Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Joy

I just had the *best* Christmas ever!! Well, maybe when the kids were all tiny, that was super fun, but I really enjoyed my Christmas today! All the kids were happy, everyone playing together and enjoying being home, and I was able to just relax and be happy. Last year was my very first year without having my children for Christmas, as the older ones all went to their father's for the very first time since we divorced a decade ago. Gosh I was sad last year, even though we celebrated a few days early and I tried to be excited, it hurt. This year I am acutely aware of what a blessing it is to have them here. I love them so much and I treasure every moment with them.

Last week I had been feeling sick and emotionally down. For the past few days I have been all kinds of off-plan, eating cookies, candy, potatoes, white bread, and cheese. No exercise, either... too busy, too full of food. But I noticed something. I got some comments and emails that mentioned how eating healthy supports the body, but when we eat junk, underlying and/or chronic conditions can come out as "sickness." I thought, ok, maybe. Well, the other day I decided I would eat a couple of healthy meals between all the junk. I had a nice veggie/Egg Beater breakfast, some Clementines, green tea. I had a healthy lunch. I was feeling great: energized, positive, light, healthy. Around 2pm I decided to have a cookie. I sat down and ate a homemade frosted sugar cookie... then another... then a piece of fudge. Within 20 minutes I felt like my "flu" was returning! My sinuses were congested, I was developing a headache, I felt tired and sick. I decided it was no coincidence. I think the sugar crap does a number on my body and my well-being.

Of course, that was not enough to keep me off the junk during Christmas. I still had a cookie here and there. Yesterday I went pretty overboard, actually. It's like each day that went by, I'd eat a little *more* junk. Two cookies on Monday, four on Tuesday, that kind of thing. By yesterday I had built up to an all-cookie diet (well, almost), and then we had prime rib for dinner. Today I got a few gifts of candy which I dove into, and then the ham and potatoes and rolls... well, I really overate.

My sinuses are all over the place with congestion, runny nose, pressure, sneezing. I also have begun my monthly trek through the valley of PMS (made worse by the sugar I've been eating). But still, today *was* the very best Christmas, and I am *so* happy and feel great! Yes, eating healthy and exercising and all IS an integral part of my life, but even when it isn't going so well, that "success" or "failure" DOES NOT have to define me! It is okay to be HAPPY even when the eating is screwy and the scale is up. It is not a *requirement* that you MUST FEEL GUILTY and BAD if you eat cookies and don't exercise. Sure, your body my feel worse. But if your mind is in a happy place and your emotions are bright, that is okay! You do not have to let a weight gain or a couple of unhealthy meals turn your opinion of yourself into something negative. I want to repeat this: It is OKAY to be happy, whether you are on plan or not!

And so, I feel ridiculously happy and content with my Christmas and my children and the lovely little necklace my daughter gave me and the brightly lit tree in the living room. I feel wonderful and amazing emotionally EVEN WITH the heartburn, sinus issues, bloating and PMS cramps. Crazy? Maybe. But better off-plan and happy than off-plan and depressed.

That said, I am so sick of sugar that I am ready to put myself back on track tomorrow morning. I feel very ready to get on that scale and see what it says, and watch that number go back down between now and January 1.

I wish you all a Christmas as amazing and happy as I had! Be well.


screwdestiny said...

Glad you had such a great Christmas. I hope you feel better once you start eating healthy stuff again. :)

bbubblyb said...

I'm so happy you had such a nice Christmas Lyn. I totally agree with what you said too about food shouldn't be related to how you feel about yourself. Hope getting back on track isn't to hard. I know during "that time" it's a bit tough for me sometimes to stay focused on the healthy stuff.

ThriceBlessed said...

I'm in the same boat... feeling sick... disgusted with sugar... actually looking forward to healthy food tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

This is making sense for the first time for me! Thanks for your insights! We're feasting the family today instead of yesterday, and it's amazing to be in a different space about eating.

The Shrinking Violet said...

The sugar is a demon! Glad you had a great Christmas.

spunkysuzi said...

I have to tell you that i found the same thing happens to me when i eat "junk" my sinus's fill up and i absolutely feel like i'm coming down with something. As soon as i eat healthy it disappears!! Oh the wonders of the body :)
So glad you had a great Christmas this year and i know the new year will only have even better things to come!!

Kylie said...

Glad you had such a great Xmas. I know exactly what you mean about how the body responds to junk. I have been feeling flu-like lately and it has just occurred to me that the reason is the food I have been eating. Thanks for the reminder.

clickmom said...

Was tempted every few seconds all week and managed to keep it mostly under wraps. I usually indulge all the time, with the same physical after effects that you suffer with, and this time I found the right mind set to remind myself how I'd feel after digging into the dessert or the freshly baked bread, or the cheese fondue, and I passed. You know and I know the food isn't really what the holidays are about. It's all about the family and friends and celebrating how lucky we are.

Greta from said...

We lead parallel many ways. Last year my four kids were with their Dad on Christmas for the first time ever...and because of a snow storm (bad)....and complicated travel ended up being an INSANELY stressful week...leaving me stranded in a city not my own...solo...on Christmas day. It ended up being fine...I made the most of it and we had already celebrated Christmas...but, was a stressful as hell week.

This year....was perfect and wonderful. This morning I put the kiddos on a plane to their Dad's....very that part was not so fun (especially when son #4 managed to drop his smoothie and it...literally...exploded ALL over the kitchen AND the ceiling..which I did not discover till later...a 2 foot patch of smoothie dried to the ceiling...good God!) was a fun filled wonderful (and somewhat lazy) week with my kiddos. Now I am ready to focus back on myself this coming week. My health is IMPORTANT....and it is WORTHY of my attention. I DESERVE good and nourishing food. I do NOT deserve crappy-ass food. I'm back on track, and feeling pretty good about things. Aunt flo arrived two days early, too...which sort of day at a time. I plan to FINISH STRONG for 2009...and look forward to an amazing 2010. Wooooooohoooo!

Shelley said...

Glad you had such a great Christmas, Lyn - looking forward to another year of weight loss and insights with you!

Tony the Pink Panda said...

It's good that you were able to be OK with going off plan every once in a while. That's something I still need to work on.

Susannah said...

I'm so happy to hear of your fabulous Christmas with your wonderful kids! That's great! Ahhh, Christmas I adore them! But, the cookie eating plan does make you feel blechy, doesn't it? I had some weird "old style" eating episodes a few weeks ago but stayed the course through the holiday week and feel I learned a great deal in the process. I am feeling good and strong and determined to hit my goal in 2010 - year 3! It's fantastic to have such a great community of health and fitness bloggers to read - thanks so much Lyn! All the very best in 2010!!

Steelers6 said...

It sounds like a real accomplishment for you that you can separate joy & a good feeling about yourself from feeling guilty to eating off plan. That is not easy, and you are scratching the surface there. I guess at the very least I feel disappointment with always you give me things to think about. :)

It actually helps me to know that if I eat that danish or whatever it will cost me beyond calories, it will most likely give me a headache for the day.

I am not able to resist if I make homemade goodies, so mostly I just don't make them. We were out of town over Christmas, so that coupled w/my lack of control if I make things caused me to totally refrain from making Christmas goodies. It sort of doesn't feel like Christmas now. [oh, & I missed you while I was gone. Grin.]

I am so glad your Christmas was jolly, and I think part of that is how you are learning to take control of your mind. Self control is spilling over in to other areas of our lives, I'm sure. [as in, even if so and so isn't here, I/We are going to make the most of our time together, etc..]
Hugs, ChrissyS