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Holiday Strategies

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I am three weeks into the Winter BLC Challenge and I have my feet wet as far as basics of getting and staying healthy. Now Christmas week is here and I will be testing everything I’ve learned. I have several strategies I think will help me.

Even though there are multiple holidays coming up in just over a week, I am going to treat each one as a separate one and try to be mindful during each one. What is the real spiritual or cultural significance of each one for me? For example, I used to think of New Year’s Eve as a pretty big deal and the last chance to indulge before making New Year’s resolutions which I probably didn’t keep. Now I realize that I can make resolutions any day of the year, and the ones that I make before Dec. 31 are sure to be more effective. Secondly, I am older now and see New Year’s Eve as mostly a big marketing campaign to get us to spend and indulge. I
realize now I am in charge of what I do, what I think, and what I eat.
I am also going to prioritize my calories between the holidays and decide which one I want to
allocate the most calories to. For me, it will be Christmas Day. If I make the decision to indulge
on one day and not four, I will be much happier on Jan. 2.

I know I won’t want to do a bunch of exercise DVD’s this week, but I can plan my cooking so I can take a brisk walk after the meat is in the oven. Either that, or walk first thing in the morning. I know myself well enough to realize that if I plan to take a walk after the big meal it will never happen.

And I have created a chart I am going to post in the kitchen where I can see it. I am calling it
HOLIDAY MANAGEMENT

FOOD
I looked ahead to next week and saw we are supposed to pick some food we are going to skip
each day, So I have picked Fast Food.

I have 4 columns - Date, Food to Avoid, Food to Enjoy, and Exercise.
Now time to strategize. Since I am skipping fast food, I need to think of some easy, manageable foods to get at the store to have on hand when hunger and tiredness strike.
Last nite, I was very tempted to order pizza. But I realized I had just the thing to prepare quickly - Lean Cuisine, frozen brussels sprouts (or other veggie), and and an orange for the low glycemic challenge. I was very happy after supper to realize I was in control and I could have pizza another time. Having a bowl of salad greens and a package of grilled chicken strips and some whole wheat rolls is another idea. You get the idea. Then I will pick a few foods I want to enjoy most on the holiday and cut back on others. Fill those in ahead of time on the chart. Also, no second helpings.

ACTIVITY
Next I looked at how I usually spend my time for the holidays and if I want to change things up.
This year we are planning a walk in a pretty neighborhood to see the decorations.Why not walk
instead of always drive?
Wrapping gifts? If the wrapping supplies are in the basement, why not just bring up a few of the supplies, wrap a couple of gifts, and make several trips to get more supplies. Voila! Instant steps.
How about a visit to the local zoo? See lights, animals, and get some walking in. Take a few photos and enjoy the memories.
Having hot chocolate? Skip Mom’s recipe. There are several lower calorie instant packaged ones that are pretty good with a dab of whipped topping.

This year we are going to think more of others. We are taking some homemade soup to a friend with cancer. Lots of other opportunities to think of others. Maybe send some wishes to someone who needs a boost thru email or Facebook. Give a helping hand to someone at the store who can’t reach the top shelf or could use a hand loading groceries into the car. There are
so many things to do to spread some kindness.

After Christmas I will evaluate how I did and think of changes I can make to handle New Year’s Eve and New Year’s. Whatever happens, I am not going to throw in the towel and just eat everything in sight because I ate too much chocolate. I will remember I am human and I am in this for the long term.

Wishing everyone happier and healthier holidays this year!

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