The new Starbucks red cups are out!
Do you know what that means????
I mean aside from the fact that it means that you can now order a venti Caramel Brulee Latte with an extra shot, extra caramel sauce, and whipped topping . . . every day for the next 2 months, guilt-free!
It also means that the holiday season is full-force upon us and we will be greeted more readily and heavily with EVERY opportunity to embrace the excuses that have kicked us off the path to reaching our healthy life goals. Let me just get real with you for a hot second. Even though I strive to avoid processed and added sugars, I have a sweet tooth too. However, I’m tired of letting it dominate my clarity of mind and my ability to be in control of my health. It’s for that reason that I bought some of Torani’s Sugar-Free syrups (Pumpkin Pie & Gingerbread . . . and soon, Peppermint). I’ve now given myself a way to indulge without letting the drug that sugar is, rule my mind and body.
One of my biggest goals this season is not to fall into the big “Holiday Trap.” It’s tough to do—we as Americans live to eat and food has become the center of our attention at every party, every meeting, everything. It’s everywhere, and coupled with our lack of self-control, it’s killing us. And I don’t just mean with diabetes and heart disease, I mean it’s killing our minds, our hearts, and our sense of wholeness as human beings. I just spent an entire evening at a Halloween event with adults who were eating just as much (if not more) candy than their kids were. That’s no big deal to me at all, but what killed me was that they would eat some and then say, things like “I know I shouldn’t.” and “Ugh. This is the 10th Kit Kat I’ve had. I need to stop. . . after this Reese’s.” And my favorite, “Well, I gotta test it out for my kids, right?” That breaks my heart, because whether or not they meant it as a joke, they meant it. Eating should not be something we’re ashamed of or something we have to justify. Food should not have THAT MUCH power over us. As I’ve been on this Fit Life journey, one of the biggest things I’ve wrestled with is developing a healthy relationship with food. I don’t want to treat myself like a dog and justify every treat because I’ve “earned” it or because it’s what’s expected of me. I want to make conscious choices about what I put into my body and learn balance and healthy boundaries along the way.
For instance, with the holidays coming up, it’s my natural go-to to bake, bake, bake, and bake some more! Pumpkin pie, Apple pie, Berry Cakes, Cookies, and the like generally make their presence fully known in my kitchen around this time. And since I’m living the single lady life, I usually end up having a few extra slices lying around that just so happen to end up in my tummy as I mindlessly snack on them out of convenience or stress. However, I’m challenging myself to make only savory side dishes for potlucks, parties, and special events this season. I want to DISCOVER whether or not I can break the social norm and refrain from gorging on alllll the sweets that I’ll be presented with as I go about life during this hectic stressful time.
My big concerns for this upcoming season have been:
- Since I’m not going home to see family, I’m going to be more homesick, and therefore more emotional. I still struggle from time to time with emotional eating. This could all end badly and derail me from reclaiming my Fit Life. However, if I play my cards right and I do my best to plan for success, I can overcome another round of learning to not feed my emotions. I definitely want to be stronger in this!
- Being involved in ministry automatically signs you up for an increased amount of cookie exchanges, parties, events, dinners, etc. so I know that a large amount of fatty restaurant foods and sweets will be more than readily available to me after a hectic day of racking my brain to make seemingly impossible things happen and it’s more than likely that no one in attendance will care if I’m eating unhealthy foods, because we’ll all be doing it together. This is where peer pressure kicks in and that’s another hard battle for me.
- Being a Children’s Director + Youth Pastor and not using candy and treats as an easy go-to reward for these little lives, of who we are trying to teach how to live an all-around healthy, full life in Christ. I don’t want to teach these kiddos that the only way to reward themselves is with sugar treats, because God gives us so many other awesome things to reward ourselves with that won’t make us lose control, drug our bodies and cause us to bounce off the walls.
- I DO want to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle and part of it is learning to eat in moderation. I mean, I’m definitely gonna have some pumpkin pie this Turkey day, but if I can help it at all, I’m going to enjoy one slice, and not half the entire pie (I’ve been known to do that in the past, by the way). I’m also going to be sure I eat all my fruits and veggies first. Those treat my body wayyyy better than pecan pie does.
In order to take a strong foot forward to reach my goals, I used Halloween as an experiment of sorts. I mean, c’mon, being around all of that candy for the past 2 weeks has been Temptation City! However, I was able to make it through the day with the ability to consciously enjoy every single moment, not feeling robbed of treats! And unlike my episode at Easter, I didn’t binge on a bag of Reese’s afterward. 😉 What I decided beforehand was that I was going to spend the day treating myself to some healthy and fun things that I wouldn’t normally spend money on and this would be one of those extra special occasions—much like Christmas Day. I chose 3 of my favorite fruits that I rarely buy because they’re so pricey and then I stopped off at the Target dollar spot to pick out some toys that gave me warm fuzzies. If I can spend the day feeling like I’ve got treasures waiting for me, there’s less of a desire to fill that void with candy, which has a habit of making me feel good for a 2 minutes and then dropping me like a bad habit. Here’s how it all went down:
Not pictured (since it was so busy) was my dinner—Turkey sandwich, apples & veggies galore! Also not pictured is the Tupperware bowl of cauliflower that I brought into work that day JUST IN CASE I had a moment of weakness and was tempted to stress eat. For the record, I DID have a big stressful moment in the evening and I DID stress eat. Thankfully, my best friend Heather was in the kitchen with me when it happened. She made the comment about me “going to town on all that cauliflower” and I told her it was because I was so nervous and stressed about whether my 1st event as the Children’s Director would be a success or not. She gave me a chance to talk (and snack) it out and then she prayed for me and gave me lots of hugs. That gave me all the strength I needed to get through the next part of the evening. Well, that and another cup of coffee! 😉 When I got home, I busted out one of my coloring books and just took some time to unwind and get ready for bed. I felt that my experiment was successful and it gave me hope for this upcoming holiday season. I know it’ll have its ups and downs, but I’m definitely feeling more confident about it!
Happy Fit Life Friday, y’all!