The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

4th of July

It's THAT time of year again...a holiday!

What's with calling it "THAT" you may ask?  After all, aren't holiday's supposed to be filled with family, fun and fellowship?

"THAT" time of year is a panic attack waiting to happy for most dieters and healthy lifestyle goers.  "THAT" time of year is when all the family and friends gather around for organized social events with an alter of none other than FOOD.

OH YES, "THAT" time of year is when the counters and stove top become invaded but homemade recipes, Momma's mac n' cheese, Dad's BBQ ribs, Grandma's potato salad and Aunt Fran's sinful peach cobbler.  "THAT" time of year is when your best friend, Mom, girlfriend or sister wants you to "just try a little bite," of her NEW recipe made with looooove.  For those of you who may not know, "LOOOOOOOVE" typically consists of butter, sugar, cream or LOTS of all of the above.  :)

Are you scared yet?  You SHOULDN'T be!  Holidays can be mastered with will-power and careful preparation.  I'm the last person who's gonna tell ya, NOPE, don't touch your Gma's apple pie that only comes out for the 4th of July party and is then retired until the next year (well, unless maybe you're a diabetic).  I'm sure you've all heard this by now "Everything in moderation."  I don't know that I 100% agree with that statement because who defines "moderation?" If you used to eat 5 pieces and now you're down to 2 1/2 YOU may call it moderation...but that's for another post.

REMEMBER: Be safe, have fun and BE MINDFUL of what you're eating.   Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to taste it.  Survey the options and make wise choices that don't leave you feeling depressed because you "can't" eat like everyone else; have a couple things you enjoy but keep them reasonable.  Go for 1-2 spoons of the homemade pasta salad rather than ½ your plate…which is usually followed by a second serving! Make a goal BEFORE the holiday catches you off guard: Eat a serving of vegetables before you go to a gathering (the fiber will fill your tummy and leave less room to feel ravenous when selecting foods), exercise in the morning, no seconds, ½ a piece of small dessert, get 1 piece of meat without the bun or extra condiments, opt for fresh veggies and fruit when available, anything with WHITE sauce is typically a big “NO” and lastly…AVOID pop, juices or alcohol. These are items to avoid all the time for numerous reasons but for weight loss it’s definitely a highly effective way to cut back on the holidays. Use some of those extra calories you saved by eliminating beverages for your favorite FOOD items that you may only experience 1-2x a year. Do not find yourself DRINKING your calories. You’d be amazed at how much drinking water ONLY (and lots of it) will save on your caloric intake AND help curb your hunger.

I hope you don't rush into your holiday unprepared for the "battlefield of food," or "self-loathing" because of your decision to strictly stick to "the plan."  Keep in mind that strict dieting can cause many psychological problems such as headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and wanting to be unsocial.  (<--click link for article).


1.  TO EAT:  If you ARE going to consider this your weeks "cheat meal," prepare in advance and do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go overboard.  Remember your goals and what you're striving towards, you'd hate to ruin a week by careless eating on one day.  Workout in advance and don't skip meals to "save up" for this treat.  Chances are you'll go WAY overboard if you starve yourself prior to this meal.  (<---I have been guilty of this poor weight loss "strategy" for a year now, not anymore.)  Also, if you've worked out and eaten healthy all day you're less likely to allow yourself to just BLOW your hard work when presented with the opportunity.

2.  NOT TO EAT:  If you would rather stick to the plan, I say KUDOS.  Eat before you go and bring an "emergency" bag of healthy snacks to munch on if temptations are arising. Did you catch that, "eat before you GO," which means don't skip the gathering all together in order to avoid facing the pressure. Great Grammy may only come out once a year for these social family events.  When you are there, don't bring yourself and everyone else down because of your decision to avoid the food.  There shouldn't ever be any hanging face, poor attitude or judging (ridiculing) others for THEIR food choices when you're choosing to do what you feel is best or right.  Be joyful, proud and c-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-t in your decision.  Think about WHY you are choosing to withhold and why you believe it to be most beneficial.  Don't just say, "I'm not going to eat," know WHY you aren't going to eat?  Spending time understanding and knowing the basis of your decision will get you through the holiday more effectively than just trying to dive in blindly.

One thing I've witnessed all too often with people who have gone into a social "food centered" event not firm or confident in their "NOT TO EAT" decision is the following (you may have seen it before too):

1.  ABSTINENCE: Starts the night fully abstaining; rejecting even the THOUGHT of the food
2.  CRITICISM:  Begins to critique everyone else's food choices "Are you REALLY going to eat THAT?"  "Do you know how much fat that has in it?"
3.  BITTERNESS:  Irritated at even having to BE at this event; wishing they were anywhere but in this wicked place of high-calorie laden food.
4.  SELF-PITY:  "Woe is me."  Feeling sorry for themself and sad that they too cannot eat without worry.
5.  BREAKING POINT:  Yep!  All too often this un-mentally prepared person breaks with, "Well, I guess I can have just one teensy weensy bite," then it's all over.  They've opened the door to the forbidden fruit and spend the next hour watching the evil calories perpetrate their will power.

What started as denial is now indulgence...all because they weren't firm, steadfast, CONFIDENT and content in their decision to reject the temptations.

That unhealthy approach reminds me a lot of a verse in James that says "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways."  I can't tell you whether "TO EAT" or "NOT TO EAT" is right for YOU, but I will tell you there is a good reason to be confident and secure in your choices - there is a reason the Bible warns us not to doubt. :)

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”

I hope everyone has an amazing 4th of July weekend that is filled with family, fun and fellowship.  I hope you are all prepared for the food choices you'll make at your celebrations.  I pray you are filled with JOY in your hearts as you rejoice over the FREEDOM we have in this country as Americans and rejoice moreso if you've found that FREEDOM is offered through Christ.  Remember our soldier's fighting for our country and pray for our brothers & sister's in chains who are held captive in foreign countries for sharing their faith.
Verse of the Day:

Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

"It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."


Anonymous said...

THAT TIME OF YEAR.... ugh! :) Al though from reading your post I think I can change that "UGH" to a "YES!"


Thanks for encouraging all of us, Mesh. "Just because it's there doesn't mean you HAVE to taste it." Love that! Im pretty sure, too, that i just read that verse at the end on Stacey's blog - maybe. :)

I am planning on enjoying my 4th of July holiday weekend with great friends and 'family'!! I am super stoked about spending the 4th with the Bolton's, and doing our run Sunday morning!

S said...

I keep thinking of the phrase, "Just because something is edible, doesn't make it food."
And the Bible verse that says, "Though all things are permissible for me, not all things are beneficial. I will not be mastered by anything."
This time of year is great for gatherings I think, because there is always tons of fresh fruit and vegetables and awesome grilled meat! So you can load up your plate and not even make an issue out of not eating the other garbage. What more could you ask for?
Happy 4th to you ladies! Good luck on your run!

Frosty said...

What a great dose of motivation and reality for all who read! Have a safe and fabulous holiday!