Happy Friendsgiving from the Cosmic Casbah Family!
Focus: Overindulgence may be one of the TOP reasons why people gain their unwanted "holiday weight" in the 10 weeks from late-October to January 1. Here we will dissect some other perceived avenues of the initial weight gain and how to combat that trend to always have a happy, healthy holiday season!
Last night was a long awaited family style dinner that our most awesome Burning Man group, Cosmic Casbah, hosted for our camp-mates! Most of our camp only really get to meet up with each other during the Burning Man "season" so it is definitely a treat to surround ourselves with one of the most loving and accepting groups of people- individuals who I can without a doubt call family.
The whole day leading up to the evening dinner I was for sure on-point with my health conscious breakfast and hydration options. I made sure to get my nutrient shake in during the day just in case I went overboard with the more yummy goods at the dinner (I use Shakeology now and I love it!). I had a good nights rest and had been drinking water all morning and afternoon. Even the night before I had a light and healthy dinner with sauteed shrimp, mixed vegetables, the smallest portion of plain rice, and evening tea as I got cozy for the evening.
The morning of Friendsgiving, I did have some coffee (like always, with cream or milk and no sugar) because I love the warmth of coffee. Even when I got to the house where the dinner was hosted I made absolute sure that whatever I had to eat before dinner would be a lean protein, a good fat, limited empty carbs....the whole works.
As I was settling in and getting excited to catch up with Cosmic Casbah family, I soon realized that dinner was not officially going to be ready for a while. I'm pretty sure (in hindsight) subconsciously I panicked about how my body would sustain until the "real meal". So with the glasses of wine that were flowing, I also started nibbling on some unplanned additional snacks all the way until the Turkey had been finished and dinner had started.
Not only am I a lightweight in the wine-o department, but I used to have a huge addiction to sugary goods that are typical of the holiday scene. I used to bake every single weekend and even shared my obsession with cake with my Casbah fam by revealing to them that I had special sweatpants that I would bake in every week. I called them my "cookie pants" and they were big and stretchy and just perfect for allowing me to indulge in about half of whatever I was baking that weekend until I could send the rest home with other friends or family. I no longer bake every weekend but I still have those cookie pants.
The more I allowed the wine to flow the less control I had over my primary goal- above all holidays and special events, which are my healthy habits. This is pretty typical of most people during holidays or special events, but I had been working long and hard on eating consciously and only really when hungry; making sure I consumed enough quality foods in my daily routine; making sure I am always well hydrated... everything you can think of that fosters a lifetime of healthy habits!
This blog entry is not intended to be a shameful way of noticing what occurred last night and how I felt afterwards, I'm simply bringing to attention how easily a well thought out plan can spiral out of control if your goals aren't a consistent practice every single day of your life.
As the night moved forward, I found myself smashing my face now with cake instead of the smoked salmon and cheese appetizers. Partially this has to do with the fact that it's literall right in front of me. At home I rarely have these things even in the cabinets so it's much easier for me to just NOT have junk food. What I did not account for was when I go out, and what my plan of action SHOULD be when faced with this scenario.
My current goals are to remain consistent in my healthy lifestyle, choose a fitness goal to work towards (I'll talk about this in a future post about my preference to train for a specific event or race to keep me on track versus just working out "because I have to" or "should"), and to never feel guilty about the choices I've made in any occasion.
The dinner was finally open to everyone to start making their plates and my intention was to always fill up the majority of my plate with the colorful veggies that I personally brought to share, then the turkey, and then leaving the "fun" foods to the end and the last bit of space on the plate.
As mentioned before, I am a wine-o lightweight and all of that conscious decision-making went out the door as I was filling my plate. With all the excitement of seeing the family and the delicious food everyone contributed- my senses were not all there (food-wise).
We all settle in and start eating and the food is amazing, the company is amazing, and I could feel myself starting to fill up fast.
After dinner we all snuggle up in the living room an start watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I must have watched about 3 minutes of the movie and then I went OUT like a light bulb. I was in full drunkenness and food coma status that I missed the ENTIRE movie!
After waking up I realized how much better I could have controlled how I made food and drink decisions. Feeling so full to a point where I couldn't even stay awake was not the best feeling- and although I'm fine with whatever happened (because I was enjoying everyones company no matter what) I still step back and take a look at my big picture goals for myself.
Overindulgence is NOT one of them. Enjoying the occasional treat is great, but overindulgence is not what I had in mind for my life.
I always discuss big-picture goal setting with my clients and the moment someone feels ashamed for the cookie they snagged at lunch, or the soda they snuck in for their afternoon pick-me-up, I always remind them that simply, what's done is done and that's OK! Now we move forward from this and choose to make a better choice next time around.
This is much easier said than done (obviously- given my entire backstory of my Friendsgiving event) but the point is, that we're all human, we are not perfect one bit. And to take years of bad lifestyle habits, and to expect yourself to be on-point moving forward just because you've set a goal for yourself, doesn't mean you're not going to fall once in a while.
There is a lot of subconscious expectation with holidays, expected stress, anxiety about their holiday weight gain... the works!
The major takeaway as we push through the next 6 weeks into the New Year is that you continue doing what you already do- the habits and actions you take on a daily basis that are already driving you towards your goals. This has a major compound effect in your bigger picture goals!
Take the anxiety and the stress of all the holiday motions and take a step back to observe and DECIDE what actions are you going to take to bring you closer toward your goals? If you already expect your holidays to sabotage your fitness goals, then that's exactly what the holidays will do.
If you go in with good intentions, a plan and awareness- even if you "messed up" as I did in my Friendsgiving of personal overindulgence- you are still making simple decisions toward your goal, and THIS is what keeps you on track in the long run.
I don't have any regrets on anything I ate or even how I felt afterwards. I simply wanted to show that I - a trainer and a coach- am NORMAL. And just like you I'll slip up once in a while but the more important thing is that you recognize what choices you've made, and then you DECIDE for yourself what the next plan of action will be.
You are in control and you get to make the decisions and create the life you want to live!
If you're wondering how to get on the right track, however, reach out and we can chat about little things you can do starting right now that can help propel you forward toward your ideal healthy lifestyle.
I hope this gave everyone some piece of mind as you enter your own weekend of family and fun and food!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and I'll check in with you all next Monday!