I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited for Christmas! It’s about 11 days away, and I’m ready to go! Gifts are bought and wrapped under the tree, all I have to do is get things ready for my Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party this coming Saturday 😀
For this blog post, I got inspired by watching one of my all time favorite Christmas movies, Home Alone Two, Lost in New York. The holidays can be a very stressful time. Probably not as stressful as losing your son for the second time LOL Especially in New York City haha but either way, the holidays can feel quite overwhelming. Even though you may have a million things to take care of in the last two weeks before Christmas, shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking, holiday parties, school exams, end of the year work projects, whatever it may be, please remember that Christmas happens every year, and some how you seem to make it through 😛 So don’t stress!
I know this is easier said than done, and sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that may make this holiday season a little more stressful than usual. This is why I am writing this blog post. No matter how out of hand your life may be, you must take care of yourself first. So many of us get ourselves sick with the cold or flu at this time of year because we have not been sleeping properly, or managing our stress, and eventually our immune system breaks down, making us susceptible to the common cold.
In addition, if we don’t manage our stress properly, or get enough sleep, we tend to over eat. Emotional eating is a real thing! Many of you may think that you don’t change your eating habits when you’re stressed out but you do. I didn’t realize how much stress affected me and my eating habits until I was on prep for my first show. When I had a rough day at work, and then I came home, ate my last meal, I thought, “that’s it?!” I was so disappointed. I ate my fish and asparagus and thought, “that’s really not what I wanted.” 😦 I wanted chocolate in that moment so bad LOL and there was nothing I could do about it except for going to bed, because I was prepping for a show. That’s when I realized how comforting food can really be. When you’re really upset, tired, stressed out, or all the above, you tend to crave “comfort foods.” That’s why they’re called “comfort food,” they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now I can get all scientific on you and explain to you how these foods release certain chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy, and warm inside but I really don’t want to get into that. Basically the foods we eat can have a major effect on how we feel.
The Christmas holidays happen in the middle of winter for this reason actually. Usually the cold dark winters bring people down, and because we do not know the exact date of Jesus’ birth (if you celebrate this part of the holiday), Christmas is celebrated in December. Celebrations like Christmas bring people together, they lift our spirits, and help us cope with a lot of the doom and gloom that comes with the winter season. Along with all the celebrations, come all of the fantastic comfort foods. I think Thanksgiving is like the trailer for Christmas LOL Thanksgiving really feels as though it is just preparing you for the crazy feasts, and parties that are soon to come your way! However, high stress, lack of sleep and the holidays are a lethal combination! If you’re tired, and upset, you will be craving high calorie foods, and because of the holidays season, there will be plenty of these sorts of foods at your disposal.
I already wrote a piece earlier about nutrient timing, and how long hours of not eating will cause your blood sugar levels to drop, as well as your energy levels, which causes you to crave high calorie foods. Well so does lack of sleep. Lack of sleep causes low energy, and because you feel sluggish, you reach for the coffee, energy drinks, and carbohydrates to give you a boost. In addition, if you’re having the Christmas blues, you will eat your feelings. It’s so easy to reach for a shortbread cookie at this time of year when things are getting rough. Plus if you’re stressed out, running around trying to get everything done, a lot of us forget to eat properly. Most people are not like me, they do not prep their meals ahead of time, weigh and measure them so that they hit all their macro-nutrients properly. Especially at this time of year, it seems as though nutrition flies out the window, and it’s a free for all, where people grab whatever they feel like eating, or what ever happens to be available. And 9 times out of 10 it is high calorie comfort food, from either a fast food restaurant, company Christmas party, staff potluck, or any holiday party you go to.
So please guys, no matter how busy you are at this time of year, make sure you don’t forget to eat, and you let yourself get enough proper rest!! You will eat less junk and you will feel so much better! There are better ways to deal with your stress, and lack of energy, and that is proper nutrition and regular exercise. It may not be the “easy” thing to do, but it is the option that is most worthwhile. Comfort foods are a quick fix, but at the end of the day they will have you feeling worse than when you started. Enjoy the holidays! But don’t let it become an excuse to derail your fitness completely! You will regret it trust me!