Every single year of my life, “Fall” would be my annual starting time for beginning my diet (again), full on! Fall is when the kids go back to school, life gets back into a schedule, and it’s the perfect time to start fresh. Every year I would go into that “all or nothing” mode. I would create a new plan, I would go to extreme measures to exercise as much as I could, and I would choose a strict diet to follow, something that would promise big numbers to lose in a short amount of time. (we have all tried all of them). My plans would work for a few weeks, until I just couldn’t sustain the “all or nothing” mentality, the crazy, unsustainable diet, or the amount of time I thought I could do extreme exercises. This usually happened right around Columbus Day weekend or Halloween. Holidays and parties and gatherings would begin, and I would start to “fall” a bit.
After a few falls, I would start to tell myself, “ok, after Halloween, whatever day it falls on, just start on the next Monday, again”. The extreme things I was trying to do, had me craving what I couldn’t have, or I was just irritated and hungry, wondering how long I could really keep this up… and the crazy foods and tough schedule was never going to become part of a lifestyle that I would keep doing for very long.
Before I knew it, Thanksgiving was around the corner. If I hadn’t blown yet, I certainly blew it for Thanksgiving. After the four day Thanksgiving weekend eating extravaganza… I would be so upset with myself… bloated, stuffed and defeated, I was already telling myself, “ok, this isn’t working for now, and there’s no way I can do this through the holidays, so I’ll REALLY start, full on again after Christmas and New Years. (which really means January 2nd, because January 1st is New Year’s Day, which is usually another day for gathering and eating.) Needless to say, by January 2nd, I was always much heavier than I was when I originally set out to begin in September. I had fallen and failed once again, and was heavier than ever. Sometimes I even missed parties we were invited to, out of embarrassment of how I looked, or because, during yet another year of holidays, I had nothing to wear. Years and years I wondered, “Would I ever be able to break this cycle? Would I ever be able to be victorious in this battle?”…… and I can finally answer….”YES!”
These past two years, one of the greatest pieces of wisdom that I have learned is, “you are just ONE MEAL away from getting back on track”. When I “fall” down or slip, I can choose to get right back up at the next meal. NOT tomorrow….NOT Monday…..NOT the first of the month….NOT after the holidays….NOT January 2nd. I can be right back on track at the next meal. I am just one great choice away from getting back on track. This has changed my life!
Another great piece of wisdom…”Don’t let your “Holiday”…become a holi-week….or a holi-month….it is just one day.
If you have already found yourself “falling” a bit with your weight loss and fitness at this point, and you are worried about not “enjoying” the holidays with food and friends, feeling like you should just give up until after the holidays..STOP!!! DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T be that person who quits!! You CAN do this!!!
Think about this…between now and January 2nd there are only 6 days of holidays….Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. We are not overweight because of 6 days of overeating. If you would like to give yourself a little freedom for a meal or a party on those days, then just enjoy those days as they come, decide which parties or foods that day are “worth it” to you. BUT, you MUST make the best decisions for all the meals and snacks for all of the other days in between.
If you have started great this fall, and you are still motivated on your journey, keep on going. Make one great choice at a time. If you have slipped a bit….don’t fall all the way. You are right back on track at your very next meal. Don’t promise yourself to start again in the “future some time”, and then find yourself choosing to just keep falling hard, eating as much as you can get in before the clock strikes “midnight” the day before you “really start”. We have all been there. The damage we do before that date, up until midnight strikes, causes us to be in such a state of regret once again, with so much more weight to take off.
When you hear people share, who have truly been successful with weight loss, and they have kept it off for a good amount of time, they always say, “I finally realized it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” That is what I am striving for this time in my weight loss journey. I’m finding ways to move and do exercises/classes/activities, that fit into my daily life. I am eating great foods that I love that help boost metabolism and cause my body to work at it’s best: Delicious foods, not diet foods—foods that I want to eat the rest of my life, not just for a short time to try to take off the weight. This is how it all becomes your new lifestyle.
Let this fall be the start of your new season of life, making one great choice at a time, leading you to a whole new lifestyle. Find a support group, surround yourself with people who believe in you. Reach out to those who will help and inspire you, people who will help you get back up when you fall. Ask for help. Find the right plan that works for you, one that you can see yourself doing for a lifetime. For me, I have found that Weight Watchers has all of this. It is the only plan that allows me to work in absolutely anything I want to eat, and still lose weight. The more you learn, the more you will make even better and better choices for living a healthy and fit lifestyle. Choose the exercises and activities you love to do, choose the weight loss plan that you can sustain for a lifetime.
And remember… this fall, when you fall, you are only ONE meal away from getting right back on track. (Don’t wait until January 2nd!) YOU CAN DO THIS!!! BELIEVE!!