Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Devil on My Shoulder

So, like most of us, I slacked off a little during the holidays on the whole diet and exercise thing. But, hey, I work hard all year and I happen to think we are totally allowed a couple of weeks of enjoyment.  Now, I don't mean fall off the wagon entirely and eat your body weight in peppermint bark, as tempting as that is.  I think it is totally acceptable to have some holiday food (and drinks), enjoy time with your family and start over in January with the rest of the country.

This advice is actually much harder for me to take than it is to give.  When I am off of my regular schedule, there is an evil little voice in my head that, for the purpose of this blog, I will call my Diet Devil and she spends a good amount of time berating me.

"Don't your jeans feel too tight?  That's because you haven't worked out in four days."

"Put that sweater back.  It only looks good on you when you have been doing sit-ups.  Grab that loose tunic instead.  No one wants to see your Christmas belly!" 

After about a week and half the Diet Devil really gets rolling.  Her voice in my head is a full-blown shriek.

"This weight is never coming back off!!!  You are going to need to go buy all new pants unless you plan on wearing leggings full time!"

Eventually she sinks into despair and tries to drag me down with her.

"You are never going to the gym again.  You are just going to be overweight and miserable.  Happy effing New Year"

Now I know none of those things are true.  My rational mind is arguing back, busy making excuses -

"Hey, I was sick for a whole week there, give me a break!"

"These jeans are snug, but they will fit just fine when I lose the ONE pound I have gained.  Chill out!"

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but I have been thinking a lot about the Diet Devil's voice this year.  So I think my New Year's resolution is to turn my Diet Devil into a Diet Angel.  My Diet Angel would have my best interests at heart.  She would support a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle.  She would encourage me to do my best.  She would be a voice of reason and a great motivator.  She might say very sensible and encouraging things, such as -

"Three weeks of not going to the gym is not going to ruin your life or make you fat."

"You can enjoy your time off, but stay active and healthy while you do it."

"Ok, so your pants are tight again.  Let's do something about that!"

The holidays are over.  I didn't lose any weight, but I didn't gain any either and I think that is a victory in itself.  I started working out again this week, and am definitely paying a little bit for all of those weeks off.  But I start teaching spin again on Monday and I am so excited to get back into a great routine.  But first, I'm leaving for vacation in San Diego tomorrow.  Three more days of food and fun (and no workouts).  And my Diet Devil is not invited.