You are welcome to "listen in"... or just wait and tune in when I have something else fascinating to say. :-)
Thoughts and ideas about how to get through the 4th without sabotaging your efforts:
1) Remember the reason for the holiday:
So many of us approach holidays and family gatherings as food-centered events. The average American gains 10-12 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year's (and few take them back off the following year). So... if you think about it logically: simply because we appreciate the pilgrims, honor the birth of our Lord, and watch the calendar turn the page, we eat our way through 6-7 weeks? It really isn't a reason to eat. Nor is celebrating the freedom of our country. Focus on the people that you are gathered with, enjoy the company, and enjoy going home without feeling uncomfortably full.
2) Approach celebrations and parties with a plan:
Do you know what food will be there? Do you know which of those foods are your greatest temptations? Offer to bring some fruit so that you will have something to munch on instead of chips, as well as something you can snack on instead of cookies. Budget your calories to include your favorite foods. Maybe workout extra long in the morning so that you can have some potato salad.
3) Don't show up to a celebration starving:
Have a small snack of some nuts and/ or fruit, maybe some yogurt (something with protein) shortly before you go so that even the tablecloth doesn't look like a good snack!
4) Everything in moderation:
Anything at a picnic or celebration will fit into your calorie budget for the day -- if you stop with a few bites. Enjoy the bites that are truly worth it.
“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive." 1 Corinthians 10:23
5)Truly TASTE your food:
Is it worth the calories it will "cost" you on the budget? Or is it just forbidden fruit? It may not taste as good as you remember it. Taste test before you gobble!
And for "the day after..."
6) Don't step on the scale:
Even if you did all of these things -- you probably had more sodium than usual, and you'll be all prepared to pat yourself on the back... and be sorely disappointed. Or you didn't do any of these things and you want to know how badly to beat yourself up. No. Today's a new day, with the same calorie budget as yesterday. Slate is clean. Go.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22, 23
7) Water is your friend:
Drink plenty of water (as you should be anyway). That will help flush out the sodium, any extra fluid you may have on board, and help get you back on track quickly. (I'm a HUGE fan of drinking LOTS of water -- all the time! It's basically my answer for everything!)
8) All is grace:
Remember to measure successes in a variety of ways, not just the numbers on the scale or the fit of your clothes. You have to have success with your relationship with food before you have permanent success on the scale. Were you able to stop at one dessert instead of needing 3? VICTORY! Did you only have a half-serving of Aunt Margie's potato salad (when you REEEEAAAALLLLY wanted to sit down with the whole bowl)?? SUCCESS!! Don't beat yourself up for the mountain that you have yet to climb. Turn around and enjoy the view behind you -- and realize that you have the power to PERMANENTLY leave it behind you.
And keep climbing! Just one baby step at a time!