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I ate as much as I possibly could at both Rhinosgivings and Thanksgiving with my family. You may think this is going to be another email about how bad the food made me feel and how I’m going to be perfect in between Holiday party meals, but it’s not. This is an email about living and loving life to the fullest. 

Back in the day, I used to gain weight every holiday season and it would just stay on…hanging around until I gained more weight the next Holiday season. I used to eat everything I wanted, all the time. Life wasn’t worth living if I wasn’t eating what I wanted to. I learned how to literally work the weight off through 2-4 hours per day of exercise, but I would still cycle up and down depending on what was happening in my life. 

Fast forward to 2015, I went super strict and cut out sugar, cut out processed foods, and balanced my proteins, fats and carbs. I was lean for 3 years, with one treat per week or less. I was eating to stay lean and train hard for CrossFit competitions. 

Early this year, I had a health scare. It ended up being nothing, but I couldn’t work out hard and I struggled to figure out how to eat for my new lifestyle and I gained 10 lbs. I ended up just wanting to be healthy. I realized that for all my healthy eating and ‘not cheating’ I was still not drinking enough water or eating enough vegetables. I followed Jathan’s (Rhino Manager) advice and started getting on the scale morning and night to just ‘double check that it was going in the right direction’ and focused on getting enough veggies and water. I lost the 10 lbs and learned a lot about my body and how my daily habits affect the scale. I still stay away from sugar unless it’s a get-together or a once a week treat, but I don’t stress about having something delicious as long as it’s not every day. 

This may seem like a lot of rambling, but I do have a point, I promise. This was the most fun I’ve ever had in a thanksgiving week. It’s fun because I’ve finally learned how my body works, and I know that 2 Rhinosgivings, 1 Thanksgiving, and 2 other parties all in one week is okay. I haven’t missed any workouts this week, and even got to do a family workout in my uncle’s garage in Arizona. I’m 5 pounds up, but that’s fine. I know how to get back on track and level out by Christmas dinner. 

We need to treat our health and weight loss journeys as learning experiences, instead of agonizing over them. Go into a new chapter saying “I’m going to learn how my body works and see what happens when I treat it the best I can!” We need to use our nutritionists to learn how to fit our favorite things into a new, healthy lifestyle. I know all of our Rhino Nutritionists can help anyone, but not if we lie to them. We need to be honest about what we are doing and not strive for perfection, just strive for education and improvement. 

I challenge you to drink enough water (at least half your body weight in ounces), eat at least 3 cups of vegetables, and workout* every day this Holiday Season. If you want to stay completely on the wagon, check out our nutritionists helpful post with detailed advice here!

<3 Julie

Camp Rhino Owner and Member

*On my one rest day a week, I do some stretching and walk. And I still call it my ‘workout.’ Because I’m moving and taking care of myself.