Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Keeping December real

Hello peeps!

Brrrrrrr, chilly in the North these last few days. Makes me want to baton down the hatches and eat....... :)

Speaking of eating that leads me nicely onto today's post title. As you may have gathered I go to a slimming group religiously every week and have done for the past 7 years or so.

For me it works but I understand it is not for everybody. I am greedy by nature and was big as a teenager. When I joined my slimming group all those years ago it was like flicking a switch. I've never looked back - although the route I am taking to target seems to be a scenic one :)

A major dread for all slimmers seems to be the month of December. I have seen many Christmas' at group and the amount of people who give up  always amazes me. They usually say they'll 'be back in January' but I know how much damage can be done in a month - I could easily gain a stone or more just over a few weeks. 

The way I eat now has been a lifestyle overhaul for me so I guess I can't understand how people can just 'switch off' from healthy eating and cram in all the junk they can find for 4 weeks.
Ultimately it leaves you feeling terrible, remorseful, depressed and sad come January and that is not how I want to start my new year off - my years of that are behind me.

I know it can be difficult (believe me, I do) and it is such a fabulous social time so no one wants to miss out but there are ways of negotiating Christmas without it becoming a big weight loss mountain to climb come January.

I have some simple strategies that help me through while still enjoying myself.

First I use a simple planner for December that we get every year in group:

This really helps me keep things in perspective.
Instead of focusing on the meals out and making a big deal of them I focus on the days where there is nothing going on and on which I can eat normally.

By filling in the planner I am usually surprised that in actual fact Christmas for me is really just about a few meals out and isn't the huge food obstacle I thought it was going to be.

Second I make sure that I have soups on hand for lunches and food banked in the freezer such as chillies and bolognese that can be whipped out in the morning in order to resist the temptation of the take away in a lazy moment.

This week's soup is chicken broth - loosely based on the turkey broth I had last week. I am really looking forward to lunch tomorrow to eat some of this golden goodness.

I try make sure I attend my usual workout classes while the gym is open. It is all too easy for someone like me to talk myself out of going to the gym. But thanks to the husband and the class instructors I have enough people to give me the kick I need to get moving and comit myself to going.
If the gym is closed then I push myself to have a bracing walk with the husband - perhaps with a swing by a pub for a slimline tonic to sweeten the deal.

I keep lots of different healthy living magazines on hand plus I collect cookery books so I get out some of the healthier side ones to flick through. The magazines usually have a stash of New year recipes to inspire following all the heavy Xmas eating.
What better than say egg, chips and beans or a Thai green prawn soup for tea after all that festive food.

If we are heading out with friends then I often opt to drive. If that causes a fuss then I usually have a 2 drink rule. 2 alcoholic drinks maximum - Gin and slimline is my tipple so I alternate these with just a plain slimline tonic.

If the mood takes me then I sometimes opt for red wine - although this can be more dangerous. If I get a glass of wine then I go for a reasonably expensive one; that way it forces me to savour it rather than just quaff it back.

The 2 drink rule has the bonus of not giving me a hangover the next morning - hangovers can sway me to junk food choices over the healthier option. Sometimes the freezer can be a lifesaver here - I root out a home made chilli or curry to satisfy the junk demon.

I'm not saying this always turns out the way I want it to; sometimes I have 'just one more' wine or get hit by the munchies for a take away. But I try keep these things in mind and stay focused. I know where I want to be weight wise and sometimes the thrill of those new lower-sized jeans ultimately means more than that piece of cake or packet of crisps.

Back to this weeks food and it has been heavy on the soup, veg and salads. I've been craving salad with my lunches (no idea what is wrong with me).

 Add in some feta and black pepper with a drizzle of dressing...

Roast ham tea with my beloved sprouts....

Roast chicken tea with roasted new potatoes and a veg mountain.

Dad's home grown leeks paired with potatoes for a deee-lish soup....

Another salad is on the cards for tomorrow alsongside my homemade chicken broth. Mmmmmm, is it wrong to always be at least one meal ahead in my mind?!

Have a great Thursday x

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