I did it! I made it through Christmas without gaining back the couple pounds I lost since I started my journey.
My goal was to lose 5 lbs by Christmas, but I only lost 2 lbs. I’m not discouraged in any way though, because I’m on a healthier path than I was even a month ago. And if you didn’t meet your goals, that’s okay too…because any active minutes you have accumulated is better than none.
We often spend our time pointing out the things we haven’t done, especially when we’re on the path to becoming healthier. And trust me when I say I was one of those people too. As life happens, sometimes we can’t control what we do in a day. Nor can we control every bite of food we eat.
As I have become older and wiser, I know there’s more to life than being obsessed with what I weigh. Life is short, and getting by on bland food and not enjoying what we eat is, well, a crock of (insert your word here). I know there are others out there who live on salads and rice cakes, but I am not one of them. I like my Ukrainian food, steak, chicken, and the occasional burger. And this holiday season was definitely filled with a LOT of Ukrainian food.
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Now as I’ve said in previous posts, I am not a yoga instructor, nutritionist, or anything of the sort. I am, however, a woman who has learned to have a healthier relationship with food.
I like my junk food as much as the next person, and have the biggest sweet tooth out there. I am learning as I age that I can enjoy what I like, as long as I increase my activity level to burn off the extra calories. I have also found that if I let myself have more of the foods I like, I don’t tend to overindulge.
I’m sure you’ve had the same experience at least once. Stick to a diet, then a holiday comes along and you eat everything you haven’t allowed yourself in weeks, or months. And then the feelings of guilt (and nausea) set in, because you ate too much and your body isn’t used to any of it. It is then the vicious circle begins, and you starve yourself for weeks once again…until the next special occasion comes along.
What’s the trick?
I hate to burst your bubble, but there really isn’t a trick or magic formula when it comes to weight loss. It’s simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume.
And speaking of which, be sure to consume a healthy amount of good calories. That includes fats, proteins, carbohydrates…all the things some diets say you don’t need. Our bodies are meant to move, and food is our fuel.
Have you noticed obesity is becoming more of an epidemic? Have you also noticed it never was a problem a few short decades ago? Why is that you ask?
The problem is our sedentary lifestyle combined with the convenience foods we are all so quick to consume. I can’t deny I’m as apt to buy quick meals as opposed to preparing everything from scratch. (It was definitely easier to cook from scratch when there was more than just me to cook for.) I enjoyed cooking for Christmas Dinner; and I now have healthier leftovers because I made too much. (I tend to do that, no matter what I make.)
The bottom line is this: enjoy the food you love, but in moderation. And stay active. Go for walks, do yoga, find some low-impact workouts you can do, or use the shovel or push mower instead of the snowblower or ride-on mower. Walk to the store instead of taking the bus or the car if you live in a town or city. If you’re out in the country like I am, go for a walk around the perimeter of your property to get your steps in. Or if the weather isn’t nice enough to be outside, turn up the tunes and dance around the living room.
No matter where you live, make activity a part of your day. Burn more calories than you consume and you’ll gradually lose the 5 or 50 lbs you want to; but remember it takes time. And make sure you’re getting your calories from healthy sources. Stick to the 4 food groups and the recommended daily servings and you’ll do just fine. Fad diets don’t generally work, and you don’t learn healthy eating habits by starving yourself.
If you’ve gotten through Christmas on a healthy note, good for you! If you haven’t, then keep trying. It takes time to build healthy habits, so don’t let a setback discourage you.
I’m thinking about a 30-day challenge and would love your feedback. Please vote in the poll below for your favourite.