Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back on track month

I wrote this last week, on 11-2, but forgot to post. I've tweaked it a bit, but the general thought is still the same!

It seems like everyone and their dog is doing a back on track month for November right now. It's funny (to me) that people are trying to get back on track in November - because isn't that technically the start of the holidays? What has happened in October that has caused us all to feel like we need to get back on track? And can we even get back on track with the holidays approaching?

Don't get me wrong - I am not saying I'm not part of this group. I definitely need to get back on track too.

I feel like the holidays wouldn't be so bad if we could take out the huge build-up of anxiety that comes with it's arrival. It's like we convince ourselves that being healthy during the holidays is impossible. This makes us more susceptible to slip up because we've already established a negative connotation to the holidays in regards to our health. It's like telling yourself all day that you don't want to work out. Your workout is going to be awful because you've convinced yourself it will be a negative experience. Tell yourself all day you're going to have a great workout, and it will be a great workout.

Stupid mind and it's trickery and games.

So what's so bad about the holidays? You spend a lot of time with friends and family and that's great. Some of these people may not choose to be healthy, but so do a lot of other people we come in contact with every day. Sure there are some special holiday treats that we all have, but we face the temptation of treats all the time. You don't always have a set routine because events come up and people are off of school and work, but that's the same as the weekends - right? If you break down each of the challenges we all face in the holiday season, you are able to see that these challenges are the same that we face every day. So are the holidays hard because these challenges are more frequent and large scale in nature? Or because we enter the holiday season with the preconceived notion of how hard it will be?

I don't have the answer. I wish I did. But I'm going to approach this holiday season as if it's a mental battle. I will tell myself that I am in control of my body, my nutrition and my actions. I will apply my acknowledgement that when I have the option to be healthy I will take it, so I don't feel guilty if I don't have the option. I'm also going to simplify my life as much as I can. I normally make a long list of monthly goals, but I'm going to just focus on two things this month - consistent exercise and eating what I've planned to eat instead of what is just there. You know, you go into the office and someone brought in a huge bowl of candy? I'm not eating it unless I planned ahead to have it! I won't be going out/eating out unless I plan it in advance. I'll be in New Jersey with Matt's family for (almost) an entire week over Christmas and I will do my best then also because I'm in control! Even if they don't have the healthiest food I would choose, I still am in control of my portions and hopefully I can help his mom with some of the cooking so I can health-ify it a little!

I am going to grab the holidays by the horns and make my own path instead of following in everyone else's footsteps. For me, just sticking to these two little principles of exercising and controlling what I'm eating is going to make the difference. I don't need a long list of goals to get my head lost around. I don't need the disappointment of not meeting these specific goals or the stress of achieving them. I just need to tell myself every morning that I AM in control, that I CAN do it, and that I AM THE ODD DUCK.

I'm the girl that makes it through the holidays losing weight, not gaining

I've also joined two holiday challenges - one sponsored by spark and the other is the POTM challenge, so I can stay accountable. These challenges are small and simple in nature, just like my plan is.I'm the one that makes it through the holidays losing instead of gaining.

I will keep repeating these mantras to myself today (and the entire Holiday Season!):

*I am in control of my body, my nutrition and my actions.

*Change your mentality and everything else will follow.

*Pick the healthy option when it's available so you don't feel guilty when there is no healthy option.

*Don't approach healthy living as a diet. Approach it as a way of life. You WILL eat holiday treats, you will choose how many and which ones you have. And you will enjoy every single one that you have! Life is too short to not enjoy it.

Good luck to you all in this unofficial Back on track month!

What are you doing to stay on track (or get BACK on track) this holiday season?

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