Monday, December 26, 2011

Success or Failure?

Christmas Day is over. The gifts are opened, the meal is eaten, the company has gone...and some of the goodies have been snitched.

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.
May your new year bring vitality and hope.
To your health and happiness,

1 comment:

  1. Hailey--So true, your words of wisdom are exactly the kick in the butt I needed this morning.