Cookies, cookies, cookies! You would think it was Girl Scout Cookie season for the amount of conversations I have had today about cookies! To bake or not to bake. How do you enjoy holiday cookies, and create health too? Here's the deal...
a) Is it necessary? Do you really want the cookies more, or is it just tradition - a.k.a. habit? If you really don't care, but have just always done it. Or you are just doing it for your kids. Be done. You don't need them. They don't need them. The holidays will still exist, with or without them. The only real tradition you are passing onto your kids, is the eating unecessary sugary-food tradition.
b) Is it a significant trigger? Meaning, how off track do the cookies (the sugar) send you? Will you be satisfied with a couple, or is a couple really a couple dozen? If cookies are "an achilles heel" I would think long and hard about what you want more. I cannot emphasize enough how amazingly awesome it feels to be free of the struggle. There is no cookie worth that.
c) If you want them, and decide to make that choice - make it. And enjoy it. But it helps to have a plan. Stuffing yourself, feeling gross, beating yourself up and getting way off track kinda takes the fun and enjoyment out of the treat. Which ones do you really like? Decide to have one, or two. Set them aside. in a tupperware with your name on it. Create your own portion controlled situation. If they are all on the counter, it is way too easy to conveniently forget how many you have eaten. IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep eating healthy the rest of the time. Do not. I repeat do not, decide to count the cookies as your meal to make up for the calories, and then skip the meal. That is a really bad idea, and a really good way to create a mountain out of a mole hill. And finally, know that when you have extra sugar, especially if your body isn't used to it, you can kick in some extra cravings. Plan for it. Drink your water, be a bit more active and manage your hunger/cravings with protein - not with not bread. And certainly not with more cookies.
d) If they are staring at you and you thought you could have just one and now you are stuck, elbow deep in the cookie jar. Get the flipping cookies out of your house!!! Now. Give them away, throw them away, whatever it takes. Remove yourself from the situation. And note to self in the future - have one out somewhere from time to time if that is your choice, but do not bring them home.
What is it with the holidays and food? It can be a challenging time of year, but only if you make it so. I hear people say, "the holidays are going to be tough." As if the scale has already gone up. It hasn't. If being unhealthy over the holidays is a foregone conclusion - and the "holidays" are still weeks away - I challenge you to really notice that thought process. You aren't just what you eat, you are what you think. If you have deciced the holidays are going to be tough, that is a decision you have made. Instead you could decide the holidays will be a breeze - and make them a breeze. In fact, you could start to create better health today rather than wait until January. I LOVE clients who start in December because they are not messing around!
Next week, which I'm going to talk about next week, marks my five-year anniversary of when I first started this journey. I too had favorite cookies and life-long traditions, but there was no cookie or sentiment I wanted more than to be out of those blessed, awful maternity pants - and so I chose to skip the sugar. And I have yet to go back. I don't even slightly recall what cookies I may have passed up that year, but I very clearly remember how it felt to put on my pre-baby jeans. And the pride and relief I felt for having done it. So bake or don't bake, but be DONE playing small. Make an intentional choice and plan - and OWN it.
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