Thanksgiving was officially last week – thankfully for most of us a little late this year, so there’s less time to gorge ourselves with holiday goodies and more time to prepare? – and yes, we’re into the holiday season.  That means heavy foods, cookies, desserts, treats, presents, parties, cocktails, and more pretty much everywhere we turn.

My house isn’t immune.  And I’ll fully admit that I encourage it to some degree.  I hosted my annual cookie swap last night where I made chocolate chip cookie dough truffles and Mexican triple hot chocolate cookies to share, in addition to the food I served.  And I might have sampled as I was making my items, since they were new recipes I was testing.

Counter full of cookies and desserts

I hadn’t weighed myself since the end of my Shaklee journey.  I stepped on the scale this morning, however.  I’ve been a bit of an ostrich with regards to the scale.  If I don’t weigh myself, then I’m doing fine.  And for the most part, I think I was – I’ve been going to the gym, my clothes continue to fit more and more loosely even after my giant closet purge, and I can see things like my stomach looking flatter.

Interestingly, my face to me looks fuller, however.  I think that’s due to a combination of factors – not getting enough sleep as I’ve been doing the awake for three to four hours for no good reason in the middle of the night almost every night and not drinking enough water.  I’m working on fixing both those and have been focusing on water, but for the most part I’ve been reaching my goals.

I don’t want to lose that, and I know how easy it is around the holidays.  Right now on my counter, I have leftover apple cake from Thanksgiving, dozens of cookies from last night’s swap, and a baguette.  In my fridge, I have egg nog, a bottle of pop (which I never have but needed for last night’s signature cocktail), a variety of cheeses, and other foods that don’t contribute to a healthy and fit body and mind.

That said, starting today I’m going to pay attention more.  I stepped on the scale, and even after last week with no working out because I was sick and then the holidays plus all the holiday food, I’m within a half pound of where I was at the end of my 6 months of Shaklee (which kills me to think of where I probably was before this last week).  I don’t want that to change, and I’m challenging myself here and now to pay attention and do what I need to do to maintain the progress I’ve achieved throughout this past year.

1) I will eat breakfast every morning.  I’ve been skipping it lately because I’ve been so tired when I wake up that I’m not hungry.  And then when I do eat, it isn’t the protein-filled food that I know I need for fuel.  I’m back to having a protein smoothie filled with spinach and fruit every day – because I actually do like them!

2) I will go to bed as close to the same time each night as possible.  I won’t attempt to catch up by laying in bed on the weekends when I can and not sleep but not move either.  That isn’t helping me fall asleep the next night.  Instead, I’ll get up and start my day.

3) I will continue to go to my fitness classes every possible day, including over winter break when my family is off school.  I won’t use excuses to skip, other than times when I am sick or otherwise truly should not be at the gym.

4) I will watch my water intake and be sure to drink 3-4 of my large reusable water bottles each day.  I’ll do a better job of bringing them downstairs with me in the morning and drinking from them during the night and when I first wake up, as well.

5) I won’t use the busy-ness of the holidays as an excuse to eat out more often, which generally means heavier, less healthful foods than I would cook at home.

6) I won’t mindlessly snack when I’m at home.  Yes, I may have cookies on the counter, but that doesn’t mean that I should eat one each time I walk past.  If I choose to have one with my lunch or my dinner, it will be a conscious choice, and I will savor it.

7) When at parties, I will not park myself by the food.  Instead, I will check out what is there and decide what I’m interested in.  I will make one plate of food for myself.  I won’t deny myself items that look amazing, but I’ll limit the quantity I take and enjoy what I have.  I’ll work to fill up on fruits and veggies available instead.  If I choose to go back for more, it will because I am genuinely hungry and not because it’s there.

8) When I go out with others, I won’t do a “I’ll order another drink because you ordered another drink” at dinner.  I will have one drink and enjoy it.  I don’t need more, and I don’t like drinking enough to care if I have only one.  As a corollary, I may decided to share a dessert if I’m hungry for it, but I won’t order dessert simply because that’s what everyone else is doing.

9) I won’t bake just for the sake of baking.  I love cooking and baking, especially during the holidays.  In fact, I have a huge bunch of bananas right now that are crying out to be made into some sort of luscious banana bread or muffin.  Freezing is a good option.  Sharing with others is an even better option.  Leaving it on the counter where is “has to get eaten or it will go bad” is not a good choice.

10) I’ll keep an eye on the scale.  I won’t weigh myself obsessively, but every few days, I will step on and ensure that I’m staying on track with my weight as a tool to maintain my fitness and overall health.

Here’s hoping that these ten suggestions to myself will help me stay healthy and fit during the holidays.  It’s always a challenge, but this year, I’m the one consciously making the challenge and I feel confident that I can do it.

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