I do not own a scale. I have never needed to, because about 10 years ago I found a particular brand of jeans that fit me really well. Of course, this particular brand is not cheap, so I vow to wear out every pair I buy, which means my jeans need to continue to fit. When they start to get a little tight, that cinched up feeling kicks off an alarm in my head that I need to either exercise more, eat less or maybe both. I never even consider the fact that if they get too small I can just buy a size bigger.
No way…that is not happening.
The holidays are an extra hard time for me to keep my jeans fitting the way I like, and I know I am not the only one. Factor in the cold and icy Omaha weather, shorter daylight hours, and extra comfort foods everywhere we turn, and keeping my jeans comfortable is a real struggle. I do not, however, use those facts as an excuse. Instead, I have learned some tricks that I would love to share, which have made a big difference in how I handle the holidays in style.
First, log your food. Logging keeps you honest and makes you aware. There is no better time to log your foods than over the holidays or as the seasons change. Any time that your routine may be thrown off calls for at least a few days of logging to reset your eating schedule and awareness. I highly recommend myfitnesspal.com, which is available for free, both as a phone app and on your desktop computer. Logging is my number one tool to stay just right in my favorite jeans.
Second, exercise. It feels good to hibernate on the couch where it’s warm and comfortable in the winter, but this is the worse time to do that. Fight the urge to be lazy and move your body. Exercise will counter the low energy we feel from decreased sun exposure in the winter months. Not to mention, it keeps you not only fitting into your favorite jeans, but looking darn good in them as well.
Third, be very selective. Let’s face it, not all holiday foods are created equally and we all have our personal preferences, likes and dislikes. The first 3 to 4 foods that come to your mind when you think about the holidays are the foods that you most likely have a sentimental or emotional connection with. For whatever reason, these foods have more value to you than others; therefore, these foods should be on your priority list when the holiday foods begin to surface. I love pumpkin pie, a little bit of eggnog around Christmas time, See’s Candy (a long time family tradition) and wine at a holiday party. By keeping these foods in mind all season, I can avoid eating something I don’t really like just because it is there, and instead save my precious calories for what I really enjoy.
Are you wrapped up or frustrated by that number on your scale? Even small fluctuations can be demotivating and make you feel like you are failing at your health goals. For me, I know if the jeans fit, I’m sticking to my goals even if I do not eat perfectly all the time. My jeans do not lie, and they keep me honest with myself. Use these tricks over the Christmas season, and remember it’s never too late to work back into your favorite jeans and stay there.