The Christmas conundrum is this: "You've done so well, look how tiny you are! Surely, you deserve a break...a rest...a treat...another drink. It's Christmas time." etc. etc. etc. This happens most frequently at parties, dinners, girls' nights, afternoon sessions, open houses, evenings at the pub, family gatherings, restaurants...pretty much anywhere there's an opportunity for me to do something "naughty" when it comes to eating or drinking. Now, I understand why a host(ess), friend, colleague, or whoever would say something like that, because they just want me to relax and enjoy myself. They are giving me permission to let go for a bit - that's all fine and dandy for other people, but I am not other people. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I've got to choose nice over naughty if I want to reach my goal. I'm still in the process, I can't let the Baby Jesus' birthday celebration screw me up.
1. Courtesy - Ye Ui - Be courteousness to the host(ess). I thank him/her for inviting me, give a gift for being gracious enough to have me over, invite me to the dinner, or ask me to be involved in whatever the festive occasion...and I don't tell her/him that I'm not really going to eat because I don't exactly know what's in any of the food and my body really doesn't need all those high fat, high carb goodies anyway. I will, however, go crazy at the fruit and veggie platters or eat some of the appetiser I brought...luckily, no one really notices this, because I'm super chatty and always have a glass of something in my hand. Who says if you give up the treats, you can't have a good time, eh? Cheers!
2. Integrity - Yom Chi - With integrity, one is able to define what is right and wrong and live a life of principle and morality. Well, as you know, I have a Croatian conscience who keeps me somewhat in line; but having said that, choosing between right and wrong has often been easy over difficult, tasty over bland, lazy over industrious for me...but not anymore. Adherence to my new healthy lifestyle is correct, slipping back into old habits is not. No 13 trips to the buffet this holiday season. It's about embracing the change and making decisions such as this: No unhealthy food...only wine. Wait! No. Awww...man, I gotta work on this one.
3. Perseverance - In Nae - is all about having patience. I knew getting into this whole health challenge that it would take time, and that I would need to keep at it if I were ever going to reach my ultimate goal. Perseverance is knowing that I can overcome any difficulty through time and discipline. It is the realisation that if I let go and eat and drink anything I want at a holiday party, that it will have some consequences. And, at the same time if I do let go and eat and drink anything I want for, well, let's say Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, that perseverance means accepting the aftermath of said actions and forging onwards without dwelling on 2 days of frivolous behaviour. I have endured almost 12 months of exercise and clean eating, and I am not about to throw all of that out the window for some turkey and mash...and, so I continue on the path to health and fitness despite what may have happened on the 24th and 25th. Perseverance is accepting slip ups, forgiving yourself, and continuing down the righteous road.
4. Self-Control - Guk Gi - “He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty" - Lao-tzu. Christmas or not, this may be the most difficult of all the tenets for me to follow. As a binge eater, self-control is not my strong suit...and now, in an ironic reversal of fortunes, restriction is how I exert governance over myself. I realise this is not appropriate, and I am working on it...I suppose I feel the need to punish myself for misbehaving...or for past bad behaviour. Before you think that I am dabbling in anorexia, it doesn't happen all the time but it is there, it rears its ugly head occasionally. Self-control for me is being able to maintain my healthy lifestyle without the pendulum swinging too far in any direction. I am someone who strives for perfection, this is very difficult for me to accept, though I realise that I need sustainability. As Iron Goddess, I am in complete control of my person...mentally, physically, and emotionally, as Suzie Spitfyre I'm still a fat girl trying to get healthy.
5. Indomitable Spirit - Baekjul Boolgool - having the courage of one's convictions. Despite the odds being stacked against me this holiday season, I will triumph over the never-ending buffets, ever-flowing fountains of drink, and the overwhelming draw of the Christmas couch. I will not be easily defeated, discouraged, or subdued...and thank gods there are only 5 more days of this nonsense! As much as I love festivities with friends and family, exerting iron will over what used to beat me into submission has been hard. Though I wasn't perfect, I did my best...and lived to fight another day...for I am Iron Goddess and I am indomitable.