Tonight is that exciting night when the kiddies dress up and collect chocolate and treats for the days (and weeks!) ahead.
Here’s the frightening part.
We Canadians have already had Thanksgiving.
Our American friends are about to hit this delightfully gluttonous holiday, which involves consuming parts of a big bird and accompaniments that include stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Before we know it, the holiday season has begun and we run straight into Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s.
This time of year used to be very dangerous for me.
The excess eating of Thanksgiving ran into the treat overindulgence of my birthday (October 22).
The subsequent holiday parties made me lose whatever self control I previously had.
For a long time, I went through periods of dieting and “eating clean“, followed by binging for special events.
Each binge led to a loosening of my usual rules and I found myself eating treats more often.
Then the extra 10-15 pounds would find its way onto my body and I would realize what was going on.
I’d say, “Enough is enough!”, and ban all the treat foods (chocolate, ice cream, brownies, etc.) that I loved.
The weight would start to come off and I’d feel good.
Pretty soon my willpower died out and I was heading for another cycle of binging.
Then I’d say again, “Enough is enough!” and force myself to “eat clean” for long periods.
This diet cycle continued for over a decade before I finally found my way out.
Any of this pattern sound familiar to you?
Most of my Online Coaching clients have come to me with some version of this scenario.
It takes some time, but they’re able to overcome the mental hurdles they’ve been struggling with for years.
They stop saying things like:
“I need to start eating clean again.”
“I really should go on that diet I heard about from my friend.”
“I’ll get back to the gym when I have more time.”
The last one is funny to me because there never seems to be enough time, especially if you’re a parent.
Setting your priorities differently is what it comes down to.
Small steps are better than making no progress at all.
Using the “All-Or-Nothing” approach for your nutrition and workouts is one of the WORST things you can do.
Feeling guilty for missing the gym only makes you less likely to keep up the habit.
Worrying about that cookie you ate only encourages you to give up.
Be encouraged by the efforts you are making.
Two workouts a week are better than sitting on the couch crying through “This Is Us” every night.
One glass of wine instead of two or three is progress.
Cooking a balanced meal of protein and vegetables at home three times a week is better than eating out every day.
You don’t have to go “All In” to move in the right direction.
We’re all scared of change.
Our comfort zones are so…comfortable.
Making the changes small means that they’re a little less frightening.
And each of those modifications will give you the confidence to gradually introduce more.
Soon you’ll be closer to your goal without the stress/strain/guilt that you experienced before.
How do you get started?
Guilt only makes things worse.
Progress is better than perfection.
And please, please, please stop looking for the perfect diet or workout plan that’s going to change everything.
It’s all about the basics.
There’s no miracle solution to be found in the recesses of the internet.
When you decide on your priorities (health, energy, family, life satisfaction) and take a step in the right direction, you’re on your way.
Eventually it’s not as scary as you think.