Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving, filled with much love and gratitude! Is the holiday season already here??? Is 2016 really almost over??? Yowsa. <looks around for Marty McFly, wondering how time has escaped me… scratches head>
I think most would agree that the holiday season is overall a special time. Opportunities to reconnect with loved ones near and far, joyful expression of affection, good ol’ sharing and caring… all central ingredients for the picture perfect Hallmark Christmas (or Hanukkah) commercial. Of course, it’s easy to allow our brains to only selectively remember the nostalgia of twinkling lights and holiday cheer of years’ past. But if your life even halfway resembles mine, it’s busy! And extra busy when the holidays approach. Sometimes a good and exciting busy, and then sometimes a chaotic, not-so-good busy, right? I know first hand that this is the season we often put ourselves, our health, and our self care goals on the back burner. We’re most apt to shrug off taking care of ourselves, especially with the perfect built-in excuse of “New Year, New Me!” waiting right around the corner! But what about finishing out THIS YEAR, the one you’re living in presently, with a hefty dose of self-care? You’ll be one step ahead of tackling your health goals for 2017!
I gave a presentation a few weeks ago about how to stick to your healthy game plan throughout the holidays, and since ’tis the season to be sharing… here it is ; ) My tips to feel good, eat well, enjoy yourself… and even tackle all those holiday parties where everyone wears those tacky Christmas sweaters. Fashion tips not included.
My first, and absolutely the most important tip is: IDENTIFY YOUR “WHY”! I say this about a zillion times to every single one of my clients, regardless of the season or occasion. WHY do you want to eat well/exercise/spend more time on self-care? And here’s the caveat– your answer can NOT include the word “weight”!!!! Not all of my clients need or want to lose weight, but I do have a fair amount that begin our relationship with this as a focus. I know I have written about this ad nauseam throughout this blog, but in case you’re new here: Losing weight can’t be your GOAL. Losing weight is simply the vehicle to help you reach your REAL GOAL, which is… why do you want to lose weight? The same goes for those that come to me because they simply want to learn to eat healthier. Why do you want to eat healthier or get in shape? Is it because you want to have more confidence? Is it because you want more energy? Or lower your cholesterol? Or sleep better? Or shed your insecurities? GREAT! Once you’ve identified these reasons, you’ve found your “WHY”! Andddd, about 99% of the time, there’s a myriad of different avenues you can take to reach your goal, and often times– totally unrelated to food! But it’s really hard to find motivation to stick to your game plan if ya haven’t taken the opportunity to discover or acknowledge WHY doing so means anything, right? Right! So tip 1, FIND YOUR WHY!
Tip 2. GET PSYCHED AND NERD OUT ON YOUR HEALTH! I think this is a good plan of action anytime of the year, but especially when you think you’re more tempted to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. Try out new healthy recipes. Read some new health blogs or books. Experiment with an ingredient you’ve never tried before! Play detective with yourself, and take note (write down!) how you feel after you eat something that’s maybe not-s0-great for you. Ate too many Munchkins at the office? Okay, no biggie. How did you feel an hour or two later? Tired or irritable because your blood sugar crashed? Let THAT be your motivation to skip it next time, not because a silly bathroom scale said so. And then LET THAT SHIT GO!!!! You are NOT a bad person because of what food you consumed! Sugar is a helluva drug and the addiction is real. Do NOT feel guilty! Again, simply make note of your physical and emotional reactions, then move on. I am 100% positive your self worth should never, ever be defined by even an ounce of food. Mmmmkayyy?
Tip 3. Drop the “deprivation” act. You know, the one where you tell yourself that not eating crappy food is depriving yourself. Mmhhhmmm. I had a client once tell me that they felt like they were depriving themselves because I had suggested they skip eating the chips with their guac, and try utilizing cucumbers or bell peppers instead. They were serious. And also not the first person to tell me this is some shape or form. Let’s take a look at the real definition of “deprivation”.
Deprivation: “the lack or denial of a basic necessity”
I’m pretty sure Tostitos don’t fall under the basic necessity to live… or even live a full and happy existence ; ) If you think you’re depriving yourself in life because you didn’t eat the chips, donuts, etc at a party, be real with yourself. What is it in the self-love category are you lacking? We all fall short somewhere, so don’t beat yourself up. Just be honest. Whatever it is, I’m gonna betcha that crappy food won’t fill the void. Fill yourself up on some self love, peeps! You deserve THAT! (p.s. I still want you to eat lots of yummy, and healthy food. Please don’t take deprivation into the fo’reals definition zone and skip eating! Promise? Being in a state of hunger actually IS deprivation and dasss not cool either, right?)
Tip 4. So ya work in an office surrounded by holiday junk food, huh? I hear ya. This can be tough. I use the “out of site, out of mind” approach when it comes to this scenario, whether it be in an office or at my home. I’ll keep saying this to the cows come home, but sugar is as addictive as cocaine, if not more– there are reports that state even up to 8x more than cocaine!? Would you put someone newly sober in a room filled with alcohol? Probably not if you could help it, right? So try to stay clear of the lunch room during these next few weeks, if that’s where people are dropping off the goods! Don’t bring that stuff into your own kitchen! If someone gives you a kind gift of an extra large box of chocolates, graciously accept and then find it a new home. Don’t make it a test of willpower. Sugar is a physical addiction, and a strong one at that. Willpower is great, but often comes with a side of guilt if things don’t work out and remember what I said earlier– never, ever feel guilty about your food!!
Tip 5. “I prefer to eat healthy because my body feels better, but people always make passive aggressive comments when we’re eating together.” I hear this ALL THE TIME from my clients and have run into this more often than I care to remember. A few things– 1, keep in mind this is most likely them judging themselves and not you. It’s a defense mechanism. They see you making a different food choice than them, and automatically think you’re labeling them as “unhealthy”. You’re not doing that because we should never judge someone based on what they eat, rightttt? Right! : ) So just let it go! Or, make the conversation about HEALTH GAINS vs WEIGHT LOSS! Because that is the goal! You’re eating this way because your body feels better! I find in these cases, the best option is to drop the need to preach about why what I’m eating is better, and find a little compassion instead. Deeeepppp breaths. Namaste ; )
6. Last tip, although I have a zillion so if ya want more, feel free to hit me up! Holidays can be emotional for many. Whether it’s because you’re alone, someone special has passed, divorce has created a family division, or even just because your family gatherings are bat shit crazy and someone always ends up tears (okay, that may be mine…fam, love y’all nonetheless!). Acknowledge the reason BEFORE the actual holiday or even the few weeks surrounding it, and make a plan of action. What can you do to make yourself feel better that doesn’t involve eating a gallon of ice cream or 2 bottles of wine? What about treating yourself to a mani/pedi? Picking up a good new book? Starting a new pretty journal? Attempting that Pinterest creation? Trying a yoga or meditation class at home before the big sha-bang? Sidenote- I am wildly obsessed with the website OneOEight.com and use their yoga classes at home daily! Some of the very best instruction I’ve ever had and it’s in the comfort of my own home. My point is– accept that this time of the year might unearth some tough feelings. That’s perfectly okay! Allow yourself time to feel those feelings and then find a way to give yourself some TLC that will love you back in return!
Okay friendos, I’m peacing out. I hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the year! My next 6 week Signature Health Coaching Program will begin again in mid-late January. If you’d like more details, head over to http://blondebeetnirvana.com/signature-program/ or hit me up for deets!