When your diet goes "Girls Gone Wild" all in the name of Christmas
"It's Christmas!" That age old tradition / excuse that even the best of us 90/10 rule followers succumb to at this time of year. The treats, cakes, trifle, pavlova, alcohol, gifts of chocolates and cookies and those extra bits and pieces you make (rum ball anyone?) just in case unexpected visitors drop in. The emergency boxes of chocolates you get for the unexpected presents and want to reciprocate - then there's no unexpected presents. There's ALL THE FOOD and no one eats it.
What's a girl to do?
You take on the challenge of personal garbage disposal system because we have all grown up in an era where food is not wasted and your plate had to be empty before you left the table. That sentiment is compounded when there's a fridge full of food created by your own doing and if you're anything like me, you cook the stuff you love to eat.
I've spent many years relishing in the season of eating dessert for breakfast.
And when the fridge is literally exploding with the sweet stuff you can't possibly eat it only at dessert time.
Now I may not have eaten it for breakfast this year, but there were a few nights running where the dessert of choice may have been larger than my main meal.
It didn't take long however, to recognize this festive habit of mine and to put some steps into action to ensure that my few days of indulgence did not turn into the usual blowout that has lasted well into the new year on previous occassions.
Give it away! If you have been fortunate enough to have guests over for some celebrations, send them home with their own slice of pie.
Send out care packages. I've delivered enough leftover meals to my dad that will last him until the new year. Double bonus - I don't have to eat it and he doesn't have to cook! (Nor do I worry if he is eating).
If you are visiting with friends - leave your contribution to the party there. DON'T bring it home with you because you know you will want to eat it.
Clean out the fridge - try to return the scene of the crime to the pre-festive state asap. The sooner you remove the reminders, the easier it will be to return to your normal eating routine.
Invest in a compost heap, a worm farm or maybe even chickens! If there are no humans to take the leftovers, find some animals that will (the chicken eggs will be golden after the Christmas feast).
Go back to what you know. What healthy eating habits require the least amount of thought for you? Start with those to help ease yourself back into your routine. Mine is a healthy breakfast. I think I could poach eggs with my eyes closed and that familiarity with a healthy routine helps me to remember why I do this for the other 11.5 months of the year.
Drink loads of water. It's summer so you should be drinking heaps anyway, but make an extra special effort to help hydrate your system after the period of indulgence.
Start eating normal again, just the way you were before the festivities started. There's no need for cleanses or juice diets or detoxing. Your body can do that on it's own.
Ease your way back into exercise. If you have indulged a bit, chances are your body won't feel like busting out too much high intensity right away. Start with something you enjoy and work your way back up to where you were before.
Do something you like doing that doesn't involve food. Find happiness and enjoyment to promote positive vibes and a feel good mood. Reward yourself for getting back on track.
Reflect on the experience. What did you learn from it? Were there any insights into those few days that you have not noticed about yourself before? Did you enjoy the food and the treats as much as you thought you would? Did it taste like you remembered or was it somehow different now? How did your body respond to eating that way? If faced with the same opportunity would you do it again or approach it differently?
Every experience is a learning opportunity especially when you come into it from a place of genuine curiosity and not from a place of guilt, regret or remorse.
Enjoy the festivities and partake in those traditions that take your fancy, make a plan to get yourself back into your routine as soon as you are ready and smile at the experience afterwards because after all, Christmas only happens once a year.