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  • Writer's pictureTricia

Labor Day Shenanigans + Ditching the Guilt

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. It worked out so well that it happened to be our anniversary weekend AND Shawn got Monday off. Happy anniversary to us!

We celebrated six years of marriage by hiking a mountain, grilling steaks, and having a nice quiet evening at home together. It was perfect.

This hike was pretty amazing, because we have been dealing with some pretty excessive heat out here in California. I mean, the highs have been close to 120 degrees every day this past weekend. Not awesome.

I feel that GIF in my soul. We went out to eat on Saturday, and all the restaurants that are open right now are only offering patio seating. I felt like I was eating dinner inside a sauna. It was far from pleasant. I will not be doing that again for at least a month.

Anyways, when we got up to the trailhead in Idyllwilde, up in the San Jacinto mountain range, it was about 70 degrees. It was perfection. We got these nice cool temps all the way up the mountain. Shawn even got me a little outside of my comfort zone by hiking a bit off trail to a rock formation that we climbed up for some pretty spectacular views.

It was so worth the few moments where I felt like I was going to fall to my death.

We are definitely planning to revisit this area in the near future to explore some of the other trails. Now we know that it’s cool enough to bring Tucker out as well, so that’s an added bonus.

I finished up my nutrition certification over the long weekend, and I am now a certified Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified Nutrition Coach! I plan to do a full review of the course later this week, but I wanted to highlight an important theme that was discussed in the course: always looking for bright spots. In other words, I want to talk a little bit about ditching the guilt, especially after a holiday weekend, and with the bigger holidays looming, that may have included a few (or maybe a bunch) of indulgences.

Many of us, myself included, are guilty of emphasizing the negative choices and actions we make in our day-to-day. We have a tendency to latch on to these moments in time as failures, without taking the time to truly appreciate all the progress and success we've had as well. Looking for bright spots means looking for the things that are working well, or healthy choices you are making, whether it was that day or earlier in the week, instead of zoning in on that singular "bad" moment in time.

Over the weekend, I enjoyed a cookie sundae for dessert on Saturday night. In the past I would have beat myself up for giving into temptation or punished myself by working out super hard the next day to work off those extra calories, or at the very least just wallowed in my guilt for eating "junk". Instead, I woke up the next day, ate my regular breakfast full of lean protein, veggies, and healthy carbs, went on a long, enjoyable hike with my husband where we enjoyed nature and had great conversation along the way, and otherwise went about life as normal.

Part of why I am able to ditch the guilt now, is because I set myself up for success the rest of the week. I have a regular workout routine, I cook healthy dinners 5-6 nights per week, I prep nutritious, quick, go-to foods for lunches so that I’m not tempted to get takeout, and I make sure that I’m getting 8 hours of sleep each night. Think about the healthy practices you have adopted over time or one or two things you could add into your daily routine to set yourself up for success. Appreciate where you are now compared to where you’ve been in the past. Celebrate your successes! This is so much more important than one or two days of eating off plan.

Focussing on the things that we are doing right can also serve as motivation to build off of those successes by adding in more healthy practices. For instance, I went on a 20 minute walk with my family after dinner two nights this week. I felt really great after doing that, so next week, I would like to try to walk 3 nights after dinner. Think about what is going right, build off of your small wins, and think beyond the things that may not have gone particularly to plan.

Listen, I’m not saying parking further away in parking lots or eating a couple of vegetables during the week should give you permission to eat a big mac and then wash it down with a large milkshake every Friday night. Not at all. And truthfully, I'd tell you to go for a higher quality burger from a local gourmet burger joint and grab some sweet potato fries with it instead, but that's just me. What I’m really saying is that when you “slip up” or make a conscious decision to enjoy a meal out with your family one weekend, it shouldn’t feel like the end of the world or that we should give up on all the healthy choices we've been making up until this point. Find the healthy options that work for you on a regular basis and stick to these most of the time. Occasionally, eat that dessert, try out that new, local restaurant, or have a couple of drinks with your friends without a second thought. Then, get back to life as normal!

Oftentimes, when we feel guilty over a nutrition choice, we are adding unnecessary stress into our lives that actually make the situation worse. Did you know stress can cause inflammation? That’s no good. One unhealthy choice can also lead to more unhealthy choices if we aren't careful. Ever had one of those "fuck it" moments after having a cookie, where you suddenly find yourself eating the whole box? Make healthy choices leading into your off-plan choice or meal, savor it by eating slow and enjoying yourself, then set yourself up for success afterwards. There's no need to dwell on it! The whole point of a healthy lifestyle is for it to be a sustainable lifestyle, not a temporary situation. If you are constantly feeling deprived and therefore find yourself binging at regular intervals of time, maybe you should change things up. I’d love to help you find something that works better for you! Feel free to get in touch with me through my site or through social media if you think you might benefit from nutrition coaching.

I hope everyone has a wonderful (short!) work week! Do yourself a favor and pick ONE new, healthy action you can do every day this week. Read 10 pages before bed, drink a certain number of ounces of water, eat a vegetable with dinner every night, walk for 10 minutes during your lunch break or after dinner each night, it can be anything you know you can confidently add to your routine each day. Let me know how it goes!

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