How often do things go according to plan? How about when you add in family, the holidays and, of course, food? I’ll bet not often, and that’s totally normal. The problem is when we don’t prepare for it and then pretend like things just “happen” to us. Like extra dessert falling into our mouth or mean words falling out of it. The thing is, if we want to avoid overeating and other “regrets,” we need to plan well.
I’ve been there. Eaten too much of a good thing and felt stuffed. Said something that the next morning I wished I could take back. What I came to realize is that those “hangovers” can be prevented. I don’t control other people, but I do control me.
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Try these three tips to prepare for the unexpected this holiday season so you stay in integrity with who you want to be:
1. What you eat is your own business: I regularly work with clients who have a hard time saying no to food. They don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or they feel pressured. So, they end up eating more than intended, or something that hurts their health and weight loss efforts.
Ingrain the truth that your food is your business. (And other people’s food is their business.) Come up with a phrase to use when offered something you don’t want so that you can avoid overeating. A simple “no thank you” is often best. Resist the temptation to explain yourself as it opens you up to the other person trying to talk you out of it.
2. Other people can do/say what they want: This was a huge revelation for a client of mine. She told me what a relief it was to understand and accept this. If you’re going to an event where experience tells you that a difficult person will be there (family member, co-worker, boss, etc.), choose to go knowing they get to be exactly who they are. They can say and do anything. And you don’t have to react, get hurt or be angry. You also don’t have to hang around them.
3. Set your standards: Decide how much you will do. How many nights a week will you accept invitations this season? How late will you stay out (or conversely, what time do you want to be in bed)? And know that the decisions you’ll make on which invitations to accept or not will generally be between a bunch of things you want to do. Now, if you can do them all without your healthy intentions suffering, awesome. But be honest with yourself. You will sometimes find that saying no to something you want to do is better than doing it.
If we’re honest, these circumstances are rarely unexpected. But we can act like they are, or use a particular situation to justify poor decisions. We can avoid overeating, over-drinking or saying things we later regret …these are all optional. No thing or other person can cause these things. We are solely responsible.
Isn’t that the best news ever?! (By the way, it’s not too late to finish the year strong – read my post here.)