There are three little words that I loathe. Three little words that will make most people retaliate with rock-solid New Years resolutions, promises to do better, do more, and push harder. Three little words that are practically unavoidable–at least for me.
Holiday Weight Gain.
As someone who follows a wholesome plant-based diet, and makes taking care of her body a top priority (I even got the oh-so-sweet compliment from my man earlier this week “You are probably the healthiest person I know.”)… I still find those three little words utterly impossible to avoid.
I suppose if I sat down and made a list of all the contributing factors, including my step-grandmother’s amazingly delicious homemade pies, champagne brunches, before and after dinner drinks, appetizers galore, and desserts by the bucketload… all in combination with a knee injury that kept my physical activity to the bare minimum for the entire month of December… I’d have a pretty lengthy list of excuses. But alas, :::::sigh::::: they are just excuses.
Since it’s after-the-fact I’m obviously not going to dwell on avoiding holiday weight gain, because… let’s face it… too late for moi! So let’s talk about setting some goals and shedding it!
I’m a firm believer in intuitive eating, and listening to my body’s signals and cues. But after a month of sugar and alcoholic beverage overload, I don’t exactly trust all of my body’s cues right now. Mostly, because sugar is a bit of an addiction. Since I’ve had so much of it this month, I believe my palate has changed and I’m craving it more and more. It’s literally a mental effort for me to say to myself, you don’t need dessert, grab some fruit or make yourself a hot tea instead. Shedding holiday weight definitely requires a mental effort. Some people that are blessed with high metabolisms or engaged in rigorous workout routines may naturally shed the few pounds they have stacked on over the holidays, but that’s definitely not the case for everyone.
So here are a few pointers for ridding your life of those pesky three words. Get rid of the holiday weight gain and move forward with new monthly goals that will promote yourself to being stronger, healthier and more in tune with your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. I believe that overall health is not just one, but a combination of all of the above. In addition to dietary goals, I am also focusing on my injury recovery and healing.
- Set yourself some goals, but make sure they are attainable goals. My goal for the month is to get my palate back on track and to eliminate sugar intake, while getting back into my juicing routine and increasing raw fruit and veggie intake. Also, to focus on my surgery recovery and physical therapy. My February goal is to slowly begin to add physical activity into my life, to the extent that my recovery allows.
- Hold yourself accountable to reaching those goals. If you don’t reach them in time, set new goals and move on. I will be tracking my recovery progress through the assistance of my Doctor and physical therapist. I have to do my part by keeping up with my at-home exercises and following the doctor’s instructions. My dietary goals are my own responsibility, but I plan on following through by doing weekly assessments of the nutritional profile of my food intake.
- Surround yourself with positivity and good influence. For me, this includes keeping junk food and sweets out of the house, and keeping up with my reading of healthy living blogs, which really encourage me in my own healthy lifestyle. I’ve also been doing a lot of online reading and research regarding my condition and the recovery process.
- Reach out to others for encouragement. I am incredibly lucky to have amazing and supportive people in my life that encourage me every step of the way. Without them, I would not be the same. Sometimes all it takes is someone to listen to your struggles, and a few words of encouragement to push you forward.
- Persevere. Maybe easier said than done. But when the going gets tough, keep going! That’s why you set yourself a goal in the first place, to motivate you to reach it! Reaching your goals is not attainable unless you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
- Evaluate. Maybe your goals are more easily reached than you imagined. I have surprised myself with my recovery. I discontinued painkillers after day two, and after just 5 days I am hobbling around the house without crutches. To say my family is amazed is an understatement! I have also been doing quite well with my dietary goals. My mother has been cooking up lots of wholesome vegan meals, and I’ve been snacking on frozen fruit at night instead of sweets. So far, my body is loving it!
- Reward yourself. When you reach your goals, whether it be weight loss, or some other matter, make sure to reward yourself! Treat yourself to a girls night out, a much deserved glass of wine, or a special date night. This week, I started walking without crutches, and I kicked sugary desserts to the curb! Score! Looks like a glass of wine and a Brad Pitt movie are the perfect reward for tonight ;)
You might think that I am positively ridiculous for trying to shed some pounds and learn to walk again all in the same month. (Over achiever much?) But like I mentioned before, I’m a firm believer in listening to my body, and right now the only thing my body is telling me is thank you.