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Have a Plan & Lower Your Expectations

Saturday, November 14, 2015

According to statistics the average person will gain about 10 pounds during the next two months. With all of the food-centric activities those holiday pounds seem inevitable! But are they really? Do we use the holidays as an excuse to forgo all of the healthy habits we've been working on all year? For many of us we say, "Yes" with a guilty look on our faces. However, we don't need to be a statistic this year.

Food can be a loaded weapon during the holidays. It can be an overindulgence at a party because you are caught up in the frivolity (and the fruitcake!). It can be a coping mechanism because, once again, the holidays aren't turning out the way you hoped they would. It can be comforting because those cookies taste just like your grandmother's. Well, almost. Close enough!

Food is our friend, drug and/or therapist. The magic of the holidays conjures up so many emotions. Overindulging can be comforting, rebellious or numbing. But you are worth so much more than a few extra trips to the buffet.

As my Spark friends know I am a very slow looser. But I AM a looser! Even during the holidays. Here is my secret:
Have a plan and lower your expectations.

Your plan should rely on your strengths. For me that means creating a weekly menu and keeping a food journal. Those two things really keep me focused. I also create a calendar that schedules not only the important meetings, appointments, and holiday events but exercise too. My exercise appointment is scheduled in stone. It's me time!

My advice on lowering your expectations might be hard to follow. It takes practice. After all, we all want a perfect holiday, in a perfect home with perfect presents under a perfect tree. No matter how hard I tried I never achieved that perfection. Have you? I'm fairly certain that fairy tale Christmases don't really exist. So, I'm okay with an imperfect, quirky holiday. Be okay with good enough.

The biggest expectation I've lowered is the expectation of loosing weight during the holidays. So many people go into the holidays proclaiming that they are going to loose 25 pounds before New Years Eve. They are setting themselves up for failure. My goal for the next two months is to maintain my weight loss. That goal enables me to partake in a few indulgences, enjoying the holidays without obsessing over every little morsel and not going into a food frenzy. Another word for this would be moderation. Surely, we can handle moderation and still be in the holiday spirit?

So, what are your plans for the holidays? What are your expectations? Where do you want to be on December 31st? Where ever you are, you're in total control of how you get there. Take a map (your plan) and enjoy the ride (with reasonable expectations as your co-pilot)!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD14803649
    It's been hectic and not even peak holiday season but I've made one commitment to myself and that's to stay focused on what I eat and still allow for some indulgences without guilt.

    As an example... today I savored foods that I eat once in a blue moon because I'm afraid I'll go overboard but surprisingly I ate within reason and still stayed within my calorie range while getting the rest of my nutrients in for the day.

    I think for the first time in my life, I'm learning to truly enjoy and experience the act of eating and still keep my health in mind. What an amazing revelation!! Happy Holidays! emoticon
    1978 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14641362
    Great plan
    1978 days ago
  • BEFIT021
    Great Blig, filled with some wonderful advice!
    Halloween to New Years' are difficult, but not impossible time to plan on losing weight. Like you, I'd be happy just to maintain.
    1980 days ago
    A woman after my own heart!! Thanks for putting my thoughts into words!
    1980 days ago
    Great! I have some events with tempting goodies and plan to just eat a little of the not so healthy and fill up on the healthy. I believe I can maintain or even lose during this time of landmines!
    1980 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    My plan is to eat, in moderation, track my foods, and drink my water.
    I also want to at least maintain my weight, but preferably lose some more.
    1980 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15505658
    Good plans!
    1980 days ago
    Great blog. I have a plan to maintain!! That is what I strive for during Thanksgiving and Christmas!! Progress not perfection is what I say!! Hugz, Moni
    1980 days ago
  • JANET552
    I already seem to be on a throw-caution-to-the-wind diet lately. All the things I used to do seem to have fallen by the wayside. You reminded me that I used to plan menus for the week. I do well when I pre plan my meals (though that isn't always possible). You reminded me that I can enjoy treats without feeling like it is the last time I will ever be able to eat whatever it is.

    Thanks for the jolt! I needed it.
    1983 days ago
    Good advice.
    1983 days ago
    Great planning!
    1983 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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