How to feel guilt-less this Diwali

How to feel guilt-less this Diwali

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If you find yourself touching your stomach or butt or face while looking into the mirror more than usual at this time of the year, imagining how the laddoo you have just devoured is slowly but surely making its way to that exact problem spot, worrying about how you will get back on track after Diwali is done with; you are not alone.Let the festivities begin, and with that let there not be guilt.

Easier said than done you say? Possibly. But I’m done with feeling guilty about all the crap I’ve eaten during Diwali, and this is how I’m going to avoid that unwelcome emotion:

Diwali comes and goes every year, and with it comes guilt. Last year was my first Diwali after I stopped eating grains and sugar and started eating primal. There were those 5 months or so where I was exceptionally good and clean. I had probably lost 8 kgs and tons of body fat by then. And then came Diwali.
I lost my resolve to stay on track. An entire week of late nights, alcohol, and mithai all around made my best intentions make clucking sounds and shake their well intentioned heads sadly.

And how I stressed. I felt awkward to have conversations because I imagined that the person I was speaking to was noticing how round my cheeks had gotten. I kept patting my stomach self conciously imagining it to be some gigantic creature going by the crimes I had committed.

I think it’s pretty natural to feel that way if you’ve worked hard on your body for a few months and then let it all go because you get swept away by the festive euphoria. And while I can’t say this with certainty, I suppose there was some truth in my obsessive mirror peering habit, because those cheeks had become larger by half a centimeter.

What did I learn?
Since last Diwali I’ve had numerous occasions where I felt that way. December weddings and general revelry, and this year in May after an extended holiday my obsessive behavior surfaced. But after every bout of self doubt I got back to doing what I loved – my fitness schedule and eating clean real food – and before I knew it I was back in shape in a matter of mere days.
This year I have no reason to fret because I know this is a temporary snag and I know I will be back, faster fitter stronger (is that a jingle?).

So this is what I intend to do this year.

1) I intend to indulge more than usual. I mean, let’s be realistic. Can anyone who has their favourite childhood goodies laid out in front of them, really resist? Even if it’s just for the sake of nostalgia or for old times sake? Not greed, no no, just for plain feel good reasons. I have been good most of the year, and no matter what I do there will be food I won’t be able to stay away from, so is it worth beating myself up about it? I think not.

2) I will appreciate whatever goes into my mouth. When you do this, and not just eat for gluttony’s sake, you will realize that you have some amount of awareness about what goes in. It helps me a lot when I’m completely aware, so that I know exactly what I need to do when the festive season is over and done with.

3) I will make some primal diwali mithai for myself. There’s a really nice date and nuts mithai recipe as well as a badam sheera recipe, which can be easily primalized, that I’m going to try. I’ll share the recipes on the blog once I make them. I’l indulge with those so that I’m not damaging my body by eating toxic stuff.

4) I’ve become more confident of my metabolism. What I’ve been working on in the past year is increasing my metabolism. What sprints, heavy lifting, and HIIT (high intensity interval training) do (and cardio simply does not do) is that they increase your metabolism, so a small blip like Diwali week won’t affect me much and I will be able to burn away the excess glucose without much (or any) long term damage. I would hate to be in the position where a week or two off schedule means I’m thrown off my path completely and can’t find my way back. Maybe it’s too late for you this Diwali, but increasing your metabolism is a good way to go, so that you can sail through the next time the festive month comes around.

5) NOweighEMBER anyone? I read this and found it pretty cool (Read here for more). I would go one step further and say, give yourself a break, Identify those 2 or 3 or 4 times in a year that you plan to go easy on yourself and then be good the rest of the time. So don’t obsess about the weighing scales during Diwali week and the week after. At the same time, don’t damage your body so much that you’l have a hard time getting back.

So I’l keep you posted about how it went for me after Diwali is over and done with and I’d love to know what you did different this Diwali to stay true to yourself and your health.
Do you have any more ideas to help keep festive guilt at bay? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Diwali All!