I decided to treat myself to a vacation day. Not a vacation day from work (I treat myself to those all through the year!), but a vacation day from eating right. I guess I should say vacation days as I decided to take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to enjoy myself and the food around me.
Our family tradition has always been to gather at my mama’s house on Christmas Eve, have supper and open gifts. Mama usually makes chicken and dumplings, chili, soup ... something warm, filling and completely different than the food we always have on Christmas Day.
Well, Mama broke tradition this year and decided that we would order pizza because it was a lot easier. Pizza? On Christmas Eve? Really? Now you see why I decided to take two vacation days. Christmas Eve was filled with gifts, pizza and some of the best chocolate chip cookies that I’ve ever had. I went home feeling like a pig.
Christmas morning was busy as my boys played with their gifts from Santa, and we opened presents at my house. Christmas Day is always a trip back to Mama’s for lunch and a few more presents with my aunt and uncle. I told myself that I was going to try to control my portions because there was nothing on the menu that could be called healthy. I tried but wasn’t very successful ... cornbread dressing, hash brown casserole, sweet potato soufflé, rolls, more of the awesome cookies, almond-flavored pound cake, chess squares, lemon pie and ham. I could live without the ham. But, at some point during that day, I had some of everything else in that kitchen.
This time, I went home feeling like a stuffed pig. I knew that I had to get back on track the very next day. This leads me to a couple of questions. How many of you did the same thing that I did over the holidays? How many of you are still enjoying those vacation days? And the million dollar question — how are you going to get back on track?
Getting back on track means something different to each of us. I have already gotten back on track. I got up on the day after Christmas knowing that my vacation was over. I was back to eating egg whites, oatmeal, grilled chicken, grilled vegetables — the good things that I know I should be feeding my body. I love to exercise, so I never really get off track with that. Getting back on track for me always comes down to my diet and having the discipline to keep it clean. I am lucky that it’s pretty simple.
My little sister is another story. Some of you may know my sister as one of your friendly pharmacists at U Save It, Northwest. Her name is Celia Taylor, and I don’t know if two siblings could be more different than we are. Her dislike for exercise and fitness runs as deep as my love for it. She would rather go walk around the mall and “just look” than work out. I’d rather someone shoot me than make me walk around the mall.
On the day after Christmas, I was up at 5 a.m. to teach a Boot Camp class. Celia was up at 5 a.m., too ... to be the first at Kohl’s for their big After Christmas sale.
You get the picture.
Anyway, she had her second child, Thomas, in February 2011 and she’s still carrying some of that baby weight around. Her doctor recently suggested that she begin an exercise program. He recommended five days a week, but she is pretending that he said three days a week. I decided to help give her a kick start and bought her a new pair of tennis shoes for Christmas. The last time I was at her house I realized that she has been wearing an old pair of my Nikes that she took from one of my Goodwill piles about five years ago!
Let me share her excitement over her new shoes with you. On Christmas Eve, we take turns opening gifts so everyone can see what the others received. As she unwrapped the box, she looked down and said, “Tennis shoes? Really?”
Once she pulled the top off of the box, she became even more excited, “Oh my God, it really is tennis shoes.” (Insert sarcasm.)
Getting back on track for Celia is a much bigger task than it is for me. I took a couple of days off from eating clean. She’s taken years off from working out. Thirty minutes on the treadmill and learning how to use the machines in the gym will be a huge accomplishment for her. She needs to work on her diet, too, but it’s going to take time. She will probably take baby steps. But every step she takes will be one step closer to getting back on track. She’s just got to have the discipline to do it.
What do you need to do to get back on track? Clean up your diet. Start an exercise program. Quit smoking. Get more sleep. Everyone has a different track, but one thing is constant ... discipline.
My New Year’s challenge for all of you is to get back on track today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today. Most likely it won’t be an easy fix, so I’d like to leave you with this — discipline is doing what you know needs to be done even if you don’t want to do it.
Happy New Year!
Michele Moulton has been a fitness instructor for over 21 years and is a certified Spinning instructor. She teaches at PT Gym and is an avid cyclist. She is an accountant and a mother of two boys, Austin and Harrison.