have only a very small (by comparison to past years) amount of it. I will even keep handy my smart phone, ready to show them my before and during pictures and my weight loss progress. I know they will be impressed. When they try to say “but this one won’t ruin all that”, I will smile and agree, as I continue to say no thank you. I will be strong and confident!
5. I plan to lose weight between now and January 1. It may seem redundant to say that part of my 5 point plan to lose weight is that I plan to lose weight, but it isn’t. Part of the reason that I will be successful is that I do have a plan. My plan isn’t to maintain, and it isn’t to gain minimally, it is to lose. I am envisioning that plan and I intend to make it my reality.
So, that’s it. That’s my 5 point plan of attack. I am very accountable to those who read this blog, so if I fail, you all will be among the first to know. If I slip, I will be telling you about it and reformulating my plan going forward to make up for the slip and lost time.
What is your plan to get through the Holidays? What will you do between now and January 1 to ensure that you are starting the new year ahead of the curve on your weight loss and fitness goals?