So, how much did your ticker move backwards? 2, 5, 10 or more? Or you donít even want to know? Whatever the number, known or unknown, I bet you want the holiday weight to vanish overnight, right? Thatís what I want, too! But Iíve felt the panic before. Actually, it used to be the aftermath of every holiday season forÖ as long as I can remember! Thatís the reason I know how destructive this kind of panic can be. It always leads us to the wrong decisions and makes us fight a lost battle. Until the next holiday seasonÖ
So, what do we do? First of all we take a really deep breath and relax. Think about all the nice things that you did during the holidays that are not food-related. Decorating, shopping, exchanging gifts, meeting friends, gathering with the rest of the family, playing with your kids, anything that made you feel good.
Feeling better already?
Let's add a humorous note, to relax even more.
Now letís deal with everything one step at a time.
- First, the scale.
If you havenít weighed yourself after the holidays, you might want to think about it for a while. We all know when we have crossed our limits with food and have been too ďbusyĒ to work out. We all can feel it when the reading on the scale will most likely disappoint us. But there are people who need this kind of awakening to help them take action and then there are other people who get panicked by even the slightest gain and tend to make things worse by turning to emotional eating and binges. If you belong to the second category, you might want to wait a bit before you get on the scale.
- Knowing or imagining the gain, itís time to give it the correct proportions in your mind. Itís definitely not the end of the world and you didnít just miss your last chance to become a fit and healthy person! This number is just the result of how you changed your eating and exercise habits during the holidays. Either you couldnít resist the temptations or you just allowed yourself to indulge, which, to be honest, are more or less one and the same, but thatís irrelevant. What matters is that it happened. It canít be undone but luckily it can be fixed. If you want to fix it, you have to start eating right and exercise. If you donít want to fix it, you simply wouldnít waste your time reading this.
- Start eating right. That means filling your kitchen with healthy ingredients and emptying your house of sweets and holiday treats. Youíve had enough of them and you enjoyed them. But now itís time for change.
- Exercise. You donít need to become the local gym hero in a day! Start slowly. A longer walk today, a 20-minute workout tomorrow, anything that you enjoy doing will help. You just need to put yourself in the fitness frame of mind for a start.
- Be realistic. Donít expect yourself to be perfect right away. Imagine you return to work just after vacation. What happens on the first day? Can you easily forget about the fun and concentrate on your work or do you daydream of sunny beaches and crystal sea waters at every chance? Habits, even recently-acquired ones, can become second nature. Especially the ones that make us feel good and we enjoy them. Donít expect yourself to forget about them in a day. The first day, youíll mess up right after breakfast. The second day, youíll make it to lunch. The third, youíll only feel weak right before bedtime. In the end, youíll get it right. Just be patient with yourself.
- Try to set some non-scale goals. Iíve read in many Sparkersí blogs that they donít work for them. I know that the scale number is really important for all of us but Iím asking you to give it a second thought. Is it the only proof of our hard work and our progress? What about fitness achievements and smaller sizes? What about feeling healthier and full of energy? Do we have full control of the number on the scale? No, we donít. Our weight fluctuates for many reasons even during the same day. We shouldnít be obsessed with the number on the scale. Itís neither right nor healthy.
Above all, stay cool-headed. Panic never helped anyone achieve anything. Focus and take it one step at a time. And when you Ďre back in control of your eating habits, take a look at your rear-view mirror and inspect yourself, your feelings and your actions during the past holidays. Iím sure youíll have many valuable lessons to learn and practice until the next holiday season. And maybe you wonít ever need to read blog like this one again.