Hooray!! Here I am on the back side of Thanksgiving (and my 45th birthday) with 1 lb. gone! Not only that, my fat percentage dropped from 41% to 37%!!! With my fat percentage in the 30s, it finally feels like the end of phase I is in the very near future!
I approached the holiday/birthday celebration with a strategy. Before I headed over to the family feast, I decided not to overthink things. I wouldn't be 100% on the diet but I would make an effort to stick to foods that were low carb. I loaded up on turkey, ham, raw cauliflower and green beans instead of my favorites, stuffing and mashed potatoes.
When it came time for dessert, my family surprised me with a big, decorated cookie. I had a small sample of the cookie and sliced the rest of it up for the kids to enjoy. I also took small samples of a cheesecake and pumpkin pie - just enough for a taste.
I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything - I wasn't deprived or hungry and I enjoyed what I ate. The great thing was that instead of crashing into a food coma afterwards or numbing myself with drink, I was able to talk to a nephew about his favorite video game and visit with my brothers about what's going on in their lives.
I also helped my mom, who spends most holidays parked in front of the kitchen sink, washing dishes and keeping the kitchen from getting too chaotic. It made me feel good to lighten the load of someone who usually takes on the whole burden without complaint.
To compensate for the non-diet foods I had on Thanksgiving, I stuck to non-restricted Ideal Protein packets for the rest of the week, instead of having the one restricted a day I am usually allowed. I also bicycled harder than usual on my way to work Friday and Saturday. I think these two activities are what allowed me to lose a pound AND drop several percentage points in the fat department. Another thing that I think helped me was the amount of water I drank this week. Because I knew I'd be eating off plan, I boosed my water intake to flush out the system AND keep me full so I wouldn't eat as much of the "bad stuff" as I normally would.
Prior to the holiday I heard all kinds of fellow dieters griping about the foods they couldn't eat or warning each other not to cheat. I refused to take part in either of these activities. I think both of these behaviors contribute to failed dieting experiences.
If all you can talk about is the wine you're not drinking or aunt Mabel's fudge you're missing, then guess what - you'll be chowing down on fudge and feeling guilty in no time. If you're focused on cheating by telling yourself and others "don't cheat" - then you are setting yourself up for failure. Both of these behaviors are self-defeating and keep the mind focused on behaviors you're trying to conquer.
I went into the past week celebrating some huge milestones and was determined to hang on to those as tightly as possible. Instead of being preoccupied with the possibility of cheating or foods I'd rather eat, I focused on how good I feel and how far I've come. I am empowering myself to continue being successful. While I allowed myself small deviations from the diet, I kept a level head, enjoyed small portions and didn't make the whole holiday about food.
I hope this makes sense, but I don't place judgement on deviations, either. I don't consider it cheating or beat myself up for eating something I "shouldn't." Why put a negative/naughty spin on something that I have complete control over and that only affects me? It's my choice to eat something off diet, not only that, it's my choice to be on this diet (and it's not cheap).
I don't want to be on this diet forever and I don't want to be a huge hulking mess ever again. It's the responsibility I take for my actions that keeps me on target and keeps the deviations down to a minimum. I think it's also what's going to keep me slim once I'm there.
So on rare occasions I may allow myself a deviation from plan. That deviation is not a bad thing, but it is something that will slow my progress. This time around the deviation DID slow my progress pound-wise. However, planning ahead, boosting my activity level and cutting restricted proteins from my routine this week compensated for the indulgences and boosted my results in dropping the fat off my body, which is the more important number to drop!
I hope everyone had a lot to be thankful for and had a blessed holiday with loved ones.