Yup it’s THAT time of year again!
The time of year when sooner or later someone’s going to say “hey, want some eggnog?” and you’re going to say “Sure!”
And you don’t even like eggnog.
Or when you’re at a family Open House where there’s a massive bowl of Hershey Kisses on the counter … and before you can blink you’ve scarfed back a dozen.
Everywhere you turn, there’s nothing but fat-bomb appetizers closing in on you … you have maybe 5 or 10, because “hey, it’s Christmas!” (plus your sister is seriously stressing you out right now!) …
And you don’t feel at all full, even though you just inhaled 3 days’ worth of calories.
When you’re on a weight loss journey, the holiday season is STRESSFUL! People can easily put on between 5 and 12 pounds over Christmas because of this kind of craziness – and that weight gain keeps going well into January …
How the heck do you get through this holiday hell?!
Oh my goodness, I’ve been there! I get it!! And THIS is how I learned to come out of it all smiling …
Just for you, my friend, here are my top three tips for Not Going Crazy At Christmas – even when you’re surrounded my crazy-making, calorie-laden triggers.
Tip #1 Don’t count on exercise
So here’s a big chunky uncomfortable FACT for you:
There’s no way you can out-exercise an eggnog latte … plus sugar cookies … plus gingerbread treats … plus those gorgeous little mozzarella stick appetizers your in-laws are putting out there before dinner …
You just can’t.
OK, I hear you: “But Jen, I take the dog for a walk for a couple kilometers every single day!”
Well that’s great. Great for your health, great for your blood profile, great for getting you out in nature and being active every day …
BUT if you’re trying to use walking to lose weight? You’re going to be FOREVER frustrated – even WITHOUT all the little extras that come your way in the holiday season!
The straight science of the matter is – you’re never going to be able to out-train your nutrition.
And that’s why you need other strategies …
Tip #2 Get super-clear on your intention
Just wanting to continue on your weight loss journey over the holidays is HUGE – so massive kudos to you!
And just as for any journey, we have to create a crystal-clear, hold-in-your-hand vision of where we’re going, so we can plan to get there.
So get really honest with yourself – what do you truly want?
How do you want to feel when you wake up each morning over the holidays? Do you want to be in that sugar-induced fog that’s soooo easy to slip into … or do you want to feel healthy and clear? And so READY for 2020.
Once you’re super-clear on your intention, you can use it to measure your choices.
So when you’re about to scoop up a handful of choc-covered pretzels, ask yourself “What am I choosing here?”
“Because if I choose to eat all the treats coming at me right now, I’m also making a big choice about what I’m going to be spending my January focused on!”
And do you WANT to spend the next three months trying to lose the pounds you packed on during this holiday madness? Probably not, right?!
Tip #3 Plan ahead!
If you see it you’ll eat it.
You KNOW it’s true – you’re not even thinking about cookies, and then you walk into the kitchen and there they are on the counter … piles of shortbread fingers just sitting there, almost winking at you.
And, BOOM. Three gone. In about 4½ minutes.
The triggers are all around us at this time of year – not just gorgeous treats in your face the whole time, but also the inevitable high-running emotions that family occasions so often bring …
“But I made this traditional German brandy-soaked yule log gateau drowning in chocolate frosting ESPECIALLY for you all! I’ll be so upset if you don’t EAT!!”
Ugh. How do you say “no”, right?!
The thing is, you don’t HAVE to say “no” to EVERYTHING. You don’t have go “all or nothing.”
(In fact, if you do, chances are you’ll not only be miserable … eventually, after days of being “soooo strong,” you’ll find yourself sitting alone in the kitchen eating pecan pie out of the container with your fingers.)
The key is to create yourself some rules for the holiday season, to plan ahead what you’ll eat and what you won’t. That way, you never have to spend emotional energy struggling with decisions in the moment.
(I know, “rules” sound icky and restricting – but you’ll be giving yourself freedom come January, I promise!)
So for example, here are a few of the little guidelines and strategies I always have in place, to help me plan my consumption over the holidays …
- Number one, I don’t eat anything that’s store-bought. It’s just not worth it!
- Second, I say no to bread. Bread rolls, dinner buns … I can have bread anytime, there’s nothing special about bread during the holiday season for me.
- Next, I’m gonna say no to having more than 2 of anything – so that’s 2 cookies, 2 butter tarts … 2 is plenty. We all have horrible shutoff valves, but if we make a rule for ourselves in advance, it’s soooo much easier to stop!
- When I’m off to a cocktail party, I fill up on nourishing foods before I go. After all, I’m not going for the dried-out spanakopita, or the warm shrimp cocktail! I’m going to laugh, to say hello, to chat with my best friend, to spend time with my family.
It’s so easy to just kind of just go with it … “Hey it’s Christmas, what can you do?”
But then I’ll tell you what happens. In a few short weeks from now, you’re into the shame-blame-regret cycle …
… feeling ashamed and guilty that you’ve let yourself down yet again, blaming Christmas, family and friends, and regretting your decisions, which just compounds the shame …
So let this THIS holiday season be different for you. In fact, DECLARE it to be different.
Get crystal clear on how you want to be this time next week, and the week after, and on New Year’s Eve … FEEL that vision in your mind and body every second, and in every choice you make.
When you can do this, believe me, 2020 is going to get SUPER exciting for you.
So go ahead and try out these 3 simple tips, and let me know how you get on! Drop me a comment below (I love to read every one!) or post in our free Energy To Thrive Facebook group – there you’ll meet a beautiful crowd of women just like you, supporting each other and celebrating the weight-loss journey together!