Holiday Healthy Living Strategy

It’s been 319 days since I starting my Chubbygirl journey to healthy weight and healthy living. I hit my goal weight of 110 back in September and hover around 108 and 109. The true challenge will be the holidays and all the eating. For me, it starts at 5:00p today when the in-laws arrive. I’ve already got a brisket in the oven and potatoes ready for mashing.

Which brings me to the holiday conundrum. I landed on my goal weight based on what should my optimal weight be as well as giving me a five pound buffer during the holidays. I know that I won’t be able to resist stuffing, or wine, or egg nog, or cookies. Chocolate is another one that while the single square or two isn’t bad (and I do this now), it is the whole bar or those boxes of truffles that kill me. Nut bowls? OMG, shoot me now. Yes, my hand lives in them.

In reality, I don’t want to gain five pounds. That is a month of 1200 calories again and more exercise. Its a diet that I will fail at. It puts my healthy living mindset at odds with a quick fix to a lack of self-control and gluttony.

I’ve come up with a strategy based on what we do in our house and with our family and not use this time to deviate to far from healthy living. In the end, I still want to enjoy the holidays. So here it goes:

  • Snack bowls go away: We always have bowls of chocolate, nuts and dried fruit out. I would typically make a meal out of that before eating a meal. Now, if I want a sweet (or others do) you have to get it out. I can keep with my portioning that way.
  • Keep with smaller plates or eating inside the rim: I can portion my meals better if I shrink the footprint they sit on. I do that today and need to do  that for our big family meals.
  • Don’t have to try everything: Thanksgiving in our family means 3 kinds of stuffing (regular, corn, meat). I need to pick one. I like mashed potatoes, but I don’t need them and sweet potatoes and squash. Roasted and smoked turkey are served, but I don’t need full portions of both.
  • Big meal, will race: I think every town has a 5k the morning of thanksgiving. There are also a ton of jingle bell runs this time of year. I’m just going to do it to add some fun to my running ritual.
  • Go for hikes in the woods: There are so many state and town parks around with great trails. Instead of lazing around the house we can add in a hike or trail run.
  • Take some time for rest and family bonding: Our big family thing is pulling out an insanely difficult puzzle and diving in together over the course of the vacation. We spend time together, talk, and chill out – except when the end is near and we compete to be the one to put in the last puzzle piece!
  • Keep to my exercise regimen: If I can get off a plane, get into a hotel at 9p or be severely jetlagged and still get on a treadmill, the holiday’s are no excuse to slack off.
  • Don’t sweat the gluttonous meal: If I fail on Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and a party here or there, so be it. I’ve had unplanned cheat meals that haven’t killed me yet. Just don’t make it a daily habit.

I need to trust myself, continue to embrace the changes I’ve made, and realize that instead of the holiday’s being scary, they can still be fun.

What are your strategies?




Mastering Lunch On The Go

It’s not unusual for me to be running from one meeting to the next with no time to eat a proper lunch. In the past, I’d pull up to a drive-thru and order a burger and fries. Nice way to throw all my daily calories into a single meal, right?

I need a strategy.

Checking out the North Shore and skimming through open houses with my husband today was a perfect test run. We had a limited amount of time and needed to get back in time for my son’s hockey game (they won 6-0 btw, nice shut out shout out to Matt!). No time for lunch.

First rule – eat a hearty breakfast. 8:30a: My typical light breakfast wasn’t going to hold me over. However, the weekend big breakfast is out of the question. What’s a chubby girl to do? Make a breakfast burrito of course. I threw in a bunch of peppers, onions, cilantro and spinach with scrambled eggs. I threw that into a tortilla with a slice of lean ham and low fat slice of Colby jack cheese. 8 points and 228 calories.  The best thing is that this is something I could probably eat at a hotel or something similar to fill me up.

Now comes lunch – fiber and protein. 12:30p:  I’ll be honest, this isn’t  much of a lunch, but it did hold me over and staved off the h-angries. My husband appreciated it. Anyway, lunch consisted of an orange I split with Tom and half a peanut butter and chocolate protein bar.  I know this is crazy because it only comes in at 3 points and 160 calories. But, when nutritionists talk about fiber and protein filling you up, it is true.

Second rule – prepare for late afternoon snack. 4:00p: How I wasn’t hungrier is beyond me. Only a third into my points and calories for the day I should have been about ready to rip the heads off anyone that came near me. Instead, I only felt a little pang. Unable to eat until at least 7:00p, after the hockey game, I pulled out carrots and spinach kale corn chips with hummus. What’s nice about this is that it is exactly the type thing I could grab at a market while traveling. 5 points and 245 calories

Third rule – hydrate with tea. All day: Water is necessary. I’ve been drinking a lot of water. I’m getting very sick of water.  Adding in flavors tastes like I’m drinking sugar water. I started switching to tea.  Hot tea in the morning, hot tea at night.  Iced tea during the day. The trick is to keep to the herbal teas as much as possible to lower the caffeine intake. I am a tea freak anyway, having a cupboard full of teas from David’s, Teavana, and the Chinese market. Peach teas, berry teas, lemon ginger, mint, green tea, earl grey, it goes on and on. What is great is that tea seems to hold back my hunger better than plain water and I can make different flavors without getting bored.  Drink tea!

Wrap up – exercise and dinner. PM: Getting home from hockey I threw on my running shoes and mixed it up between the treadmill and elliptical for intervals and muscle work. After 40 minutes I trekked upstairs and scarfed down a chef salad with lean meat, low fat closed-ringscheese, and tons of veggies.

It’s about 9:30p as I write this and I am not hungry. Nutritionists may not be happy with me as I only ate about 900 calories. I still can grabby that Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich or Skinny Girl Popcorn. We’ll see if I’m hungry enough to do so in a bit.

By the way – I closed all my Apple Watch Rings today!