Nest Mess

Happy Monday! Hope your morning is off to a good start.

I’m so glad you liked our Easter pics from the day- it was an amazing holiday <3

Unpictured:
-the entire steak kabob that Bella stole and was attacking when my stepdad caught her in the act

-me, playing football in the backyard and the touchdown dance I did when I actually caught said ball. I wish I could think of the name of the move so I could YouTube it, but you’ll have to use your imagination for this one, haha

So the bird adventures continue over here.

the birds

When I saw two turtle doves perched atop one of the pillars yesterday, I said, “Look honey! They’re making a nest!”

“No, they’re making a MESS.”

twigs

Apparently the dad turtle dove would go retrieve a twig to make the nest, plop down on top of his pregnant partner, put the twig down, and it would fall to the floor.

I tried to convince the Pilot that birds gather their supplies first and then build the nest, even though we both know my bird knowledge is non-existent. Whatever they’re doing, they better do it before the Pilot sweeps away the “fire hazard” and builds them a nest himself.

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Head’s up: If reading about food philosophies regarding holidays and treats is uncomfortable for you, or if you’re suffering or recovering from an eating disorder, you may want to skip the rest of this post. What we read can affect our bodies and minds, and if you’re experiencing either of those situations, I send all of my love and healing wishes to you <3

roons

Since it’s a Monday, also the day after a holiday, it’s pretty common to want to get back in the swing of things for the week as far as clean eating and exercise goes. One of the things I see with clients –especially over holidays- is the desire to “diet” or watch what they’re eating at holiday gatherings. This makes me sad because there really aren’t many holidays throughout the year that involve insanely amazing food, so why not celebrate them to the fullest? It would be different if they had no desire to partake in the holiday food and just keep up with their normal eats, but many of them would say (with a bummed-out tone) something like: I’m bringing my own meat and veggies to mama’s Easter lunch and I’m just going to eat that.

“Um, why on earth would you do that?”

“She puts mayonnaise in everything and I really want to lose x amount of pounds or bodyweight.”

While I think it’s a great idea to bring along healthy food to share for holiday gatherings and parties,

quinoa lentil salad

if there’s something you really want, or rarely get the chance to eat, there’s no sense in depriving yourself. It’s one day, and in the grand scheme of things, one day isn’t going to affect anything. It’s when the holidays seem to drag on and on (like the time span from Thanksgiving to New Years) and you’re eating outside of your normal eats on a frequent basis that can make a difference.

The same thing goes for week-to-week. It order to maintain weight loss or achieve fitness goals (and keep your sanity), it’s important to enjoy the things you love.

me

It works for many people to have a modest serving of a treat every day, while other people like myself enjoy having a treat day or super relaxed weekend eats. (I talk more about my treat philosophy here. It was more prevalent in my life pre-pregnancy and when I wasn’t teaching a boatload of fitness classes, but I still tend to eat pretty clean throughout the week with a treat day or two scattered in there)

Holidays are the perfect treat day.

cupcake4

One thing I’ve noticed is that the longer I’ve stuck with clean food, the more I want to continue to do so because it makes me feel good. A 500 calorie salad leaves me with much more energy than a 500 calorie cookie. But on the other hand, sometimes a buttery, chocolaty cookie is good for the soul :)

How do you fit treats in your life while maintaining your fitness and/or weight loss accomplishments and goals?

I’m excited to hear about what works for all of you. Everyone is different and it’s just a matter of finding out what works best for your individual needs.

Hope you have a great day!
xoxo

Gina

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Comments

  1. Ahh I totally agree with you on this one Gina! Like you said, holidays are a perfect time to enjoy treats. Since I began clean eating, and having lost 70lbs, I’ve learned to appreciate treats to the fullest. Day to day, I’ll admit that not a lot of ‘unclean’ food passes through my lips, but this makes treats feel THAT much more special when I do have them. There was a time when I don’t think I fully trusted myself. Deep down part of me thought that having one treat would be like a slippery slope and if I indulged, there’d be no stopping me. But I’ve proven to myself again and again that that’s not true, and now am able to appreciate treats a lot more than I did back then. Can’t wait to read others’ thoughts on this topic! Have a great day!

  2. Actually, nothing works for me! :( Which is why I’m still struggling with the 10 pounds I want to lose.

    So I’ll be anxious to hear what works for everyone else. :)

  3. Oh man, I can just see the pilot making a nest for the birts!! I bet it would be way better than the one they are trying to make haha.

    I totally agree with your philosophy with treats being OK, I think that one huge thing to take away is that you should never be on any type of eating program that you can’t sustain for the rest of your life. I mean, you can go on a crazy diet, deprive yourself, and then eventually gain it all back, whereas if you eat healthy, ballanced, clean meals, it really doesn’t matter if you have some goodies here or there.

    I also loved what you said about a cookie being good for your soul, it’s true. I always joke that I don’t ever want to live in a world where enjoying a [insert treat here] is frowned upon haha.

  4. Donna Boudreau says:

    For me, prior to Easter I was going way overboard on sugar so a week ago I decided to detox on sugar. So yesterday I did not indulge on sugary treats but I planned on it and I felt so good this morning not having to deal with my sugar induced coma. I’m not trying to eliminate treats from my diet entirely but I really needed to start getting this sugar craving under control and it being Easter was a great ‘test” for me.

  5. I know holidays can be tricky for some people, but my philosophy is be at peace. I completely agree that you should enjoy, but not gorge yourself during the holidays. Indulge but don’t stress afterwards. I find the guilt factor comes for many women especially. It is completely unrealistic to say “Don’t ever eat any sweets or snack foods”. Balance and peaceful awareness of what you are eating are what is most important to me. I know I can always up a workout or two the next week and have no problems.

  6. I agree to a certain extent. For me, as long as the treat is in moderation, I’m happy with that. Now that I have been such a clean eater, if I happen to eat something that has artificial flavors, artificial colors, gluten, wacky preservatives, or a ton of sugar by accident, it makes me feel soooo yucky. That said, if it’s a high calorie treat that is made out of whole food ingredients, I don’t feel guilty indulging a little bit, as long as I don’t over-do it. I don’t like the “food coma sugar hangover” feeling. To me, no food/vacation/holiday/cheat day is worth making me feel sick.

  7. I treat myself a little everyday with something sweet and healthy :) I don’t have the desire to eat “junk” foods anymore. Eating well feels SO great! I have dark chocolate almost everyday, or some sort of healthy sweet treat I’ve concocted! Keeps me happy :)

  8. I try not to let holidays be any different than normal days – make as healthy of choices as possible, and if something indulgent really stands out, have a portion of it that satisfies my craving (if that portion involves seconds or thirds, so be it!)

  9. This is something I just lived in a very real way last week. It was spring break, and my boyfriend and I went on vacation to Savannah and Charleston. We both love to eat, and this trip led us to places with some of the most incredible food I’ve eaten in a long, long time. Normally, like you, I eat pretty clean, but I knew that getting to taste real, homemade soulfood is not something I do…um, ever…so I let myself enjoy it without a second thought. Now that I’m back home, I’m back to my usual eats (and it feels good to get back after a week of indulgence!).

  10. I find that the best way to prevent massive overindulgence is to just not keep junk food around! If I get a craving for sweets, and there are Oreos in the house, then I’ll end up eating Oreos. But if I get a craving for sweets, and the only option is the raspberries in the fridge, then I can usually satisfy it that way… without the guilt!

    If I’m not eating a lot of crap from day to day, then I don’t have to feel badly about having a piece of cake at a birthday party or splitting an ice cream with my daughter when we’re out shopping.

  11. This always surprises me, but when I decide to just enjoya meal/holiday/vacation/whatever, I often end up staying inside the lines better than I plan. I agree – I FEEL better eating clean foods, and that’s the best motivation of all. I’ll almost never dig into a treat unless I know it’s going to be worth it. Store bought cupcakes? No thanks. Not even interested. A pie my sister made? Sign me up! And I’m a lot more likely to have a bite of something, decide it’s not that great, and give away or toss the rest now, too.

  12. Saving treats for special occasions makes them more delicious!

  13. I wish I lived closer to have you train me, you’re such an inspiration! Very level headed about everything. Thanks for all the free tips and insight you give us through your blog though! It’s very generous of you to provide that kind of knowledge for free and is very much appreciated!

  14. I completely agree with you! There were so many temptations this weekend (a big birthday bash and TWO Easter celebrations). I felt like I did relatively well with the concept of moderation. I was so scared to get on the scale this morning, but I’m really glad I did. My weight was exactly the same this morning as it was on Friday morning. I’ll get in a few good workouts this week, and I should continue to be able to lose weight!

  15. Your philosophy on allowing yourself space for treats and the things you love is just what I needed to read today. I find that it’s so easy to get caught up in the “all or nothing” attitude, and it always ends up being so counter-productive! I am trying to implement the eating healthy 90% of the time rule, but its hard to escape that all or nothing attitude sometimes. I think it also all comes down to a true lifestyle change vs. a quick fix diet. The latter will never be sustainable or truly successful, yet its so easy to want that instant gratification instead of working hard for the longer term gratification!

  16. I kinda do the 80/20 thing. I eat pretty good 80% of the time and I workout regularly. If there is a treat that I really want, you better believe I’m gonna eat it, enjoy it, and move on. I’ve had a thing for icecream lately. So every couple of weeks me and the hubs go on an icecream date and I do NOT get low fat, no fat whatever. I get the yummy, rich, not-so-good-for-you kind and I SAVOR EVERY BITE!

    As for holidays, I agree. I pick the foods I truly love and dig into them. I am more careful around Christmas because,as you said, that holiday time can last for 2 months.

  17. I’m of the everything in moderation approach for the things I want to approach. I have no interest in red meat but have a ton in cupcakes…so, if I want one, I have one. I don’t sweat it, at all. I eat plenty of broccoli, I work out, so I can eat a cupcake, too….that’s what works for me so I go with it :)

  18. So, turtle doves are nest-building doofuses. A pair used to always try to build a nest on the slanted roof outside my bedroom window at my parents’ house in Las Vegas, and every single time they’d get the nest up to a certain size or weight, and it would come tumbling down the roof and make a nest-mess in the driveway. Some years they did better than others, or at least you thought so, until the nest came tumbling down with eggs or babies in it. And for some reason, we couldn’t convince them that there were other, better, flatter places to build their nest. It’s like they appreciate the challenge.

    I don’t think your turtle doves are going to get the point any time soon, either. I’d either encourage them to find another spot with whatever bird deterrent you prefer, or make them a nesting house or platform right there in that spot, because they won’t quit.

    Last night my hubs took a big piece of a frozen V-Day cookie — the huge, frosted, chocolate chip cookies you see in the grocery stores around holidays — out of the freezer to thaw, and you better bet I ate my fair half of it. Plus some of the frosting off his half. I hiked up and down a big hill yesterday, so I ate that cookie and I moved on. Today’s all about oatmeal and fruit and soup and portion control and rooibos tea, so it balances out.

  19. I’m definitely a sweets girl so I usually treat myself to a little something each day. I eat healthy and exercise so a little treat every day is kind of like a pat on the back; and it doesn’t ever make me overindulge since I’m not depriving myself.

  20. I really like your points and agree. I tell my clients the same thing. Glad you had a great Easter!

  21. Being someone who is currently in recovery from anorexia after suffering for 6 years with it, I LOVE you! That little disclaimer almost made me cry! You are so insightful, caring and nurturing and have the healthiest attitude towards food and exercise! You inspire me everyday! Just wanted to let you know how awesome you are ;)

  22. Yup – I tend to let myself go a bit and try the cupcake or the red velvet cake or whatever on special occasions and then just work harder! I kind of went overboard Easter weekend with family, so today it was 2-a-days i’m back to it to put on the, let’s be honest, pound I likely gained. The 1 pound was worth it!

  23. I think it’s very important to treat yourself once in a while. I know that from experience if I deprive myself for too long, I end up eating way more of that “treat” (usually sweets) than if I’d let myself indulge in moderation.

  24. I love this post. I was on another blog earlier and they were talking about how horrible it was to ruin your diet for holidays…blah, blah, blah. I think it’s perfectly ok to indulge and enjoy every now and again. At least for me, if I am constantly depriving myself of snacks/sweets/treats etc then I tend to overeat/binge on them when I do get to eat them. This weekend I devoured all the candy and cookies in my Easter basket. But who cares. I only get an Easter basket once a year :) And today I’m back to eating healthy and working out. It’s all about moderation.

  25. MMiller says:

    I gave up caring, But if I really overindulge, I try to eat cleaner and higher protein foods for the next week or so! I feel awful when I eat too much, so I try to have a little of everything so I am not deprived! And I try not to stay near the snack table! As long as I am feeling good, I try not to worry about those last 10 lbs! Try to just be a little more active, and go for a long walk after you overindulge! As a cancer survivor, three times over, life is too short as it is!! Be happy with yourself and the accomplishments you have made!

  26. Are you ok with the birds nesting there? We opened our backdoor the other day and a bird flew right at my boyfriend’s head! We aren’t sure if they’re nesting there or not, but we hope not because we grill and hang out on the back porch and I don’t want to be afraid I’m going to get attacked by a bird lol.

  27. Sometimes it takes the occasional over-indulgence to make me remember WHY I like to eat healthy.

  28. I totally agree with you in your thoughts on this post! I used to be one of those people who wouldn’t eat ‘the good stuff’ at holidays or on vacation– and consequently I found that I was really missing out! Not having that croissant in Paris from that little cafe made me feel like I wasn’t truly absorbing the culture and when it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I’m all about trying treats! I agree, that the important thing is to not look at leftovers the same way– I try and have whatever I want on the day of, and then get back to normal eating habits the next day! Though this does prove hard when people bring all those goodies into the office!

  29. ah! i’m so glad you posted this! i try to do 80/20 on a daily basis, where I firmly believe in having a yummy treat at the end of the day. during the week I try to make sure it is something I baked and on the healthier side, whereas on the weekends I let loose a little more, while still maintaining clean meals. i totally agree with you, holidays are something special to be shared with family and friends, and most often food is central and it is something to be enjoyed, not something to feel guilty about. unless of course you’re the type of person where every weekend is a “holiday” and it’s someone’s birthday somewhere! ;) i definitely think it’s controversial and I recently read an article about adult ED becoming more prevalent and how many people take “eating healthy” to an extreme. in fact i saw a girl on twitter say something along the lines of “put down the chocolate, today is just like any other day”

    i’m so glad you brought this up! obviously it will depend on the person, whether they have diabetes, are vegan, at their goal weight or have 100 lbs to lose, etc. but it’s definitely an interesting topic!

  30. I’m with you on the occasional treats. I also find that by not depriving myself or labeling foods as “off limits” it allows me to feel more relaxed about eating healthy 98% of the time. I fill up on the salads and whole grains and good-for-me stuff because I know that when the time comes that I want a cookie, I’ll go ahead and have one and it’s nbd. Great post! :)

  31. I try to stay eating only home-made treats or getting a treat when I am out to dinner with a friend. That way a treat seems to be more special and I can still maintain my weight. Mom’s homemade chocolate cake is so much better then my cafeterias!

  32. Thank you for this post! It was true and beautiful and reached 1/2 of my soul right now. (If you’d only do a post about how to work out with one broken foot, you’d reach the other 1/2)! But really, thanks. I’m so sick of people thinking they can’t eat certain foods. I mean, how many times a year do the little old ladies at church make all the chocolate covered easter eggs? Case and point.

  33. Kristen says:

    I gave up sweets for Lent as a challenge to myself – because I LOVE love sugar. Yesterday I ater all 46 days worth of sweets in one day – it did not make me feel good. Crash and burn sugar high haha. Today I woke up and just went about business as usual, but I know it’s there and will probably grab a Reese’s egg or a slice of my Mom’s cheesecake (which she makes maybe 2-3x a year) after dinner. It took me a long time to get to his point, but I’ve come to believe that if I eat clean and find myself craving healthier foods regularly, there isn’t any harm in having a treat when I want it or going back for seconds on a holiday. I find that when I restrict too much I end up binging instead of just letting myself have it when I really want it. It’s different for everyone, but this works for me. Great post, by the way. I think sometimes healthy eating and the guilt associated in indulgences gets a little blurred.

  34. I look for healthy treats or clean up the treats. I share treats as well.

  35. holidays you shouldn’t go overboard, but you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying a treat with the ones you love. Bringing healthy snacks for everyone to eat is also a good idea.

  36. ohh this is such a good post — it is always helpful to be reminded of balance and that being healthy is about living a good life. Also, not to be a weirdo, but your sports bra is super cute in the picture of you with your treat!

  37. I totally agree with everything you said..but I have to laugh, as you seem to be someone who takes food from your home out to other people’s houses. I’ve been reading for awhile, and have read many cases of this. I truly hope you are able to take your own advice and live a little!

    • Fitnessista says:

      i enjoyed a lot of amazing treats yesterday (including the creme brulee french toast in the pics from the day), but this isn’t a food blog and i don’t post everything i eat- just meal ideas or fun/new stuff.
      like i said, it’s a great idea to bring healthy food to share, which i do often, but if you see something and want it, eat it :)

  38. Gina,

    I love your philosophy on treats. I am still learning to master this principle. I had the experience of losing 30 lbs about five years ago on weight watchers. It was a great program and it really worked for me! It taught me what a portion was for sure haha.

    But after I lost the weight, I noticed that I couldn’t stop counting and recording everything I ate! I was so afraid of slipping up that I felt I had to keep track of everything that went in my body.

    I recently read “Skinny Girl Rules,” by Bethany Frankel and it totally changed my life! Although I don’t love the title, it really gave me some great info about loosening up and listening to my body. Eating is supposed to be joyful, not a white-knuckled war with yourself.

    I love your blog! I have been following you for a couple years and I just love your sense of humor and perspective.

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you so much, laura!
      i’ll definitely have to check that book out- i love bethanny :)
      congrats on your weight loss success!

  39. I agree completely! During holidays I sometimes revert back to following weight watchers points system and I save up points for the treats I love. Truth be told that point stuff often goes out the window and I just enjoy my favorite treats. I try to make sure I don’t face the cake/cookies on an empty stomach. I also don’t eat to please anymore. If I am offered something I’m not into I just say I filled up so much on you amazing (fill in the blank) that I can’t eat anything else. If I fall off the wagon and become a cookie monster to what seems like the point of no return, I try on my favorite pants/skirts in my closet to get back on track.

  40. chrissy says:

    ooh, i cannot think of food as a way to “treat” myself or something i “allow” myself to do. with my Type A personality that can lead to orthorexia/anorexia. Luckily, I’m pretty healthy and have never had weight issues so I don’t NEED to strictly watch my diet. I do workouts at least 7 hours a week to remain toned and healthy, plus playtime (rollerblading, ice skating, swimming, walks, snowboarding,etc.).

  41. I am so glad you posted about Holiday treats and eats. I brought salad for Easter and had some but also ate way more meat than I usually do. It was like meat heaven. But today I totally got back into the swing of things sans that piece of red velvet birthday cake someone brought it. In the past I usually let one bad day turn into a lot of bad eating days and it’s nice to know everyone indulges a little and that doesn’t have to be the start of a major downfall.

  42. Totally agree!! In the past I’ve had a tendency to really overdo it on holidays, but this Easter my strategy was to tell myself that I could have anything I wanted…but only if I really, really wanted it. Which turned out to be my grandma’s pumpkin bread–I ate almost 2 loaves by myself over the course of the weekend–but really nothing else–I don’t REALLY like Easter candy, for instance, or pie, or most cookies, so I didn’t have any. So I got to have what I really enjoyed without feeling blehh from foods that I didn’t genuinely want.

  43. I think your clients as well as many other people are expressing their fear of falling off the wagon when they are exposed to holiday foods. From personal experience, I know that if I have been struggling with my new healthy regimen in the first place, having a holiday/family get together roll around just throws me off when I’m clenching so tightly to my new habits and ‘rules’ (maybe a poor use of the word but okay ‘guidelines’!). Indulging in ‘normal’ and ‘bad’ foods just seems counter-intuitive to what they’ve been taught/teaching themselves so they get stressed out and skip the temptation all together. BUTTTTTT the problem is, or at least mine was, when you bring your ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ food, there’s no escaping from the constant darting of your eyes to the dessert table or cutting board. And while you’re eating your ‘safe’ foods, you’re just dreaming of the other stuff – leaving you unsatisfied when your plate is cleared and there’s a hell of a good chance you’ll sneak that tempting food anyways!
    All in all, I obviously agree with the whole logic that it’s one day out of the year, but it took a little training for me to not go overboard BECAUSE it’s my only chance to!
    <3 <3

  44. I treat holidays as what they are, “celebration.” I celebrate with my family and friends, enjoy myself and eat whatever I feel like. I appreciate everything I have to by thankful for, have fun and get back to my normal style of eating the following morning.

  45. Holidays are a great time for treats, totally agree! I love using them as a time to enjoy a splurge breakfast, like pancakes, and to make a super-rich raw dessert, like a cashew “cheese cake”.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i love making raw desserts on holidays, too! the fam can never believe that they’re vegan and uncooked

  46. I love your perspective on things. I’m with you, girl!

  47. Right on! This was a busy holiday weekend for me with two Easters and my husband’s birthday, but I think it also helps to enlist family in fun activities like going on walks and passing the pigskin around–great family bonding time, plus sneaky “exercise”! Also, I drink a margarita EVERY Friday after work and have lost 20 pounds since October 2011. This little weekend gateway ritual keeps me sane and helps me bypass “less worthy” treats during the week. ;)

  48. I have to pop in and say how much I love your website! It is one of my very favorites. I am usually more of a lurker and not much of a commentor but today’s post was something that really strikes a chord with me. I am a super clean eater 99.9% of the time but when it comes to holidays or special occasions I really feel like it’s part of the celebration to participate and eat the “goodies”. Unfortunately my kids watched me spending way too many holidays or special occasions on the sidelines and not joining in. Luckily I finally got to a point where I believe it’s good for them to see me eat treats every now and again. It shows them that while I’m a very heathy eater there is still room for a little fun. Life is too short to miss out on everything because I’m too worried about sticking to my “plan”. I want them to grow up with a healthy attitude towards food and that is something that is modeled at home. Now we talk about what is healthy and what is not and why we should eat healthy most of the time. We also talk about how if this is a special day or a special food we don’t get to have normally then it’s ok to have something fun. This is just what works for us and is by no means the answer for everyone. Thanks for such an insipirational site!

    • Fitnessista says:

      thank you so much for saying hi, and for reading!
      i totally agree with what you’re doing. i want livi to see that most of the time i eat healthy foods at home, but i also enjoy my treats too :)

  49. What works for me is just to pick the few treats at an event that ARE really special, and indulge in those. If I give myself a free pass, I’ll mindlessly indulge in everything, even stuff I don’t love. Better to pick one or two things I can only get once a year. I impatiently wait for matzoh balls all year at my family’s Passover dinner, so I load up on those and go easy on everything else!

  50. I’ve found that if I eat TOO cleanly at family gatherings, it kind of rains on everyone else’s parade. I cook a lot and always end up making several dishes to share for holiday dinners. Like you, Gina, I like to make healthy, wholesome dishes to share with my family. And I think that many of my family members have started to look for ways to modify our old family favorite recipes into healthier versions of themselves, but we always end up with a SPREAD of dessert options that is really just out of this world. I used to work for a restaurant that made a nice dessert sample plate that was probably the equivalent of 1 good-sized dessert: Lovely little slivers of cake, one or two small cookies, artfully arranged on a pretty little plate. So when dessert rolls around, I just make myself a lovely little dessert plate and try a bite or two of everything that looks enticing. With lots and lots of coffee. Taking some time to make my dessert pretty is a technique that works very well for me. Thanks for the post, Gina. I’ve been reading you on the regular for a couple weeks now and I like your style :)

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