The SparkPeople articles lately have really been hitting home for me! It's like they are writing them FOR ME, with ME in mind. It's scary!!
Today's link is an especially good one: "Taking a break [from your "diet"/healthy eating] for the holidays". What makes this one even more poignant for me is that there are numbers...well, I won't spoil, go check out the article first, then let's chat when you're done!
WOW! Isn't that wild?! If you STICK to your plan, with a bit of a treat here and there even, you can LOSE WEIGHT by the time New Year's Resolutions roll around. Doesn't that sound fantastic? Instead of feeling sick and fat, you could be fitting into a new dress for that New Year's Party!!
(BTW, I love how the article doesn't say, "No naughty foods!" but instead "Use sparingly"! Isn't that how we should be eating ANYWAY?!)
This particularly hits home because I went on a break from my "diet" (which that's what it was back then - a temporary "diet", not a healthy permanent lifestyle change). I had lost a large amount of weight on Weight Watchers. But slowly, I adopt my bad eating habits and I was gaining again. When I hit about 200 pounds (20 pounds up from my previous lowest adult weight), I figured what I needed was a bit of a break. I'd get back on - I just needed some time off, maybe a week.
Fast forward 4 years and 68+ MORE pounds later...yeah, that break wasn't such a good idea!!
Now that I'm in such a better position, I can't help but think like this article suggests - what would have happened had I kept on task, but gave myself even just a wee bit of wiggle room? I doubt I would have gained that 68 pounds. Even at a slower rate of loss, I would still have lost weight and would have easily been back to my lowest adult weight of 183 pounds. Heck, over the course of 4 years, it's like that on November 16th, 2012, when I started my journey, I would have been nearly the weight I am right now (which is ~160 pounds - not my ideal, but I'm aware and working on it!). I probably wouldn't have developed sleep apnea, I wouldn't have had to endure all those aches and pains of carrying around a 100+ person, and I would have been able to do a lot more 5K's!!
But I try not to linger on the "What if". That didn't happen - I took a break, gained the weight, and while I will always regret the fact I didn't snap out of it sooner, I do not regret the lessons I have learned.
You can't take a break from your health.
You are important and worth it. You deserve to treat your body right. Yes, having a treat now and then isn't bad, but moderation moderation moderation.
A lot of things you think are "yucky" really aren't if you know good recipes and aren't eating a lot of chemical junk foods.
You are more than whatever number the scale says.
Health isn't a number in your pants or on the scale. It is HOW YOU FEEL.
Food cannot heal emotional hurts. It cannot replace family and friends and make you feel better long term.
Being active and exercising CAN feel better than anything you eat if you find that activity you absolutely adore.
So this holiday, don't take a break. Give yourself some wiggle room, but still hit the gym, the pavement, the yoga mat, fill up your lunch snack with apples and carrots, and avoid the candy bowl at work. Instead of being full of regret on January 1st, you may feel invigorated.