Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that “Just Do It” doesn’t always work for me either. Should it? Why doesn’t it? Why is the sky blue? If I knew the answer to any of these I’d probably be sitting on a 60’ yacht out in the Caribbean sipping on a cocktail right now. But since I am not, let’s just focus on the recovery and getting back on the path of a healthier life.

In this second and final part of the series on Holiday Stress, “Reality…Plan B to the rescue,” we’re going to look at how we live with what sometimes has to be a less than perfect result.

Let’s go back to the ghost of holidays past. In the past, at least for me, I went through the holidays in a whirlwind of stress. It seemed as though the “expectation” from the manner in which I’d been brought up, was to send out personalized Christmas cards with a personalized hand written note in each. Christmas presents were well thought out, and personalized for each of the special people in our lives. The house was decorated both inside and out. How my mom did it all as a single mother is beyond me.

My Mom also loved to cook and bake which is probably what started me on my path to self-destruction. As I grew up and started becoming concerned with my weight, the never ending cycle of good intentions, bad results, guilt and more bad results ensued and before I knew it another holiday was over and I was at least five pounds heavier.

Fast forward to holidays present and life has changed dramatically. I live my life differently at least in the realm of nutrition. Am I perfect? No way! Do I feel guilty when I can’t resist a small serving of pumpkin pie? Nope! How is that possible you ask? It goes back to the main focus of part 1 and that’s planning. When I start out my plan for the week, the first thing I ask myself is what are the nutritional detours facing me. During the holidays they’re coming at us from every direction so what I do is prioritize. I am NOT skipping the traditional sausage balls we have on both Thanksgiving and Christmas morning. I know there are going to be one or two social parties; and of course the gazillion baked goods brought into work on a daily basis and as gifts. If I block on my calendar the events I’m certain of, I can at least make an overly healthy plan around those events to compensate.

But let’s say my healthy eating plan gets derailed by an unexpected invite out to lunch, or a little too much indulgence with the peppermint bark in the break room? The calories are already on board, so I basically have two options here: I can cut back on calories at another meal, or I can add in some exercise. It’s all about making a deal with the devil so to speak. You HAVE to compromise. While I’m not a morning person, I personally would rather add a little exercise than have any feelings of deprivation or hunger by cutting out more food. So if I allow myself these dietary detours, WITHOUT GUILT, I have to be willing to make up for it somewhere or I end up in the same old bad results, guilt, bad results cycle. I love how I feel in my healthier body and I’m not going back!!

A friend once sent me a saying that I’ve modified slightly….. “Exercise is HARD, Eating healthy is HARD, being overweight, out of breath and aching all the time is HARD…… Choose your HARD.”

That my friends, is Plan B to the rescue.

About the Author:
Tammy Beaumont, BSN, RN, CBN, is an OAC Committee Member, a registered nurse, a certified bariatric nurse and an obesity survivor who had gastric bypass surgery in 2003 and has maintained a 135 pound weight-loss. Since then she has changed the focus of her nursing career and now works with patients wanting to follow the same journey to a healthy lifestyle. She is also a member of the OAC National Board of Directors