Tips for Surviving the Big Feast

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Can you believe Thanksgiving is here?  We just have one more day until we are all tempted by sweets and treats.  Did you make a plan to keep on track?  Are you bringing something healthy to the table?  Are you staying accountable?

Two weeks ago I gave you some suggestions for general survival.  Today I'd like to give you some specific things I will do TOMORROW to keep myself on track.

First off, I have already told you that I am signed up for a 5K for tomorrow morning.  Getting in a workout on a food-filled day is my number one priority AND my number one strategy.  For me, the timing of that workout is important as well.  It has to happen BEFORE the temptations.  If it does, it puts me in the mindset that I don't want to blow the work I did in the morning by eating horribly.  If the workout doesn't happen before the temptations, I don't get that mental boost, and there is a good chance it won't happen at all.  Because, really, who wants to work out after they have stuffed themselves or after spending all day with family?  I don't know about you, but I know that even though I enjoy the holidays, they exhaust me.  That workout gives me stamina, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment.  You had better believe it will happen!

My second tip?  EAT.  As in, I will eat before I arrive at the feast.  Does that sound counterintuitive?  It isn't.  By eating something BEFORE I am faced with tempting foods, I will be less likely to overeat and regret it later.  On Thanksgiving itself, we go out to my husband's family's house and eat dinner around 11:30AM.  So what I'm going to do is make my Shakeology as soon as I get home from the race, and enjoy it on our 1 1/4 hour drive to his family.  Not only will I NOT be ravenous when I get there; but I will also know that no matter what happens for the rest of the day, I will at least have had one truly nutritious meal. 

My third tip?  I'll peruse the options first.  What is available?  What are the healthiest choices?  And then, I'll choose one or two treats that fit in the following categories:  1)  it's not a "normal" food.  Meaning, I'd only be able to have it at select times of the year.  2)  it's absolutely to die for.  I won't splurge on something mediocre.  The splurge must be worth it.  For example, the hubby's family almost always has candy out.  However, I'm honestly not even tempted because it's just plain candy like Hershey's Kisses or M&Ms.  There's nothing special - to me - about those.  However, if I am at my family's Christmas gathering, I WILL be taking a couple pieces of candy then.  Why?  Because my aunt makes candy once a year - from scratch - and it's something I only get at Christmas. 

Finally, the last thing I do to survive the holiday is to cut myself some slack.  While I will not be going into the dinner with the plan of overindulging, if I happen to slip and eat something that is not the best choice, I know it is just one meal.  And just like one healthy meal will not make me healthy, one unhealthy meal will not destroy all of my progress.  Again, this is not a license to eat everything in sight, but I will not beat myself up or feel guilty if I don't make the absolute best choices.  Guilt has no place in a healthy lifestyle, and I will not give it a place in mine.

I hope and pray that your Thanksgiving will be joyful and blessed and full of family.  May God bless you all, and may you recognize the blessings you are given!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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