In the depths of my eating disorder, holidays were a TERRIFYING time. It meant I would not only be surrounded by tons of food, but tons of friends and family who would offer it to me over and over again, reacting every time I refused to have even a few crackers and cheese. While big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving were the worst, since they were always associated with over-eating and the ‘food coma,’ other holidays were also hard.
While holidays are a lot easier to manage in recovery, they can still be difficult – especially as someone who generally enjoys eating healthy food. This past weekend marked Canada’s 150th birthday as a country, which meant a long weekend full of food, booze, and fun. For you American’s out there, I know today is the 4th of July, so I’m sure you were out celebrating all weekend too!
Personally, I spent my weekend at a country music festival. I found myself worrying about taking the weekend off from the gym, but I realized that spending the day out in the sun at a concert is pretty active in and of itself. Plus, I was having fun, so was it really the end of the world if I missed a couple gym days to celebrate? I find it hard to take rest days consecutively, but after talking myself down a few times I realized it was okay for me to take a break.
It was difficult to find healthy food options at the event too, which was also a bit challenging for me. Luckily, I was smart enough to pack a few granola bars and protein bars in my purse for an easy snack. And, on day 2, I even decided to wait in the long food truck line for a veggie burger. I wish it was easier for me to have “cheat days,” but I’m pretty proud of how I handled the whole event considering the amount of alcohol consumption that also happened (LOL).
It would be easy to feel guilty about the weekend and maybe even become more lenient about going to the gym because of it. However, that’s not how I plan to move forward. Today, I’m heading back to the gym and hoping for a killer workout. The key is to remember that breaks are always okay, feeling guilty never helps anything, and getting back on track after a few days off will help you push forward to reaching all your goals.
If you’re in recovery from an eating disorder, generally have trouble ‘”treating yourself,” or struggle with rest days, these are a few tips that I find helpful for holidays, special events, and celebrations:
– Always have snacks on you – just because you have them with you doesn’t mean that you HAVE to eat them and you can’t have a hot dog with everyone else. It simply means that if you’re having a particularly difficult day, if you get hangry, if you need a little extra snack, or if there’s limited options available for your dietary needs, you’re prepared.
– Look around you. Do you think everyone went to the gym this morning? Definitely not. I bet a lot of them haven’t even been to the gym this week. So don’t stress!!!! A few days off will NOT be the end of the world. I promise you it’s okay. (Plus, think of how amazing your next workout will after some rest and relaxation)
– Alcohol calories don’t count. Okay that’s a total lie, but don’t let your worries about calories stop you from enjoying yourself, (Obviously be responsible and take care of yourself, but if you’re feeling like a tequila shot, then you go ahead and take that tequila shot!!! – just don’t forget the lime)
– All of your progress doesn’t disappear because of a few days out of the gym. You’re not completely derailed from your fitness journey; you’ve just reached a temporary stop. You’ll be ready to start up again with full force soon, and then you’ll realize that all of the strength and stamina you ‘ve built up hasn’t mysteriously gone away
Remember, enjoying life is what’s really important! xoxo