By Shani Petroff
The hot chocolate, the peppermint bark, the eggnog, the huge meals with all the trimmings, the cookie swap, the holiday treats brought to the office and dropped off on doorsteps, and so on, and so on, and so on.
There’s a lot of temptation this time of year.
On the Weight Watchers plan we have daily and weekly SmartPoints® to use for these meals and treats. The trick is to stay within the SmartPoints Budget. Some days I’m really impressed with myself. I show self-control. I can have a cookie or chips (or whatever treats I’ve decided on for the day) and resist going back for more. But some days, especially around the holidays, I go overboard. Way overboard. Embarrassed to admit how many SmartPoints overboard.
I regret it afterward. I feel bad about it, I beat myself up—and here’s the kicker—I then go and do it again. Even though I know better, there is that small part of my brain that says, well, you already screwed up, you might as well go all in.
So this is a reminder for me and for all of you who may have gone overboard in their eating—don’t beat yourself up. Instead, get right back on track.
Feeling guilty, getting angry or upset with ourselves doesn’t do any good.
We can’t go back to the past. What we can do is learn from it.
I’ve been looking at my tracker and trying to figure out how things got out of control when they did. I’m asking questions like:
Why did I overdo it?
Did I really want all those overindulgences? Was I eating just to eat or because it was there?
Was I paying attention to what I was putting in my mouth?
What were my emotions at the time?
Was I hungry?
Did I know I was going over?
Why didn’t I make another choice?
Was it worth the SmartPoints?
The answers aren’t always the same, but they made me notice some patterns. For instance, when I’m hungry, my tendency to overindulge is pretty much tripled. So, now I know I need to keep some healthy snacks around, so I don’t hit that “I’m starving” mode and eat way more than I should. Also, when I know I’ve gone over my Budget, I sometimes continue that awful habit I mentioned of eating more. I get upset with myself and then wind up eating whatever is in sight. I’ve been working to kick that habit.
It’s the holidays. Don’t forget to show yourself the same kindness you’d show all those around you. Take everything one day, one meal, one party at a time. Do your best, track, and remember, this isn’t a race. A few bad days—or even weeks—aren’t the end. In fact, it’s more motivation to be better, to follow the plan, and learn great eating habits.
We can do this!
Happy holidays! You can find me on Connect @shani! I’d love to hear from you.
Read more Shani Weighs In.