Friday, December 25, 2009
How is your holiday going? Are you sticking to your plan? Drinking your water? Tracking what you eat?
If not, that's okay! Just get right back on the horse. One "bad" meal won't kill you. What will derail you is thinking you can start again tomorrow, on Monday, or heaven forbid, next year!
Nobody is perfect. We all eat too much or drink too much at times. That's not what makes us fat. What makes us fat is the guilt trips -- I already ate so much, I might as well just keep going.
One of the things I've learned this past year is that I tend to gain on vacations, no matter how careful I try to be. I still try to be careful, but I accept that I will most likely gain -- and get right back to my healthy habits as soon as I get home. And that weight comes off really quickly.
OTOH, several weeks of overeating can lead to more than just a few pounds, and we all know that those few extra pounds take forever to take back off.
Let's just say goodbye to all or nothing thinking with 2009!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I know most of you are really busy today. I know some people like to take a cheat day, or just take a break from tracking on a holiday. But it's funny how tracking helps keep you on track.
Do you really want that cookie, or are you eating it because it's there? Because it's tradition? Because you're stressed? What do you think will happen if you have to put it in your tracker or write it down?
This may be too late for some of you, but if you're traveling, there's a printable tracker, too. It's under "Printable resources" on your Spark home page. I always print one out and take it with me when I'm traveling.
When I first began with SP and back at WW, I tracked both on SP and with WW trackers. I found most of the time I was hitting my nutritional goals, so I only track my points on paper now. I prefer to use a 6 month journal; that way I can go back and look at something I ate from several weeks ago or flag a really good day or week (only I never actually seem to do that -- maybe a goal for the new year).
Whatever works for you. There's a reason almost every "diet" out there asks you to track your food. Don't throw it all away over the next couple of days. Don't worry about friends and relatives thinking you're "weird". What's more important -- what other people think, or how you feel? And in the end, you're going to feel better if you track your food, even if you overindulge.
Track on, my friends!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
It's trite, but it's true: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It's something my husband definitely doesn't get. He hates to plan. For instance, since there's just the 2 of us, and I rarely eat bread, I keep the bread in the freezer. If he wants it, he either has to remember to take it out of the freezer to defrost (or use the microwave). Most of the time he chooses something else instead, and gets angry that there isn't any bread available. If I don't keep it in the freezer it either gets hard or moldy.
Do you have a plan for your holiday? It is NOT too late to get one. Going to someone else's house? Can you bring a dish? Some food for yourself? Your pedometer or some resistance bands? What will you put on your plate? Can you ask what food will be served?
Are you doing the holiday meal? Great! You have control! Are you making all the old favorites? Can you lighten them up somehow? Can you add some healthy food in there? Have you decided how much you'll eat? Which dessert you'll eat, if at all?
What about exercise? Can you get the family started on a new tradition? Maybe a walk after dinner? Some touch football, if that's your thing? Can you maybe squeeze 10 minutes in every couple of hours (in one day, you could get in an hour's worth of exercising that way!)?
There is still time. You CAN do it. So make a plan, and work your plan. Don't say you'll start anew on New Year's. New Year's is too far away. Today is what you have -- make it count!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
First, I want to thank the 10,000 steps a day team for making me team member of the week. I mostly lurk, so I don't really feel I deserve it, but I'm grateful for it, and I WILL get to thanking you all personally. It may just take a little while.
Next, how'd you do yesterday? Did you remember to take deep breaths before eating, or any time you were stressed? I admit I'm not 100% on this myself, but I keep working on it. The more we work on it, the more it becomes a habit. If anyone would have told me when I was a teenager that I wouldn't feel right if I didn't exercise 5 times a week, I would have died laughing.
Today's mission: drink more water. I've read in numerous places that it's truly a myth that we need 8 glasses of water a day. That you can tell how hydrated you are by the color of your pee (sorry if that offends); it should be almost clear.
The truth is that most of us are chronically dehydrated. By the time we feel thirsty, we're already dehydrated. And many of us mistake thirst for hunger. I have also personally found that when I'm getting 8 glasses of water (I include soymilk, my fruit smoothies, and herbal teas in the total), I am less hungry and less tired -- something we could all use right now.
I gave up alcohol many, many years ago. I was never a big drinker to begin with, and I just decided I'd rather eat than drink my calories (except for those smoothies). But if you do like to drink, there's nothing that says you can't -- IN moderation. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, which tends to make most people overeat. So it can be a double whammy. If you do like to drink, try to make every second drink a glass of water.
Trust me, you will feel so much better if you get in 8 glasses of water over the next few days. Put water bottles in your car. Stash them in your gym bag. If you don't like straight water, add a few slices of lemon (it's actually very good for you, but I personally am not fond of the flavor). Do me a favor and stay away from those sweetened, no or low calorie waters. The more sweet flavored things you have, even if there are few or no calories, the more you are set up to crave sweets -- NOT good at this time of year.
So go forth and drink. Only make it water. Let me know if it makes a difference for you!
Monday, December 21, 2009
For me, the holidays are already winding down. Hannukah is over. We have no more holiday parties to go to that I know of. We saw my parents for the last time before they head out to CA for the winter yesterday. So now I can sit back and relax (sort of).
I know, however, that for most of my spark buddies, their holidays are just revving up into high gear. So I tried to squander what seems to be left of my brain cells on how I could help y'all. I was reading my library book on mindful knitting this morning, and one part really caused me to sit back and think.
She was writing about your morning cup of coffee (or, in my case, tea). And how it tastes soooo good because we're really mindful and present. Our day hasn't begun to spiral down into chores, errands, and not-so-positive surprises.
I'm not sure I completely agree with this -- I think some of the comfort comes from just holding that warm mug in your hands. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is drink some water. Cold water. I'm definitely not cradling that baby in my hands, even though it tastes good after no water for 12 hours or so. There's just something about the warmth seeping into your hands, even in the summer.
But it does beg the question of why that first cup tastes so good, but subsequent cups often go unnoticed? Well, that is our clue -- they're going unnoticed. We're not mindful. We're not really present. There's no reason the third cup can't be every bit as soothing as the first, if we really take the time to savor it, instead of beating ourselves up for all the things we haven't done yet, and worrying about just how we will cram in all the things we have yet to do.
Every time you feel rushed today, please think of me and just stop. Take at least 5 deep breaths. Concentrate on the task at hand, and only the task at hand. We like to think we multitask, but the truth is no one is really good at multitasking. This isn't easy, I know, but with practice, you'll find yourself doing it more and more.
If nothing else, I want you to take 5 deep breaths before putting food in your mouth today. That's my present to you. You CAN do it, no matter how frazzled you're feeling. And let me know if you do, and if it makes a difference!
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