The holidays are here and along with them comes with the continual threat of falling victim to lazy behaviors and fattening foods. For many years, I always told myself that I would resist all those holiday favorites from fatty meals to sugary desserts, and that way, I wouldn’t gain weight. Unfortunately, that never worked. After all, if I’m not taking part in the food, I’m missing out on a big part of the festivities! I love the food!
That always lead me to end up giving up on my efforts not to eat badly, inevitably causing me to overeat until I gained weight and felt guilty about it…leading to failed New Year’s resolutions, but that’s another story.
For the last few years, I’ve found a way better way to make sure I always feel like I’m getting holiday treats, but without having to buy bigger clothes at the end of it. It’s actually so simple and obvious that I’m surprised that I went so long without doing this.
Here are the three ways I treat myself during the holidays without gaining weight or losing my fitness progress:
1. I eat well – One of the best ways to make sure you won’t overeat is – shockingly enough – to eat! If I know I’m going to be headed to a dinner where lots of hors d’oeuvres and heavy dishes will be served, I make sure I have a huge salad, first. Even before I head out the door, I eat a massive salad of baby spinach and baby kale, carrots, strawberries and lots of other great veggies and berries I love. That way, when I arrive at the celebration, I’m not thinking with my stomach. I’m somewhat satisfied already. This gives me the chance to have a little taste of all the dishes, without overdoing it. I get all the flavor enjoyment without the bloated, guilt-ridden feelings afterward.
2. I dance – I absolutely love to dance. So when I’m headed to a party where there’s dancing, I hit the dance floor and think of it as the best cardio I’ll get throughout the entire winter season. In fact, I typically make sure to bring a pair of flats in my purse to any party where I’m not sure whether or not there will be dancing. That way, I never have an excuse to remain at my table simply because of my footwear. If there isn’t any dancing, I make sure to go for a brisk walk that day, instead. I find that it gives me more energy so that I won’t feel drained at the party. This lets me enjoy myself more.
3. I home spa – During the busy holiday season, I make time for myself every single day. Every. Single. Day. It’s not a lot of time. It’s often only about 15 minutes in the evening, but that time is mine. I use the time to paint my toenails, give my body an exfoliating scrub, relax with a skin hydrating mask and a cooling eye gel pack, or just sink into a warm bath tub with some dead sea salt and hydrating oils to ease my muscles all over. I make a priority of this time because it helps to keep me happy (and sane) so I don’t feel the need to fall back on other treats that will set me back from my goals (as much).