How did that number make you feel?
And what is the best thing to do about that number right now? Put that scale far away! At least, for a couple of weeks. Yes, I am serous. Read on to see why.
If you are like most of us, you have enjoyed the holidays and celebrating with friends and family. Maybe you took a trip somewhere or, maybe, you stayed home. Either way, you likely have been eating (and drinking) out of your regular routine. And if, like me, you have kids, your "routine" has likely flown out of the window during your kids' school break.
What you need right now is to take care of yourself by getting your routine back. Yes, even when your kids' school district declares a "snow day" after your kids have been out of school for two weeks already:-). You see, while that scale does not lie, strictly speaking, it is not actually telling you the whole picture. And the truly critical thing it is not telling you right now is that you might have built up a combination of "stress weight" and "inflammation weight" (sometimes, also known as "water weight") over the holidays. Yes, you heard it right. So let me explain.
If you pay attention to your body (and I know that you do!), you generally know what things "work" or "do not work" for you in your diet. How many of things that you know "do not work" for you did you eat over the holidays? Chances are quite a few. Does it mean you suddenly put on a ton of weight? No, not exactly. What you are likely looking at is "inflammation weight" or the extra pounds your body is carrying temporarily trying to process the things you ate over the holidays. Those things that don't usually work well for you. Sugar, for a lot of us. Excess dairy for many. And alcohol (which translates to "sugar" PLUS extra work for your liver).
Here is the good news: this weight is temporary and will work its way out provided you relax enough to honor yourself right now. Does starting a brand new diet or detox at this time sound relaxing? Nope. And, if you are carrying extra toxins right now, "easy does it" is the best way to get them out well. Slowly and over time. Please read an earlier post I wrote where I explained why a rapid weight loss is actually dangerous and likely to leave you more toxic than you were before you started on that "toxin flush."
Spring, by the way, is a fantastic time of the year to embark on a solid, food based, cleanse. Right now is a fantastic time to honor your body and trust it to shed the holiday stress+inflammation weight naturally.
Here are three simple things you can do to help it along, after you put that scale away:
1) Drink lots of water. Check out my earlier water posts, where we geeked out more on the best water drinking tips. As a quick summary: always start your day with water and drink most of your water between your meals. Water between meals is super helpful in keeping your regular as well. Keeping regular (or getting back to regular bowel movements, as the case may be after holiday travel) is your best strategy for moving food through your digestive tract and toxins out of your body. Instead of having them hang out in your colon. And dehydrated poop, stuck to the colon insides, is actually heavy. Quite literally. Not to mention, very uncomfortable. So, yes, drink plenty of water. If, i spite of drinking lots of water and getting back to your regular routine, things are still not moving well for you, consider scheduling a colonic with a qualified hydrotherapist. That's a bonus ninja tip right there.
2) Get plenty of sleep. It is during sleep that your body restores and detoxifies best. And, without sufficient sleep, you are literally burning the candle on both ends. Yes, I realize there is a lot to catch up on after the holidays. And, yet, most things can wait. And will only take longer when you are not operating at full capacity. Do you know that as little as three nights in a row of under 6 hours of sleep, effectively puts you into a state of "pre-diabetes?" Did someone say "inflammation?" Yes, so please get your sleep on. Read more on why sufficient sleep at this time of the year is so important here.
3) Get back to a physical activity you enjoy. Without pushing your body into an "overdrive" mode. Your lymphatic system (your major defense mechanism again decease and toxins) does not move on its own and needs your help. The regular movement does not have to be strenuous, it just needs to happen. Yoga or walking walks well, for example. Shoveling the show or sledding downhill with your kids gets you extra points:-).
While starting a brand new workout at the start of a New Year sounds inspiring, it is usually not a good idea. Ever wonder why so many people get hurt or get really sick at the beginning of each year? Your immune system is usually taxed after the holiday season and is frequently not able to withhold another stressor. Give yourself a couple of weeks to recover from the holiday craziness, especially if you had the pleasure of exchanging germs with your fellow airplane travelers.
Your body will thank you. Which you will see on that scale, should you chose to pull it out of its secret hiding place two weeks from now. Better yet, just keep it in there. Focus on taking care of yourself the way you know you want to.
And now it is your turn. Please leave a comment below to let me know how you plan to take care of yourself with the start of the New Year!
What are some of the strategies that work for YOU? How do you get back to your routine, after all the craziness and excitement of the holiday season? Please share!