Sunday, December 29, 2019

Now What?

Now What?

I am posing the question of, "Now what?" because it is now too late to avoid the holiday weight gain for this year. Truly, for most of us, there is not a realistic way of avoiding holiday weight gain. What I do believe is that I can avoid a big gain and blowing what I have been working so hard on just by staying focused on what I was putting in my mouth.

This image is what came to my mind when I thought about overeating or eating too much of a good thing. For me, it would have been emotional eating. If I was able to see through why I was wanting to travel to the dark side of eating, that was half of the battle. Stress can be handled in other, more positive ways.

Each person has their own way to get through the holidays. Maybe you can eat anything you want and never gain a pound? There really are people like that. Hard for me to believe, but they walk among us. Then there are those who go on specific diets. Been there and done that. Only to then gain it back when off that 'said' diet.

What has been working for me is reading information about making healthy choices by watching the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that I consume. I never thought that I could do without bread, without pizza, without potatoes, pasta. I now know too much these foods do not work well in my body. I feel so much healthier without them and the weight has really come off at a steady pace. Fifty pounds so far! There have been times when I hit  plateaus. Instead of getting frustrated and diving for ice cream or chips and dip, I have learned other ways to cope. Companies actually make low carb or zero carb ice cream, bagels, breads, pizza dough. Fast food chains are beginning to add to their menus items that work for low carb eaters. I never realized how much flavor the bun took away from a delicious grass - fed hamburger patty with onions, tomatoes, cheese, mayo, avocado, bacon, mustard all wrapped up with lettuce.

It gives me a chance to be creative in ways I never dreamed of. First of all, let's think about the holiday season. Actually it starts with all of the candy brought in for Halloween. Lucky for me, we do not have trick or treaters at our home. Most parents seem to opt for the trunk or treat parties these days instead of going door to door to strangers' homes. Wise in this day and age. So I only keep in a small amount of candy for special little granddaughters. This is usually the kind that I can resist easily. 

As soon as Halloween is over, there comes the Thanksgiving Feast. Food, food and more food. I don't know about others (well, yes I think that I do) but this always involves potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn pudding, cheese grits, yeast rolls, and several kinds of desserts.

People that I have watched eating in a low carb life style are the ones that have simply amazed me at how it is just the way they live now. Plus, there are so many healthy alternatives and great things out there to eat. I really did enjoy that whole holiday season and with a little planning I believe that I was about to avoid overeating. I chose quality foods if I was going have a slightly higher carb grams in my meals. One English roast potato instead of two and definitely instead of mashed potatoes. A tablespoon or two of cornbread dressing with turkey and ham - both definitely something that I can fill up on instead of eating too much of the dressing. Add fresh green beans wrapped in bacon and there was plenty to eat and truly enjoy both Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities.

All without feeling that I blew it and how will I ever get back on track. I did that last year and I believe that is what helped me not have a derailment this year. It was not a good feeling of beating myself up. My willpower is easy to lose if I don't stay ahead of it. And I am not easy on myself. I decided that I did not want to go through that again. My action plan had to be a strong one after my 2018 gluten and sugar fest. Why put myself through that again? There is a better way.

Doing a little research on holiday recipes that are lower in carbs and then testing them out was actually quite entertaining. My husband and I enjoyed trying Pecan Bars using almond flour. Delicious! So now, a new dessert added to the menu at our home, as well as other food stuffs. 

This season of holidays and our birthdays, I stayed with actually keeping track of what I was eating in my Carb Manager app. It held me accountable. To lose weight, I must be in a certain range, to maintain, another range and if I go over my range too often then I know that I am not a happy camper and I don't feel very good and that is inside and out.

It also means getting that recumbent bike going more and more. Some of the things that were on my wish list are helping me get it all together. Nutribullet! It is an amazing small blender that I can use to make delicious meal replacement shakes. My husband got it for me. It weighs out and calculates the protein, fat, calories for each one that I make. I made my first one today. It was positively delicious. It was so good that my husband wanted one for his meal, too. 

I am lucky in that he wants to make this his life style right along with me. We help keep each other in check without judging. We both love to cook so trying new things is a great creative outlet that we can share together. It has continued to improve our health and overall disposition. His doctor is overjoyed at his weight loss. 

Whatever happened over the holidays in your life, if you want to make your action plan, then go for it. The most important part is to make the plan realistic. It is never too late to set a new life/wellness goal and create a new you for the New Year. 

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