Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Goes The Holiday Eating?


So here we are... just a few days from Christmas. Are you surrounded by holiday treats? Got a house full of candies, cookies, and other yummies? For many of us, this season fills our kitchens with homemade or store-bought goodies that were gifts to us, or in turn, are our gifts to others. How are you handling it? Are you enjoying the flavors of the season in moderation, mindfully, or are you feeling out of control... like the season has ganged up on you to derail your weight loss/maintenance goals?

Each holiday season, the internet is flooded with well meaning blog posts, web articles, facebook comments, tweets and more - all with the aim of helping us control holiday bingeing. While there are a lot of great resources available (yay for the internet!), they don't really solve the problem, do they? And lets be honest - those resources are fantastic until we find ourselves sucked into Pinterest and fighting the urge to lick the screen! Lol!

What's the solution to the Season of Temptation? YOU. Yep. Li'l ol' you. You have it within you to reach your goals - if you want to. You have the strength and willpower to turn from the plethora of "treats" and stay on track. If you want to. You have the ability to stop at just one cookie or candy. If you want to.

It all narrows done to one fine point... We are in 100% control of what goes in our mouths. Are you exercising your control?

You have a goal to reach, yes? Then every bite, sip and step you take is either moving you closer to that goal, or farther away. EVERY bite, sip and step. If you let go of your control and gnaw your way through the holiday, it's going to be so much harder to get and stay on track when the season is done.  You know those New Year Resolutions that peter out mid January? You wanna be one of those? NO! Then exercise your control NOW. It's not like you're depriving yourself by not diving face first into the dessert table - c'mon. This is about a lifestyle of balance.

Yes, you can have a treat. In my meal plans, I encourage a treat-meal - that's one meal, once a week. Every other meal is on track, packed with nutrition, and designed to move you closer to goal. The reason for the treat-meal is simple - balance. While there is science behind the principle, the nitty gritty of it is that utilizing a treat meal is a tool we can use to build a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy and savor it. It's not about gluttony - so don't stuff yourself - use that control.
But Chelle, you just said every bite, sip and step count... doesn't that mean a treat or treat meal is BAD??? This is where the science comes in, and I won't bore you with it except to say that a treat or treat meal can have a beneficial metabolic effect in the presence of consistent clean eating and exercise. 'Nuff said. ;-)
If you're already well on the way to a mid-January meltdown, stop and think. What do you really want? How bad do you want it? Don't give in to the mindset that you can finish out the holiday eating whatever you want, whenever you want and just start fresh in the New Year; that it won't hurt you - you're already off track, right? Wrong! It will hurt you to keep eating mindlessly - it will set you back, it will leave you with that much more weight and bad habits to strip away. Don't disrespect yourself this way! You have 100% control over everything that enters your mouth. You want to lose the weight? Start by putting down the cookie tray. Seriously.

If I sound harsh, well, I am. But it's because I've been there, bingeing my way through the holidays, telling myself I'll eat healthier and lose weight in the New Year. How did that work out? Not so well. Years of not so well. My breaking point, ironically, came during the holiday season several years ago - and I did bust out of my self-destructive cycle. I sweated, cried, learned, cooked, and fought my way through. And let me tell you - during that process, I regretted each and every binge because it's a hell of a lot harder to take it off than it is to put it on. But I did it, and built a fit and clean eating lifestyle. You can too.

I encourage you to view the season a bit differently this year - as you make your preparations for the Big Day, and whatever traditions you and yours follow, think about how they fit into your healthy lifestyle. Are you exercising your control, while appreciating the season? Are you respecting your body, your health? Don't wait for the New Year to make a change. Give yourself the gift of discipline. You don't have to, sure... but... you CAN. You have the power. Own it.

Happy Holidays!


  1. What a wonderful article, Chelle! I love this, and am providing a link to my private group for all of my ECD Warriors to read and gain valuable advice! Thank you for all that you do in contributing to improving the health of the world! XOXOXOXO

  2. Thank you for the harsh realty. Some time we need it. Thank you for the advice. Thank you again. I have come to that realty that we can have a treat here and their but if we keep it up or stay on it for long periods of times. It is a lot harder to get back on track then just having a treat here and there.

  3. Thank you for the reality check and words of inspiration!

  4. Chelle,
    I keep thinking about what you told me last year. The same food will be here next year. No need to overindulge. That advice has served me well and I havent gained any weigh this holiday even being pregnant.

    Hugs to you!

  5. You. Rock.

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  6. That was a great butt-kicking, thanks!!!