Are you looking at the remaining treats on the counter, and muttering, "I blew it!"?
If you did not indulge - even once - in a food that you planned to avoid, stop reading right now. But if the tempting "gotcha" really did get you, I have some encouraging words.
Every supposed failure is really a success because it is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Look behind you! How far have you come? By comparison, where were you last year? Are you on a path that is at least pointed in the direction of your dreams? If you are even one step closer to your goal, congratulate yourself. Take a deep breath, let the holiday go, and start where you are today.
One year ago, I was on a total sugar binge. I snitched from every cookie plate that came in the house, I snarfed dozens of gluten-y soft white rolls, I loaded up on sweet breads galore, and more chocolates disappeared behind my back than I'm willing to admit. I fudged on fudge, the divinity was divine...and then there was the Christmas dinner: eggnog, mashed potatoes, and a full plate of prime rib, followed by pie.
I felt drugged. I was heavy and sluggish, sick of myself. But I chose to change! I started with a green smoothie de-tox, and from there quickly move into nutritarianism. Today I am back to my college weight, off of blood-pressure medication and working out regularly. I feel sharp!
Was I perfect this Christmas? No! For about 3 days, I succumbed. I nibbled Amish Friendship Bread and Almond Roca. I enjoyed popcorn with M&M's and a few cookies made it to my mouth. (Maybe I'll even confess to a piece of fudge if you won't tell). But I had a big green salad every day. Roasted beets replaced rolls. I served poached pears for dessert, and I really did eat Wild Rice, Mushroom and Lentil Timbales instead of Prime Rib on December 25.
So what's my point? I'm still committed to a plant-strong lifestyle! I'm giving myself credit for doing better than last year, and I'm promising to keep improving. These pep tips help me rally when the food demons appear:
- Ask, "How do I feel physically?" If I am perky now, will I still be perky if I eat what I'm contemplating? If I am beginning to feel "foggy," which food choices are contributing?
- Ask, "How do I feel emotionally?" Am I eating to be social, or am I feeling pressured, lonely, frustrated, sad, angry, etc.? Can I meet my need in some other way besides eating? Have I communicated to others what I am feeling?
- Tell myself, "I have options." I do not HAVE to eat something just because it's there or because everyone else is eating it. At a restaurant, I can ask for steamed vegetables, if nothing else. At a party, I can carry around a glass of ice water. I can fix something healthy at home or stop at a health food store when I'm on the road.
- Remember, "Better to stumble and move on than lie in the road and get run over." If I make a choice I regret, a quick assessment and return to commitments is better than giving up.
- Repeat, "I am not alone." I have a community of supporters who have the same challenges I do. They are ready to share their recipes, their struggles, their triumphs...and their smoothies! Together we can keep trying.
- Know that the effort is worth it. All things of value take work. Ease is not the answer.
To your health and happiness,