Wow okay. So despite my early week efforts, the past few days were not my greatest, nutrition-wise. Between Halloween and stress with work, I feel like I ate 100 mini candy bars.
Obviously Hopefully that is an exaggeration, but then again, any amount greater than like 5 is too much.
Side Note: Is Trick or Treating not as big of a deal as it was in the 80s and 90s? Because I live in a huge neighborhood and we had maybe 20 kids.
So if Halloween is any indication, the holidays are going to be a formidable challenge. Three really bad days are okay. Three really bad months? Train wreck. Monumentally not okay. So now I have two goals: Prevention and Preparedness. Yes, I am forming a task force of one to combat Holiday Season Malnutrition.
I think the strategy here should be threefold. Each element to the plan is probably obvious, but obvious and easy are not the same thing. If they were, we wouldn’t be here. Everyone knows to eat fruits & vegetables instead of sugar & carbs. The challenge is doing what we’re told.
So, my Obvious Plan for Prevention & Preparedness (the O.P.P. …P.)
1. Exercise! Exercise provides negative calories. Granted, exercise doesn’t combat the actual badness of indulgent food, but it at least combats the most glaring problem: the excess calories. So if I know I am going to be indulging a bit extra one day, I should workout a bit extra that morning. You would think I would have been doing this all along, but it’s time to be a lot more conscious of this strategy now that my healthy living is in peril. Anyway, I’m a lot less inclined to binge when I’m feeling all good from that workout high.
2. New things to try instead. Thanksgiving is probably the biggest holiday in my family. My parents always said it was the only one we were absolutely required to come home for. There is probably some kind of psychological causal linkage there, given that Thanksgiving’s only tradition is the plentiful feast. It is literally an entire national holiday devoted to overeating! And at our Thanksgiving, like probably your’s and everyone else’s, it’s not as if we’re overeating a bunch of raw fruit. At least, at our house it’s all homemade and there are quite a few vegetables, but there’s still a lot of simple carbs and butter.
I already have some ideas in mind for healthy alternatives to some things. And for the things I would really miss, like my mom’s stuffing, I will just have spend some time meditating to the mantra “PortionControl…PortionControl…PortionControl.” Maybe that should actually be it’s own step in this action plan.
So more exercise. Healthy alternatives to traditional holiday foods. And step 3.
3. Mental and Physical (and Digestive) Strength.This is where preparation comes into play. I’m gonna read some Michael Pollan. I’m gonna get back into my old routine. In fact, I’m gonna step up my old routine! I am going to try to do everything I can to live as healthily as possible for the next three weeks. And then the month after that. And then forever and ever until this time next year. To make up for the insane amount of sugar I consumed this past week, I’m going to try hard to avoid it altogether for most of November. I’ve been fairly lax, allowing myself things like frozen yogurt and other, similar seemingly-harmless things lately. But it’s pretty easy to see how with an already lackadaisical (thank you spell check) attitude, a holiday season where we celebrate glutton could really push me over the edge and back into bad patterns. I’ve come way too far to let that happen, and hence, my task force and the Plan.
I’m pretty excited actually. Just like with the exercise, the more in tuned I am to eating healthy, the less likely I am to lose my way. Plus, I think I am more likely to succeed when the challenge seems more cumbersome. “Eat healthy” is too broad, and too subjective. Eat like you’re stranded and living alone on a desserted island? That’s a challenge I’m into.
So now that I have a solid strategy, I am pretty confident that the rest of the holiday season will be less catastrophic than Halloween turned out to be. I am excited, like I said, for all the steps, but I am especially looking forward to seeing what I can do with step 2.