I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun Easter weekend! I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my family this weekend, which was great. We even made a trip up to Maine to see my family there. Since my Maine family lives about 2 hours away, we don’t get to see them quite as often, so it’s always exciting when we can visit.
Considering the fact that Easter is a holiday revolving around chocolate and candy, it can be a difficult one to navigate if you’re trying to lose weight or even just stay healthy, which is what led me to wanting to make this post. I have to say, November and December were much more difficult for me, not only because it’s always a non-stop eating fest, but also because I was only a couple of months into my weight loss journey at that point.
Having gone through the major holidays this year successfully, I wanted to share my advice about enjoying the holidays in a healthy way.
Eating a big breakfast is a tip I got from my food coach which has definitely helped me through the times when I knew I would be surrounded by unhealthy food. Just in general, I think it’s important to eat a big healthy breakfast because it gives you lots of energy to take on the day, but obviously that doesn’t always happen. On holidays, it’s especially important to get a big breakfast in because it prevents you from being too hungry when you arrive at your family dinner or holiday party. In my family, we tend to start our parties on the early side, but we don’t actually have dinner until the later afternoon, which makes snacking inevitable. Yesterday, I made sure to get in a healthy, filling breakfast, and I was (mostly) able to keep myself from eating too many appetizers.
It’s also important to focus on making sure your breakfast is healthy. For me, if I start off the day being healthy, I’m much more inclined to make healthy choices throughout the day. I chose to go with greek yogurt, oatmeal, and fruit, and I felt full and motivated to be as healthy as I could be during Easter Sunday.
Another thing that I try to do during a holiday is to focus on getting as many non-starchy vegetables as I can. This is something that I strive for every day, but it’s also important during a holiday party, because if you’re filling up on vegetables, you’ll be less likely to go get seconds on that sweet potato casserole or go for a big slice of pie at dessert. Yesterday, there were celery sticks and carrots out during appetizers, which made it easier to accomplish this.
At our family dinners, my aunt always makes an amazing salad to go along with all of the other side dishes, so I load up on that when it’s time for dinner. This gives me less space for the carb-heavy choices, which is always a good thing. I still have the sweet potato casserole and dessert, but the portions are much less than what I’ve had in past years.
I try to make as many healthy decisions as I can during a holiday, but I also try to be kind to myself. These are holidays that come once a year, so of course I’m going to indulge more than I would on a regular day. Yes, jelly beans and chocolate eggs are not the best for your waistline, but I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to enjoy those treats on Easter. It’s not realistic to expect myself to refrain from all unhealthy food, especially on holidays, because it will only make me crave them more.
The most important thing to remember is that while you can enjoy that one day of relaxation and chocolates, you can’t let that get you off track. I think this was the most difficult thing for me during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had the chocolates, candy and baked goods, but then I found it hard to give it up once the holidays were over. I normally don’t have that kind of food around me all the time, so it’s easy for me to stay on track and eat healthy foods. But during the holiday season, there was always something leftover from one Christmas party or another, which made it difficult to resist. At the time, I was still figuring out how to stay successful on my weight loss journey as well, so it was definitely a learning experience for me.
Today, I woke up and set healthy intentions for the day. I had been planning on continuing my running program today, and I made sure to get it done early. Maybe it was all of that Easter ham and jelly beans fueling me, but I was able to make a good step in the right direction by running five minutes at a time. Don’t get me wrong, it was extremely hard, but I stuck with it and completed the workout.
Even though I was not feeling a workout this morning, I knew it was important for me to stick with my normal schedule and get it done anyway. I chose not to work out on Saturday and Sunday so I could enjoy the holiday weekend, but it was back to work on Monday.
We have our Easter candy in another room, so that has made it easier to avoid today. I don’t go into our dining room often, so I’m much less likely to pass by all those tempting sugary sweets.
That being said, if I have a candy here or there in the next week, I’m not going to feel upset about it. I know that the candy will not be here eventually, and as long as I’m really focusing on eating healthy and getting my workouts in, I will be fine. I know that I won’t gain all the weight back from just a little piece of candy, so I shouldn’t be afraid. As long as I don’t make it a habit, I can remain healthy while also taking time to enjoy the holiday.
Because being healthy during holidays is something that I have struggled with this year, I wanted to take the time to make a post about it, because I think it’s important. So many people are so hard on themselves when they indulge too much during a holiday, but it’s important to remember that with every step back, you always have a chance to move forward. Don’t give up on yourself, you’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and treating yourself is not going to erase that.
Do you have any advice about dealing with the holidays on your own weight loss journey? Feel free to share, I’d love to hear it!