Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank You, Thanksgiving.

Well, it is the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend and I am sure many of your are full of regret and afraid to step on the scale.  I actually heard on the news the other day (brace yourself, this is going to be rough)- that the average person consumed between 4,000-6,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day.  Wow.  That is two to three times the recommended daily caloric intake!  What in the world were we eating to consume that many calories... turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, casserole, stuffing, deviled eggs, pie...... more pie...... grazing back through the dishes a few hours later... then more pie.... and to top it off before bed- a little more pie.  At least thats how my day went (minus the turkey, but don't worry I made up for it with a little more of everything else).  

Or maybe you did really good this Thanksgiving.  Maybe you balanced your plate- had only a few bites of everything that you really loved and then quit with your weight and dignity in tact.  

Either way- here we are.  At just the beginning of the holiday season.  Thanksgiving is just a minor speed bump in the road of holiday parties, Christmas dinner, and New Years celebrations.  How are we ever going to get through this time without having to (for the millionth year in a row) make our New Years resolution to lose weight. Don't you think that it's ironic that you have to make your New Years resolution directly after you have done nothing but indulge on delicious meals, pies, and holiday candies?  I have always found that a little odd.  

Not to mention something else that I heard on the news the other day- the average person gains between eight and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.  What in the world are we doing to ourselves???  We don't do this any other time during the year- so why do we just lose all of our inhibitions during the holidays?  

Well guess what?  We are stopping it right now.  All of us.  I'm serious.  The main focus of our holiday should be family and friends- not just the food.  I have come up with a few ideas that will help you to make the holidays a little less about food and a little more about family and friends.

Step 1:  When it's time to eat, eat.  When it's time to stop eating, stop eating.  So many conversations are just a congregation around the dinner table- with all of the food still on it.  This makes it way too easy to just munch away on on the leftovers when you aren't even paying attention.  Clear off the table and bring out the cards, or dominoes,  or whatever game your family likes.  Get a big glass of water and if you must eat- a handful of raw carrots- and enjoy the time with your family! After all, that is what this is really about.

Step 2:  Start new family traditions.  This year my mom and I came up with an idea to start taking a walk every holiday after our meal.  We took an hour long walk a few hours after Thanksgiving lunch.  All the boys were taking a nap anyways- so we didn't miss a thing and got to spend some great time together.  And lets face it- we live in Oklahoma, it's probably going to be 70 on Christmas anyways.  

Step 3:  Don't give up your normal workout routine.  If you run every morning at 7 a.m. then go ahead and run every morning at 7 a.m. (or whatever workout it is that you do).  Lots of gyms stay open (especially the day after the holiday) so take advantage of this and keep to your normal routine.  This is the key to living a balanced life- if you eat a little more- workout a little more and you will be just fine to step on the scale Monday morning without seeing a bit of change.

Step 4:  Don't feel bad if you don't like something on the table. OK- so say you put Aunt Susie's new casserole on your plate and you have one bite and you hate it.  Don't finish it just so you won't hurt her feelings!!!! Listen, I am the pickiest eater in the world and everyone in my family still loves me just the same.  These are your calories to spend- spend them on things that you truly enjoy- otherwise they are just a waste, you won't be satisfied, and you will end up eating more calories in the long run.  Whatever you do- don't do it.  She won't even remember it in an hour.

And finally,

Step 5:  Don't worry about it!  So maybe you are one of the people that I was talking about who overindulged.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  You will know how to make better decisions next time.  It is not the end of the world- this isn't about food anyways- it's about enjoying your time with your family!  If you make things about your family then you will forget all about (ok, almost all about) the food!  

However you choose to spend your holiday just know that it is an excuse to get together with your family and friends- not to eat whatever you want with no consequences.  You will feel much better if you follow these simple steps- and will be able to make a much better New Years resolution than losing weight.

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