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Week 43

Sticking to your healthy habits through the holiday season

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 43 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -1 lbs
Change overall:  -61.5 lbs

I registered a loss this week, but it will be hard to tell if I'm actually getting through my plateau until next week when we see if (hopefully!) the downward trend continues.

In the meantime, I'll comfort myself by noting that while I've been bouncing up and down for the past couple of months, at least I am still at my lowest weight so far right now and my frustration hasn't translated into any significant weight gain.

I'm also very excited about some special help I'm going to have with busting through my plateau over the next 6 weeks!

Back in May, I answered a bulletin board message from an assistant at Prevention Magazine looking for people who were struggling with plateaus for a potential story. 

At the time, I wasn't actually on a plateau yet, but figured I'd throw my name in the hat proactively.  Well, editorial calendars are tricky things and by the time they were ready to move forward on the story, and I found out they had chosen me as one of their participants, I was stuck on the dreaded plateau!

So, I've got a plan from Prevention that includes nutrition, exercise and emotional eating tips to help me get over  my plateau by January 31.  I can't really get into  the specifics yet, but, I'll tell you more about it (and direct  you to the finished article) when it's published sometime after January.

The Prevention project is definitely helping me feel fired up and motivated and extra accountable, which is particularly helpful as we continue on through this extra-challenging holiday period.

I've got some great strategies from Prevention, but, I've also turned to my trusted weight loss warriors Laura and Danny for their personal tips on how they get through the holidays without sacrificing their healthy habits.

When I first emailed Laura and Danny to ask them for their tips, they both responded with a version of "eat now and worry about it later!" 

But then, after a guilty laugh, they came through with more specific help.

"I'm trying something new this year," explained Laura.  "Since I've been feeling really good about my weight and eating lately, I don't want to get seriously derailed.

So what I'm doing is picking one day each week (this week it's our Company Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, next week it's Christmas Day, the following week it's my best friend's wedding) where I don't count calories or points.

Knowing I have those little "treat days" makes it a lot easier to stick to my plan on the other days. And as most of us who struggle with weight know, one day a week won't pack on the pounds!"

Danny points out that "what's funny about the way people deal with weight loss, eating well and how they fit it into their life is how I tend to think about this so differently than Laura does, yet each approach works for us."

"I know if I have a day where I just say things don't count, it makes it easier for me to have more and more of those days in the future," he explains.

"So, for me, the only way to lose weight is to be vigilant all the time about it.

"It means I don't eat much of anything out of the ordinary over the holidays and stick to my routine, even as I'm visiting family. I even make them buy Skinny Cow Ice Cream sandwiches and granola bars. And they're good to me in that they don't call me out for not eating the pumpkin pie everyone else is having.

There's no trick to it other than sheer force of will (some may call it stubbornness) that works for me."

Something else Danny said really resonated with me.  Because, really, does cake or pie actually taste any differently this time of year than other times?  He points out the importance of remembering why we're struggling to lose weight in the first place to and to think long and hard before indulging.

"How am I going to feel when the hot girl says she'll go out with me because I'm more confident and look better?  How awesome will it be to go outside without a shirt?  How will it feel to go shopping for new clothes and ask for a smaller size?" he asks.

"For me, losing weight is about more than being healthy," he answers.  "It's about being who I want to be and getting what I want in life. So I ask myself if I really want another piece of pie that will give me five minutes of enjoyment or do I want to have abs people can see this summer?"

Reading Laura and Danny's emails made me laugh a little because it felt like they had snuck a peek into my brain!  My standard approach is to try to force myself into a scenario like the one Danny describes.  I figure there are very few foods that won't be available when I've hit my goal and for now, the most important thing to me is focusing and losing weight. 

On the other hand, just this morning I was considering a plan similar to Laura's - "letting" myself splurge once a week to make the season feel special without going crazy out of control for six weeks.

Still not sure which way I'll go, but, we all need to figure that out for ourselves, don't we?

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