Here I Go Again (Not) On My Own

Weight is a subject that I’ve touched on several times over the last few months.  To sum up, I’ve gained some weight and some inches over the last year or so, and I’m not happy about it.  Summer of 2013, I was fit, confident and happy.  I was running moderate distances 2-3 times per week, and hitting up 1-2 strength/bootcamp type classes per week.  I was eating generally well, keeping the booze consumption under control, and feeling pretty good about myself.

Fall of 2013, Ben and I tore up our Massachusetts roots and headed back to our home state of Vermont.  The transition went well in most ways, except in the diet and exercise department.  I fell off the wagon, hard, and have been running behind and trying unsuccessfully to climb back on ever since.  Now, we’re entering a time of year that is pretty much synonymous with excess–pies, cakes, cookies, eggnog and more, all trotted out on a daily basis, begging to be eaten.  Coworkers will bring in their leftover treats from home, there will be parties galore, and lots of seasonal delicacies that only emerge between mid-November and January.  I usually end up overindulging and feeling crappy about myself, and of course there’s the oft-made (and oft-broken) New Year’s Resolution to “lose weight!” or “get in shape!” that never actually happens and leaves me feeling like a failure, until the next year when I do it all over again.

This year I’m saying “no.”  Not again.  No more.  No more eating to the point of illness.  No more, “But it’s Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years, don’t hold back!”  No more packing on the pounds and feeling sorry for myself.  And I know I (and many others) say this every year, but this time is different.  This time, I’ve got help–my accountabilibuddies (Kim, Lisa, Kellie and Nicole) are back on the case, and we’re going to stop being enablers and get tough on each other.  We check in daily, we encourage each other to be active, and say things like “Back away from the donut box.”

This will likely be even more challenging due to my current non-running status, but I know for a fact that diet is 90% of the problem for me anyway.  This means it’s more important than ever to really focus on eating nutritious foods, cutting back on the sugar and booze, and getting a handle on portion sizes.

I probably won’t be doing regular check-ins on this, but I’ll be sure to do a wrap up after the holidays.

How do you combat holiday weight gain?

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27 thoughts on “Here I Go Again (Not) On My Own

  1. SuzLyfe says:

    I just try to separate myself from the things that drive me to “drink” as it were–I know that if it is in front of me, I will eat it, so I just disperse things or keep myself away.

    • DarlinRae says:

      In my family, that’s nearly impossible to do. The holidays are an excuse for excess, and the snacking begins at 10am and goes all day. I mostly need to work on my personal willpower and saying no.

  2. txa1265 says:

    Well, the fact that I was out at 10PM on a run on Thanksgiving night pretty much says it for me … 🙂

    Also, now that I am older I don’t feel teh peer pressure as much, and I just come out and say I won’t eat store-bought sweets, but do sample broadly from home-made … but really don’t like the over-full feeling. Be honest, cut portions – always use the ‘excuse’ that you want a smaller piece because you want to make sure you have room to enjoy a taste of everything – and carry a bag of carrots and celery to fill up on if needed.

  3. Nicole @ pink elephant on parade says:

    I think rocking out to this song burned at least 50 calories. Damn it’s good. And also I’m tracking what I eat because I find it really easy to be like, “I didn’t eat that much today just a fun size bag of m&ms (10 counts the same as 1 in my math).” AND FRIENDS.

  4. veryrach says:

    This is great! Good luck! I always over-indulge during holidays too, but hopefully I can control myself this year. So far, when I’m invited to dinners or parties I try to offer to bring something, and then make it a healthy choice.

  5. dgobs says:

    Oof, the holidays are hard. I try to follow the rule of stopping eating as soon as I’m no longer hungry, instead of when I’m full… although that usually falls by the wayside as soon as it comes to dessert. Unfortunately. For the past few years I’ve had the GetFit program at work that starts right after the holidays and offers discounted gym membership and incentives to try to meet weekly goals for minutes exercised. That’s certainly helped!

  6. irishrunnerchick says:

    I usually volunteer to be the DD so that cuts down on alcoholic beverages straightaway. I also tend to eat a little lighter earlier in the day if I’m going to a party where I know there’ll be awesome food. And if I’m home home I try to get out for a walk/run at some point in the day to get moving and away from the snacks.

  7. charissarunning says:

    I completely understand; the holidays have always been a time for me to indulge and add a few pounds to my frame. When I started grad school, I packed on a good 20+ lbs in a short 6-8 months and it all started around Halloween.

    This year, I know I won’t over-indulge because I’ve actually succeeded in finally changing my diet/lifestyle. I used to think I could eat whatever I wanted because I ran/exercised, but at some point my body just started getting very angry with me. I couldn’t complete runs because my stomach would hurt so bad. I decided that running was way too important to let this go on so I started cutting out the foods that made me feel so icky. Now, most of what I eat is used to fuel my running instead of the other way around. Once I realized how good I felt and how much more consistent my running was, I didn’t want to go back to eating the way I used to. I don’t know if any of this will help you because we are all wired so completely differently, but if you can focus your mind more on what you can accomplish after eating a donut vs. eating a sweet potato (just an example), it makes it a little easier to choose a healthier option. Good luck! I’m rooting for you this holiday season (and onward!).

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thank you! I’m definitely trying to shift my attitude towards “eat to run” versus “run to eat,” but it’s a challenge. It’s hard to re-train my brain after 28 years of eating poorly, but I’m trying to remind myself that better fueling means better running.

  8. hellyontherun says:

    oh my gosh, diet is THE hardest for me. I can exercise for days but have zero self control when it comes to eat bad food. Good luck to you and I know you’re going to do better this year!! It helps me to read blogs of active runners to motivate me to stay on the healthy track 🙂

  9. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    My big problem is sweets and chips and for some reason I always want more of those this time of year. Growing up, every holiday meant chips and dip or chips, cheese and pepperoni- healthy right? I actually do ok at home but am horrible at work. I think when I get back to work I am going to enlist the help of my coworkers to keep me accountable. Especially now that I get lunches again, there should be no reason to snack on crap at my desk! Good luck!!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Your family sounds like mine! Chips and dip and cheese and pepperoni are staple snacks at our family gatherings. I’m getting better at saying no or only eating a bit, but the peer pressure is intense!

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