I don’t work out harder, or eat less before or after the celebration day as this translates to punishment for me. I don’t need to punish myself for enjoying life!
The first Thanksgiving meal I’d ever planned and lead preparations for on my own in 2019.
Navigating the holidays does not have to be difficult. We already have a maze of habits we have to work through year round. Why make it harder on ourselves to push it when we want to enjoy ourselves on the holidays?
I spent 3 or 4 Thanksgivings and Christmases restricting what I ate on the holidays. I’d hit the gym hard all week and really try to stick to my restrictions. Then on the actual day I’d go outside of my regular nutrition a little, but I was still counting macros to an extent. I was so unhappy. Then the next day I’d hit the gym extra hard, being sure to make myself as miserable as possible in the process. Thoughts like, “you’re going to get fat from all that food” and “you’ve got to get rid of it as fast as possible” were my mottos. Horrible and toxic.
For the last 3 years I’ve been nurturing freedom on the holidays. I adopted some pretty destructive thought patterns that were never mine in the first place and they can become quite loud when I eat foods that those thoughts don’t like. Well, I like those foods so those thoughts can get lost.
My Current Method
Before The Big Celebration Day
Maintain my regular healthy habits with exercise and nutrition throughout the week
I don’t go harder, as this translates to me as punishment for living and enjoying living
I look forward to indulging and practice ignoring the thoughts that say, “yes, but…” These are not allowed to take up space in my head anymore!
The Big Celebration Day
Spend the whole day eating whatever I want
Continue to combat the voices in my head telling me I’m doing something wrong
there is nothing wrong with enjoying my food
I deserve to enjoy my life
I am complete no matter my size
It takes more than a day of indulgence to undo all the progress I’ve made with PCOS
Go for a walk to counter the lethargy I feel from food and to keep my body moving and blood flowing.
This walk is NOT to try to make up for the amount of food I’ve eaten.
After the Big Celebration Day
Return to my normal routine
Do not try to “burn more calories” with more intense workouts. I do make sure to workout however, as this helps fight any depression that might come about from eating certain foods.
I do tend to find that it is the food itself that sends certain chemical reactions through me which put me in a depression, not necessarily the idea that it’s “bad for me,” so I’ve found working out the next day helps fight that feeling.
Do not eat less food or fast, because this translates as punishment in my head for enjoying life. Just eat the normal amount I usually eat
Do not negatively dwell on the previous day’s joyful consumption. I move on, looking toward the future and bask in the joy that was had.
Make sure to have a healthy sweet snack (like Smart Sweet gummies) on hand so that I don’t continue to eat leftovers that sabotage my hormones.
I’ve found that after a day of eating outside my regular nutrition, my carb cravings sky-rocket. I don’t try to avoid these, instead I try to navigate them in a way that helps them calm down. I also don’t try to make them happen, but I know that they can be unavoidable sometimes. Having a healthy snack nearby does the trick for me.
These are the habits I’ve learned work for me. Maybe some of them will work for you, maybe they won’t. This is not a method that should be a goal for anyone. If continuing to eat holiday food after the day is what you want to do, go for it. If you want to stick to your restrictions on the holiday go for that too.
The most important thing is that you are happy on the holidays and not pining to be someone else who can eat whatever they want. You do you.