As we enter into the official holiday season, food becomes a top priority. Let’s be honest, above the presents and parties the thing we all look forward to the most is the food. Who will make the turkey? Who will bring which sides and order the pies? What kind of dessert will take first place at this year’s tea party and will it be mine? (Doubtful.) So many of us will spend the next 4 to 6 weeks eating abnormal amounts of candy and cookies, pies and potatoes. I mean, have we met? My name is Farrah and I am addicted to stuffing. I can eat stuffing with extra gravy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Throw in some mashed potatoes and we’re talking a gourmet meal. I also have a deep love affair with eggnog and while I don’t actually keep count, I’d venture to guess I go through at least 6 bottles between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Maybe you’re someone who indulges without guilt. I know you’re out there! And kudos to you. I really wish I didn’t waste time grumbling about how I ate too much at the office party or drank too much at the family get together. Because every year I ask the question, “how will I control myself this year?”
I was watching Live with Kelly & Ryan last week and Kelly Rippa said she treats Thanksgiving like any other meal. Rippa is a whack job. That would never work for me. So I asked Google. Google said I should “control my stress levels” and “get more sleep.” Ha! Less stress and more sleep? Does Google KNOW anything about parenthood and the holidays?
Shortly after I had my second baby, I decided I needed to come up with a plan to keep from gaining the “eggnog 15.” I already had the “baby 15,” so there wasn’t any room for more. It’s probably not a plan your personal trainer or your doctor would approve of. And for the record, neither do I. I’m just a middle aged mom trying to survive the holidays without sending myself into sugar shock or forcing myself to eat only from the veggie tray.
So from one Holiday Junkie to another, here’s what I do to avoid post holiday guilt and the need to make ANOTHER resolution based on diet and exercise. It’s simple, it’s basic, and it works for me. Maybe it will work for you.
STICK TO A ROUTINE
I used to spend all my free time shopping for Christmas. As soon as Black Friday hit, cooking and cleaning went out the window and with it the gym. Mornings before work that were once spent on the treadmill were spent at Macy’s or Target. Did you know the mall opens at 8AM in December? It’s true! And it’s fairly empty, which is a great time to go, unless that’s when you normally hit your sweaty yoga class. Its so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle. But don’t skip your workouts; presents can wait.
EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY
I try to stick to my usual breakfast and lunch more so at this time of year, than any other. Mornings are generally easy for me. Unless someone bakes me some pumpkin muffins or drops off a dozen donuts, I am not a big breakfast eater. Typically a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal is all I can stomach before 8am. Lunch on the other hand can be tempting. I work with my father and he’s generally happy to treat me to lunch on any given day. This is a fabulous problem to have! But it can be hard to say no and a lot of times I don’t. During the holidays, I pack myself a salad and I reluctantly turn down something greasy from the deli. It helps balance out what I will most likely eat and/or drink at dinner.
Dinner is when I really allow myself to indulge. If there are cookies in the house, I eat one. If there is pie or cake, I have a slice. In fact, I pretty much have something sweet every single night between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Usually it’s after the kids go to bed, so I don’t have to share. And as I have previously stated, I love eggnog. Sometimes eggnog and a slice of cake IS my dinner.
So many of us splurge on presents and go over the top to make this time of year magical and amazing for everyone else. Especially moms. Making the perfect Thanksgiving meal or watching someone open the perfect gift is what drives us! Its the best part. And for me, treating myself to goodies I don’t normally eat and to festive cocktails I don’t normally drink is just the icing on the cake. Literally. It is the holidays after all, and I am not a crazy person.
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