Healthy Planning for a Hectic HolidayPosted on Dec 15th 2010 11:00AM by Ashley Wisniewski
I can hardly believe that in 10 short days it will be Christmas! This time of year is full of sweet treats and warm, comforting foods. It has been very hard to politely decline various cookies and pastries offered to me, but I have also allowed myself the occasional indulgence.
Over the Christmas holiday, my husband and I will travel to Michigan. During those three and a half days, we will spend nearly 26 hours in the car and eat at least nine meals away from home. Out of those nine meals, approximately three will be in the car. You can imagine why I'm a little anxious about traveling and maintaining my weight loss during the holiday season.
In the days leading up to our trip, I really need to make sure I create and stick to a plan. Much like Thanksgiving, proper planning can help me stay on track when I really need it the most.
From Thanksgiving, I learned that I needed a plan in place to control the cravings that crept up after our carb-heavy, delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, I will make sure to bring an assortment of snacks.
I will fill a travel cooler with fruit so that I can quickly grab an apple or banana to squash the craving for something sweet. I will also pack almonds and carrots so that I can be prepared for when the desire for something ultra-crunchy kicks in. Lastly, I will make sure to grab some green tea packets so that I can sip on something warm when I get inkling for eggnog or other holiday beverages.
Exercise will be difficult while we are traveling; therefore, I will take advantage of the opportunities that I have to exercise while I am still at home. Even if it is a 30-minute walk on the treadmill or a quick one-mile run, I look forward to creating a 10-day exercise streak leading up to when we leave for our trip.
While we are away, if there are opportunities to be active, I will take them. Whether it's taking the dog for a quick walk or playing with my niece and nephews, I look forward to finding ways to burn calories in different ways.
I have learned that the best way for me to be healthy during the weekend as well as during the week is to spend some time creating a menu and cooking over the weekend. This allows me to have nutritious meals Saturdays and Sundays and be ready for the week with quick and healthy grab-and-go options from my refrigerator. In preparation for our travels, I will continue this trend. Also, I will continue my food journal before and during our trip so that I can keep track of what I'm eating; journaling really does help me think before I eat.
Finally, I am going to focus on the wonderful moments I get to spend with my family and friends. While there may be food involved, the holidays aren't about the food. It's not about the exercise. It's about spending time with those we love.
Rather than dwell on, "Oh, I can't believe I ate that" or "I wonder what's for dinner," it is more important to find opportunities to talk and laugh with some dear relatives that I don't get to see nearly enough, and truly, that's the most important part of my plan.
After decades of dieting only to gain it back, two That's Fit readers have decided to finally rethink their relationship with food and exercise over the next year to move toward a lifetime of fulfilling, healthy living. Come by every week as Ashley and Lee share their successes and challenges as they tip the scale.