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Holidays Schmolidays

Did I ever tell you how much work this is? I’m not talking about counting calories. That part of my journey is easier now more than ever because I have over 5 months of practice behind me. I can open up My Fitness Pal and enter my meals just as quickly as playing one word in Words with Friends. The app remembers my entries and they show up at the top of the list when I start to search for them. The most time consuming aspect of my journey now is taking time to exercise, write in my journey and plan my meals all while I am smack dab in the middle of the Christmas shopping season. Thank goodness for social distancing and cancelled parties because I would really be in a hurt bag if I had to plan around those as well!

But I should report my most exciting news to date. I weighed-in at 203 pounds yesterday! Yahoo!!! That means I have 19 days left in December to lose the last 3 pounds so I can enter 2021 in One-derland. When I saw that number on the scale, my heart warmed over like the Grinch when all of Who-Ville started celebrating Christmas, even though he had stolen all of their presents. I knew that I deserved to see that low number, but I am always afraid of that darn scale throwing me for a loop.

Who would have ever imagined that I could LOSE weight in the middle of the holidays? This is a year I will never forget, for many reasons, but I will focus on the positive and going forward, I will never sabotage myself with the belief that we all gain weight over the holidays. It’s just a matter of having a plan in place and implementing it when the time comes. (The fact that I started the plan in July was a HUGE help as well.)

After my weigh-in yesterday, I proceeded to the gym for a 2-hour visit that included walking for 45 minutes and lifting weights for the rest. I gained back about 1,000 food calories that I planned to use at a restaurant later that evening. I had been craving pizza, though, so I would need as many calories as possible, which meant I should eat a light lunch in order to save a few more calories. So when evening came, my husband and I went to Pizza Ranch where I easily ate around 2,000 calories! I enjoyed every last bite, though. I knew that I would turn off the garbage disposal-type of eating by the end of the night so I had no guilt when I went to bed. (Which is a huge change from prior to this journey)!

When I wasn’t eating or working out the past few days, I was making Christmas gifts for friends and family. I won’t go into detail, since some of them read my blog, but let’s just say it’s a type of crafting that is time consuming but fulfilling to my creative side. I would like to say it saves me money, but when you add up the materials, it probably costs more than ordering them online. I guess it’s a good thing that I am so busy that I don’t have time to sit and snack while watching TV but I also have not been writing in my journal as often.

Every other time I have been on a diet, journaling was not the priority. The act of writing down thoughts, feelings and data related to my eating behavior does not directly lead to weight loss, but after my experience these last few months, there is an argument to made that my rate of success has greatly increased because I have been committed to more than just eating right and exercising.

Writing in my journal reminds me that I am also committed to believing in myself! While the rest of the world is out spending money, wrapping gifts, enjoying holiday treats and resting their loins in a big comfy chair while watching Christmas movies, I am standing firmly on my path and not letting anything or anyone pull me away. It’s almost 10pm and I have to get up at 5:15am so I can get my youngest daughter to the school by 7:15am, so I should be heading to bed right now. But I made a promise to myself that I would put myself FIRST and yes, that means ahead of sleep sometimes too. (I slept in this morning and I can make up some time later this week.)

If you really think about it, we ourselves have put up the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to achieving personal goals. We all want to relax and procrastinate our goals in exchange for a night off here or there, but when it becomes every night, you might as well kiss your dreams goodbye. When I began this journey in late June of 2020, I told myself that there would be NO EXCUSES this time around and I meant it! The holidays are no exception!

When I say I am putting my health first, that also means that it comes before any professional aspirations as well. While I would never turn down an opportunity, I am not out looking for new ones either. This kind of commitment really is ALL or NOTHING! I’ve done the half-ass approach and only maintained my weight while increasing my endurance, but only when I go into a project with 100% of my effort do I see the results I desire. Clearly, though, this is one of my downfalls. I do not do well with moderation. I am at a point now where I can overeat for one meal, or half of the day, but I get right back on track the next day and so far that has been working fairly well, but over the last 25 years, that was not the case.

To get right to the point, I need to keep writing about the boring stuff – when and how much food and exercise I am getting – so my focus stays where it should be. It’s fun to tell stories and relate to my readers but that is not the goal of my journaling. I make no apologies. This journal and all of my efforts to write in it are being made so I can achieve my goals and make my own personal dreams come true! I am just about half-way there and let me tell you, I can just about TASTE it! Every ounce in my body wants me to keep pushing forward until the sweet smell of victory is upon me.

But snap back to right now and there is some work to do. I am already signed up to do Zumba tomorrow at 4:30pm. My work day has a few things scheduled so I will need to get my protein shake before noon. Then after a healthy hamburger for supper, I will drop off my daughter at dance while I run and get some gift cards to give as Christmas presents this year. (Yep – not afraid to admit that I will be taking the easy road and giving gift cards rather than spending extra time shopping for that special gift that would probably be returned anyway. My health comes first – remember?)

Each day this week has to have the same components of eating less, adding some vigorous exercise, planning meals and spending a few minutes getting ready for the holidays. I have given myself no other choice. I spent the last 25 years, “taking the night off” and what did it get me? Well, about 80 pounds more than what I needed or WANTED. It’s the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. So this year is all about change and boy oh boy, the results been completely different! Why on earth would I stop now? - Just because the holidays have come back around? They show up every year. It’s time I took control of them, rather than the other way around. And you know what? This will be one of the MERRIEST CHRISTMASES I have ever had!

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