Holidays Make It Hard To Eat Well. Can I Get an Amen?

Ummm, yes.  I haven’t written in a while.  I knew it would happen, but I’m back!!

Yes, I did a STRICT pull up in October.  Nope, I haven’t written about it yet.  I. Still. Can’t. Even. Process.  More about that in a future post one day.

For now I’m positively distracting myself by writing in response to a follower question.

The first question is about how I navigate eating over the holidays. Given that SO many people have written about this, I want to be real and post JenX Journey style.

The annual Kendall Christmas family photo circa 2009. That’s me in the checked “housecoat.” Don’t ask…

Here are my tips for not completely burning the house down over the holidays.

 Mind you, I probably would have laughed at this list a few years ago thinking I wouldn’t be happy UNLESS I burned down the house…

1) Its freaking hard, so acknowledge it.

Food is everywhere at the holidays.  In the office, lunches, dinners parties, home, baking with kids, traditions, special holiday foods (my kryptonite was HOLIDAY PIE AT McDONALDS OMG).  Its like how many times could I hit in the drive through before they went away. And this was after my supersized two-cheeseburger meal.  So. Much. Yum.  And pain 4 minutes later. Not good.

The temptation is almost impossible sometimes and you’re going to lose some battles.  Particularly about your favorite things, which leads me to point two…

2) Be picky and snobby about your food.

You know your traditions and things you love, so enjoy them.  The mindless, crazy eating?  Not so much.  Think about the things you truly want and ENJOY them.  In my journey, I turned food in to something it wasn’t…so I’ve had to stop myself and really negotiate the things I truly want and are special to me.

For example, at Thanksgiving I decided I was going to have one full plate of whatever I wanted, and try to go heavier on the protein and veggies, because…I was going to enjoy both pumpkin and sugar cream pie. Those were important to me, along with a “one plate sampling” of all the foods I wanted. From there I was going to have an amazing coffee bar set up along with healthy munchies and things around for my more “mindless” or “boredom” eating since I know I’m a total grazer!  I might have had some extra pie at the end of they day, but I was very satisfied with how I did.

3) Plan. Not for rabbit food, but what you really want to eat.

Bring what you really want to eat or bring some healthier versions of your favorite dishes!  I am a HUGE fan of and  Both sites/blogs make healthier or more protein packed favorites.  When I really want something yummy, I know I have planned my own standbys that will keep me from going overboard.

And eat adequate protein.  Particularly lean protein. Most people don’t get enough. Its delicious and it fills you up.

4) Shoot to maintain.

It you can maintain your weight over the holidays that’s a big win.  Don’t burn the house down.  Stay active and…

5) Go easy on the spirits and the more you eat, drink lots of water.

I know most of you are probably sayin’ “girl, you cray.” And if you are that’s OK.  You don’t have to cut alcohol.  However, I can tell you it was a game changer for me.  Cutting back on drinking IS a process. Once I saw what cutting out alcohol did for me (particularly at my age of 47), I can’t say I will go back to regular drinking ever again.

And again, I said this is a process…all in your own good time, but if health and wellness is really something that is important to you.  “Eating clean” means nothing if you’re still pounding the alcoholic beverages.

BTW, I will post my thoughts on “eating clean” in another post. I think I have a rather unique opinion on that one.

6) Don’t wait until after the holidays to begin.  And same goes for weekends for that matter.

Here is another one where a few years ago, I would have been all…EATING FOR THE HOLIDAY IS MY SUPER BOWL.  GET OUT OF MY WAY JENX JOURNEY!  I will get started promptly on January 1, when I’m literally sick, in pain and completely loathing my 260 pound self.

But the truth is, it wasn’t joyful. I was hurting myself.  I was lying to myself that all this food made me feel better.  It did for a few minutes, then loathing.  Negative head talk. It was NOT joyful.  Eating healthier isn’t easier, but I FEEL. SO. MUCH. BETTER. And that keeps me going.  Now, a hike with my dogs brings me joy. A partner workout with Mike brings me joy. Trying a new recipe brings me joy. Phone conversations with my grown up sons’ bring me joy.

I’m thinking about food in a different way. My head isn’t obsessing over food and mindlessly eating. Well, I’m still obsessing over food, but at least I’m having adult conversations in my own head.  I’m navigating what I really want, finding awesome alternatives to what I love (tacos and pizza and PB&J and grilled cheese and fruit and veggies) and not making myself sick and feeling awful.  I’m finally enjoying food for what it is and not over doing it.

It took me twenty+ years to get here.  Four-years here in my last chapter = JenX Journey. I fell down a lot.  But this last time I kept getting back up.  That has been the difference. That, and Stronger U Nutrition.  Google them!

Which is FOREIGN AS HECK TO ME.  I mean who am I?

Anyway, HAPPY HOLIDAYS my wonderful followers.  Shoot me a question if you wanna chat.

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