Ladies and gentleman, fasten your seat belts, please! We are now entering the RED ZONE! No, I don’t mean the area lit up by Rudolph’s red nose. I’m talking about the danger zone for those of trying our hardest to look a little bit less like Jolly Old Saint Nick!
According to one of the trainers at the rehab gym where I work out, nutritionists break the year into 3 color zones – the yellow, the orange and the red. These indicate the levels of “danger” to people’s diets throughout the year. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year is the Red Zone when people are in more danger to gain weight than any other time of the year.
So, what’s a girl to do who’s trying NOT to look like Santa’s body double at this time of year? For this girl it’s been two things – prayer and strategy! As I’ve gotten into the season, surrounded by cookies, candy and various other yumminesses of the holiday, I have definitely felt my resolve weaken. This was evidenced last week as I slid a half of a white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodle into my mouth! (It was a new recipe! I had to make sure it was suitable to serve to the family, right?!) Though the flavor of the cookie was delectable, the taste of the guilt was not, so the next two days at the gym saw an added level to the incline on the treadmill and an extra 10 minutes!
My resolve has been to eat the very best I can during my day to day meals. I’ve been extra cautious of serving sizes, watching my protein intake and avoiding “bad” carbs. Up until this week, I’ve also tried to be very vigilante about my work outs, being at the gym whenever possible, and really pushing my limits when I’m there. I knew that this week, being the actual week of Christmas, I would have trouble getting to the gym because of all the extra hustle and bustle. And I was right. In it’s stead, I’ve carried my pedometer everywhere and carefully tracked my steps, parking farther away from stores than I normally would when out running errands, going down aisles I didn’t really need anything in, just for the extra steps. I hit a loss of 44 lbs. this week, so I’m happy to say, so far, it’s working!
Of course, tonight, Christmas Eve, and tomorrow will be the toughest days, but I’ve already made my game plan and so I feel prepared. I have gone through the menus that I know, the food I know will be available at the 3 different gatherings I’ll be attending. Of those, I’ve chosen the foods that are “worth it” to me to eat and those that aren’t. I’ve given myself permission to have the “worth it” foods, though I’ll still limit the quantities to my normal amount. I feel like that will still allow me to enjoy the holiday without feeling “deprived”, but not have a ton of guilt to deal with post-holiday. Naturally, protein intake will still take priority in food selection. That’s just a given.
Though I hope my strategizing and planning works, my biggest resolve is not to allow this to become the focus of my day, but rather to enjoy the time with my family and friends. And even more importantly, to keep my heart and mind focused on the true meaning of the season, the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. One day He will return and give me a whole new body and I won’t have to worry about this one EVER again! Praise the Lord!
Merry Christmas everyone!