The Plan To Counteract the Holidays

by PenRei

If you’ve read my previous post about the consequences the holidays have had on my weight, than perhaps you’re either waiting to hear how I have already failed (as most resolutions’ failures happen within the first week), or how I’ve managed to stay on track. Lo and behold, I am definitely ON TRACK! It hasn’t been ridiculously hard, but it definitely required motivation on my end.

Taking a page from my friend Gretchen, I’ve decided to announce to the internet that I’ve decided to drop the approximate 10-15lbs I’ve gained between September and December to get back to my happy weight. Sure, it’s hard to keep track of my progress since I choose not to weigh myself. So I’m going to keep it on a more personal level and just work on it until I am back to my happy weight and my clothes no longer fit with that extra tightness around the arms, thighs, or waist. Gretchen has been right so far: once I announced to a few of my friends that I wanted to loose that extra flab, not wanting to fail in their eyes has been that extra push I needed on a few nights.

So how exactly am I planning on doing this? It’s pretty simple actually. I’m not even planning on counting calories. It just takes willpower.

WATER
Ever since I started working in the control room of the studio at the television station, I have been drinking A LOT less water. It’s mostly because we’re not really allowed any food or drink in there, and it’s my desk for 8 hours everyday. Guh! So, I’ve taken to bringing a 500ml bottle of water and found a place near my desk that can’t accidentally cause a technical problem if the cap pops open and it spills. I’ve been drinking minimum 1L during my work hours, and now it’s slowly becoming more.

At first, it was really hard. I didn’t think that drinking so much water would actually be a challenge. On Monday, when I tried to drink that whole liter, I felt like I would accidentally drown myself from the inside. It was SO uncomfortable! This was the period of transition. My body wasn’t used to getting so much water at a time and had to work its own mechanics between the new amount of water that was coming in and the water that was already stored. Luckily, by Wednesday, my body was getting the flow of it and drinking 1L-1.5L of water in a work day felt normal. Now, constant hydration is welcomed. Plus, if I’m ever feeling peckish, I’ll drink water first and that might curb my appetite from unnecessary snacking.

If you’re interested in knowing why water can help with losing weight, check out this article that I read.

FOOD
Essentially, I’ve cut out all non-fruit related sugars from my diet at the exception of my Mini-Wheats (the extra fiber in them is welcomed by my bowel movements), honey, and the few little snacks that are already in my apartment. After all, I am a firm believer in not wasting food. Luckily, I’ve been good with not indulging in those sweets. I have three chocolate bars in my kitchen and I haven’t touched any since I’ve been back.

Foods that I’m temporarily avoiding:

  • Sweets
  • Junk
  • Root vegetables (such as potatoes, carrots, ect.)
  • Corn
  • White pasta and bread
  • Cheese (EXCEPT when I’m with Nomes, but in very small quantities)
  • All pastries (CRY)

The hardest part of all is to stop my nasty habit of overeating and shrink my stomach back down to a normal size. As previously mentioned, every time I go back home to Ottawa, I overeat because my parents’ food is just too tasty. After four (or ten over the holidays) days of stuffing my face, my stomach expanded. Once I came back, I was faced with having to shrink it back down to its original size. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder than expanding with too much food.

For the first three days, I was always hungry. Even if I ate a full meal, carefully portioned to be enough, but there was this deep hunger in my stomach I couldn’t get rid of. It was so frustrating! Still, I told myself that a large wrap and salad is enough. Luckily, after four days of always being uncomfortably hungry, my stomach started shrinking to its original size. Now I’m back to a healthy portion of eating. Hello sandwich accompanied by pita chips and a filling Bolthouse juice!
DISCLAIMER: Please don’t misunderstand this section as potential anorexia. I fully believe in eating and fitting in your 4 food groups as much as possible in every meal (at least 3 times a day). This is simply about knowing the difference between overeating and eating a healthy portion.

EXERCISE
Many of us have a problem with this frenemy, but exercise is essential to maintaining that balanced lifestyle we all want, and to losing weight. Luckily, I don’t hate exercise… I just hate the gym! I have always found ways of exercising without the gym. The only problem was my motivation to really keep it consistent.

So how did I do last week?

  • Tuesday: Various stretches and short exercises (like sit ups and jumping jacks) to wake up my dormant muscles. I didn’t want to start my week of exercising by shocking my system.
  • Wednesday: Pilates for 30 minutes.
  • Thursday: Brisk 7km walk. My abs were in too much pain from the previous night for any hard exercise, and I was too tired to run. But luckily, I still found a way to do something.
  • Friday: 50 minute run + 2 hours of sports and dance Kinect with my friends. Maybe you don’t consider the Kinect to be exercise, but it’s definitely physical activity.
  • Saturday: Yoga class with Nomes for 1 hour and a half at Yoga Sanctuary.
  • Sunday: Day of rest. I was in too much pain from yoga in my upper back and arms to do anything. The last thing I wanted was to push myself too far and cause an injury.

I’ve been pretty good so far. The most important thing is to keep up the motivation, because the only person who will be stopping me is myself. I don’t want to make excuses to not do anything. On a positive note, having exercised almost every day has made me feel very good. My energy levels were surprisingly higher and I was glad to find things that didn’t involve sitting in front of any kind of screen.

Perhaps I shall go to Yoga again tonight. We’ll see how my arms and back fair throughout the day. More on our (Nomes’ and mine’s) yoga experience in the future.

If you’ve got a goal or a resolution, don’t give up! That’s the easy way out.

Peace!

Note: This post is about my personal experience. I am not a certified nutritionist, dietitian, doctor, or trainer. Losing weight and maintaining a balanced lifestyle can be different for everyone. If you’re serious, consider speaking to someone first to ensure minimal injuries and proper nutrition. Most importantly, listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs.

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