- The FIRST thing to do if you’ve said: I gained weight at Christmas
- A scale doesn’t give you actionable steps! Do this instead ↓
- What to do if you gained weight at Christmas but don’t have a rock-solid routine to return to
- 4 reasons people gain weight at Christmas
- what you’ll start craving when you build a healthy routine
Christmas is over
(It hurts to write that.)
Does this sound familiar?
“I gained weight at Christmas.”
If it does, don’t worry!
Here’s how to get back on track ↓↓↓
I gained weight at Christmas
It’s been said many times… and in many ways. 🎵🎵🎵
I gained weight while cramming for my LSATs.
I gained weight when I couldn’t duplicate my whole genome sequencing results.
So I ordered-in every meal for a month… I basically lived at the lab.
I gained weight at my all-inclusive in St. Barts.
(Which doubles up nicely as a humble brag.)
This week my inbox was flooded with messages that said:
HELP! I gained weight over the holidays
So… in the spirit of whole genome sequencing (!) let’s focus on data over drama and crack this weight-loss code… Science-Project style!
PROBLEM: I gained weight at Christmas. What should I do now?
It’s easy to panic. And charge ahead with a restrictive eating plan, maybe even a bone broth diet… and map out a string of punishing HIIT workouts.
But going from one extreme to another sets a dangerous pattern in motion.
So… instead of yo-yo dieting, I
beg invite you to learn from my mistakes, and try something new.
I don’t want anybody to experience the 10 years of crazy and UNNECESSARY dieting that I went through.
So the first best step is to STOP.
…Something I NEVER did when I was struggling with my weight.
10 extra pounds quickly became 30, which I lost and regained hundreds of times. Because I was either:
so anxious about my extra weight I was running miles and miles a day
so bloody hungry that eating half a cracker and a bite of cheese and a couple rice cakes…
would suddenly turn into a full-blown binge;
a word I didn’t even know at the time!
So let’s press pause.
And reflect on why you gained weight.
And make a strategic plan
to make THIS THE YEAR
you unlock your H 🙂 PPY weight… for good.
HYPOTHESIS: Why I gained weight at Christmas
So many of your patterns change over Christmas, it’s easy to fall out of your healthy routine.
VARIABLES: Getting specific about why I gained weight at Christmas
Some “changed conditions” might include:
- trying to find the perfect gift which turns into shopping over meal times & eating a jumbo chocolate chip cookie at the mall for dinner
- traveling by trains, planes & automobiles equals eating on the run & harder to make 1/3 of your plate fruit & veg
- eating out more means consuming food that contains more salt & therefore retaining water
- attending parties puts pressure on your wardrobe game & makes you worry about your weight which triggers over-exercising and skipping meals and then… eating the rest of the chips and dip after everyone’s gone home
- seeing loved ones involves your cousin’s famous peach pie and Auntie Sophie’s SECRET made-from-scratch (*cough* Pillsbury’s) shortcake cookies
- being back in your home town and hanging out with family & friends can be emotionally charged (AKA invites everybody to get all up in your biz about wedding, baby and other-milestones) prompting a 4th round of Dom Pérignon… as grandma side-eyes your empty ring finger. (Hot tip: next year channel Audrey Hepburn and wear long, elegant black gloves). Then once again you find yourself in a pitch-black kitchen, lit only by the light of the fridge, engaging in “Who gives an F!”-eating
- spending a week at your new boyfriend’s parent’s house might make (oversharing here!) going to the loo less regular
…Ahhhh, the holidays.
Who needs a holiday to recover from the holidays?
OBSERVATIONS: Analyzing why I gained weight at Christmas
After collecting and combing through the data…
Any combination of these changed conditions can lead to one or more of the fab four:
a little weight gain
a lotto weight gain
water weight gain
constipation weight gain
You heard it here first.
Another hot tip: crack open a cold can of club soda and it’ll do the “go more to the loo” trick.
There’s nothing strange about disappearing into the guest washroom with a bit of bubbly… Is there?!
This effervescent water ↓↓↓ will help “move things along” and is positively refreshing!
…And just like that, you’ll be free of #4 above.
RECOVERY METHOD: I gained weight at Christmas. What should I do now?
Get back to your regular routine.
RESULTS: I gained weight at Christmas then returned to my regular routine
When you return to your regular routine, you’ll also return to your regular weight.
Simply cut out the excess (see VARIABLES above).
The WORSE thing you can do is crash diet because it puts your body into survival mode which makes it easy to gain weight and hard to lose it.
Plus restricting what you eat naturally leads to over-eating.
One extreme leads to another.
It’s not about willpower!
CONCLUSION: I gained weight at Christmas. What should I do now?
This is REASON No. 4297 of WHY stepping on the scale gets in the way of you having a healthy relationship with food:
Your scale doesn’t give you ANY actionable steps!
Instead, simply reflect on what you’ve been doing out of the ordinary.
And then get back to your regular routine.
Add a little patience and… PRESTO!
You’ll be back in your pre-holiday jeans.
For many people, even people with a healthy relationship with food, a little weight gain is natural and normal over the holidays.
But they don’t even know about it because they’re not jumping on and off the scale all the time.
Just get back to your healthy routine and the extra weight will come off as fast as you strip ornaments off your Christmas tree.
Unless you live where I live…
…and people throw out the whole tree with all the bobbles and lights in tact, and even the tree stand attached! Then wrap it in garbage bags and duct-tape. Alex almost cried the other night when he came back from the garbage. “There’s no hope for the environment,” he said.
This happens every January.
Something that’s worshiped one day…
…is body-bagged in plastic, from stand to star the next.
We’ve literally donated 100’s of ornaments to the Salvation Army.
Check out these beautiful glass globes we found this year:
And hand-blown (ok I’m making that part up… I think…) tear drops and icicles:
This year our tree was silver and glass themed, thanks to whoever left 2 Tupperware containers full of ornaments in the park across from our place. After they sat there for a week we took them home. And the star? We found it in a Lululemon bag under someone’s tire. I guess it blew across the street? Maybe we only noticed it because Rocky walks a little slower these days.
Here’s Rocky in his new coat on the windiest corner of Toronto:
Only rocky gets new clothes (from a store)!
Everything I’m wearing in this post is from the garbage.
Like this red dress:
Found with tags on.
It was in a bag with this button:
Like how did it get vetted at every stage, from idea to… button?
And who would like, pin this button to their backpack and walk around town? LOL.
Application: I gained weight at Christmas. What should I do now?
Whenever you find yourself out of your routine… whether it’s because you’re:
getting take-aways at work
trying to duplicate your whole genome sequencing results
while studying for your LSATS, or GMAT, or MCAT…
chillin’ with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeff Bezos and Drake
in St. Barts…
Simply press pause, reflect and get back into your healthy routine and you’ll get back to your healthy weight.
How I botched the “I gained weight at Christmas” Next Steps
When I was 14 years old and went on a fun family road trip I gained a few pounds.
Had I come home and simply got back to:
running regularly for cross country
(vs. sitting in a car)
eating my peanut butter half-back sandwiches (folded white bread with PB), an apple and milk for lunch
(vs. holiday hamburgers & milkshakes)
I would have also returned to my regular weight pretty quickly.
Instead I crashed dieted!
And got caught in the starve-binge-purge cycle for 10 years.
TRUTHBOMB: I gained weight at Christmas. What should I do now?
I’m proposing Truthbomb as a new Scientific Method subtitle.
Are you with me?
Aside from the beginning of COVID (when I hadn’t figured out how to get my heart rate up because I have bad knees and our gym was closed, and I was chain-drinking milky coffees)… I’ve never gained weight over Christmas, a holiday or stressful situations.
I’m telling you this because I want you to know the POWER of building and ingraining a PERSONALIZED Gold Standard Eating and Exercise Routine you love.
I LOVE ❤️ my routine.
I crave the fruit and vegetables in my routine.
And seek them out in new countries and bring them back to my Hotel.
Last trip: New York City! And I bought oranges from a street vendor straight-outta Penn Station.
Ok, that pic ↑↑↑ is actually in Kensington Market in Toronto… I have a pic from NYC but the camera card somehow got corrupted.
And I love how much energy my routine gives me.I was actually craving fruit yesterday... something I never believed I'd do— One of my clients
(No SECRET shortbread recipe can derail the choices I love!)
I still enjoy desserts at Christmas, and beautiful Christmas meals and holiday brunches… but never to any excess because… (drum roll!):
I love my healthy routine.
Now I crave my healthy routine
Sticking to that healthy routine, that makes me have more energy than I did when I was 13 years old… is my coping mechanism for stress because it makes me feel so good.
And remember, this is coming from someone who for 10 years:
- thought about food all day and had bad dreams of overeating at night
- craved sugary stuff and often binged on it 🙁
- eventually overeating was actually a habit
- picked at food from morning to night and was scared to eat a meal
- was 30 pounds overweight
What I’m saying is that if it’s possible for me…
…it’s possible for you too. xo
I’m not a unicorn.
But I did find these unicorn post-it notes in the garbage:
You simply have to take the time to build a rock-solid routine you LOVE that works with your lifestyle.
Don’t crash diet!!!
As one of my clients said to me:
The other day I walked into the grocery store and found myself in the fruit and vegetable area. Before I’d go straight to the chocolates and wine. I was like… “Who is this person?” (Feeling very proud of myself!)
– Maria, England
Saying I gained weight during [insert life change] is common…
…until you build and ingrain a rock-solid routine you ❤️ love.
Just because I feel low right now
It doesn’t mean all that I’ve got has run out…
Change. Is. Possible.
There’s so much good stuff ready for you in the year ahead.
So if you’re saying:
I gained weight at Christmas
It’s time to flip that script.
Focus on building or getting back to your healthy routine.
Why… Because it will make you fffeeeeeeeeeel good! (Even if you feel low right now.)
Getting healthy isn’t the hardship the diet industry makes it out to be
Building my GOLD Standard Routine was one of the most exciting times of my life.
Not only did a healthy routine unlock my HAPPY weight 22+ years ago and give me more energy… but I got back so many hours each day to be productive. AND it gave me the clarity to stop blaming myself for certain things… and stop watering dead plants. Without my disordered eating taking up the whole day I had the clarity to stop attending to relationships that were unhealthy and put that energy and love into the things that I can change during this tiny trip we have on earth.
What’s your unhealthy relationship with food distracting you from?
Want to get into a ROCK-Solid Routine?
Maybe you don’t have a healthy routine to return to. And want some guidance and accountability to build a personalized GOLD Standard Routine you ❤️ LOVE.
I’ve got a 1:1 spot free.
It’s amazing what can happen in just one week.
As one of my clients said after a few days:
“I don’t think about food at all.
My energy levels are higher than ever.
And I feel like a new human.”
That was my experience too!
The first changes are in your head.
And the rest will follow.
First step if you said: I gained weight at Christmas
What’s one healthy thing you didn’t get to do over the holidays that you’re going to get back to doing now? Having fruit with your lunch? Walking each day? Let me know in the comments below!
And if you have a friend who might want to hear the message in this post, please share it on Facebook or send a link in an email.
Author of It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds. Click HERE and you’ll get my next article that answers a common question about how to unlock your HAPPY weight—without dieting.
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
Thanks for all your encouragement, Kelly! I really didn’t want Christmas to end this year either. I recently heard someone say they put their decorations up right after Halloween last year, and we might do that next Christmas! 🙂 My guess is you kept your tree up till Valentine’s Day…?? Hugs!
Yes! The holidays go by too quickly! Thank you for your kind comment Kathy. Love hearing from you and I’m obsessed with your art. This year we plan to take our tree down on Valentine’s Day… a little earlier than last year (!) Probably will take the decorations off soon and just have the lights on the tree because Rocky sleeps under the tree on his “day bed”… It’s good mood light for him! Nice and mellow for afternoon naps. xo