This year, no matter what…

Decide to have the body you want.

No matter what 2020 brought. No matter the uncertainty of 2021. You don’t control any of that. You control you. Even when you think you don’t.

What’s possible for your weight and health in 2021?

If you base your answer on what you’ve done or haven’t done in the past, please stop. Your past doesn’t equal your future. Unless you let it.

It feels hard to believe that you can do something you haven’t done before. My clients always start out in some form of disbelief:

“After turning 50, I’d given up on losing weight,” said Teresa who lost and kept off 20 lbs. for over two years now.

“But I hate exercise, and I love sugar,” said Chris who’s down 23 lbs., and enjoys her regular walks and healthy eating, even leaving room for cookies 😊.

“I’ve never been able to lose any more than 20 lbs. before I put it right back on,” said Holly who’s lost close to 50 lbs. while still enjoying food and wine.

These clients didn’t use willpower. They changed what they believed was possible. One small step at a time.

Decide to have the body you want and keep weight off, no matter what. What’s possible for your weight and health in 2021?
Photo by Andrew Wilus from Pexels

I challenge you to do it, too. Ask and answer these three questions:

  1. What do I believe is really possible for my weight and body?
  2. What thoughts do I have most often about my body and ability to change it?
  3. What’s the most positive thought that I can believe about my body and my capabilities?

That last one is key. The goal isn’t to fake it. If a positive thought is too hard – doesn’t feel true – move toward neutral. Try something like this for a start:

  1. I’m not a fan of exercise (a move away from “I hate exercise”)
  2. My body might surprise me (rather than “I’ve never been able to keep weight off”)
  3. I’m open to making progress
  4. I have a strong body
  5. I can learn from my success in other areas to help me lose weight and keep it off

This is your starting point. It’s not what you eat, your exercise…any of it. (That was your focus in the past, right?) You’ll only be consistent with those actions – and I mean really consistent, not a few weeks or months – when you start out with the right mindset. And keep that mindset throughout all the hard stuff.

This is your year. Yes, you can do it this time. It will be worth it.

You never have to end up “back here” again. The actions are easy. You know what to do. Start managing your mind to get it done.

What’s your surprising lesson?

It’s interesting. We’ve been talking about things as though “2020” is relegated to this calendar year.

But as best we can tell, next year likely holds more of the same.

I’m not trying to be a downer. But I don’t do fake optimism. I’m all for feeling everything that comes up and then deciding what to do with it. Because the alternative is to resist our reality (you know…head, meet wall). Circumstances are what they are – our lessons, our responses, are in our control.

My client said to me during our coaching session last month, “The lesson of COVID is increased flexibility. I haven’t been as hard on myself when I fall short.”

Do you know how big that is for her? How big it is for most women? Mind. Blowing. Big.

Don’t skip over that. We’re masters at telling ourselves we could/should be better.

That we really messed that one up.

That we’ll never get our act together and, you name it…

Stop overeating.

Actually lose weight.

Finally stop talking down to ourselves.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

That one lesson is incredibly valuable. But it can’t be just head knowledge. How many books have you read that you’ve long since forgotten the title of, let alone the premise? It’s got to be ingrained. Practiced. It must become part of your being.

What’s your lesson?

It need not be humungous. And maybe it’s several small ones.

Acknowledge them. Write them down. Take time to appreciate them, to notice the positive impact on your life (relationships, health, work) …there’s not one area of your life unaffected by the lessons.

If you find yourself resisting a lesson, even thinking there are none, pay attention. The lessons are there when you’re ready for them. If you’re resisting them, they affect you anyway. But not in the way you want.

My hope for you, for me, for all my clients, is that we keep learning the next lesson. That we let it make us better. Stronger. Whether 2021 brings catastrophes or victories, be ready for it. Don’t let the circumstances of the world determine the year you’re going to have. Decide how you will come to it. Decide what’s important to you. To live up to your values. To remain in integrity with yourself.

I said at the beginning that I don’t do fake optimism. That said, I’m incredibly optimistic. I see people making incredible strides to better themselves in spite of the circumstances. And that tells me, it will last.

The 10 Best Holiday Hacks

Can you to savor the holidays? And get to the other side with healthy habits intact? Without regrets?

Absolutely.

Even during COVID?

Abso-freaking-lutely.

I’ve done it for years and I’m sharing my 10 Best Holiday Hacks so you can, too.

  1. Let go of New Year’s resolutions. Why? They’re a surefire road to over-indulging and letting your healthy habits take a dive. Who wants to wake up January 1 feeling like you’re behind? Not you.
  2. Instead, “resolve” how you want to feel on January 1st. And let that drive your choices this month. Say you want to feel strong or energized, what would you do throughout December to make that come true as you’re singing Auld Lang Syne?
  3. Practice gratitude. For all of it. Even COVID. What?! Yes. Go crazy with gratitude, large and small. Make it a daily awareness.
  4. Be picky. Treats abound during the holidays, but not all are “worth it.” Eat only the best and savor it without guilt. Let all the others go. And think about making treats special, like drinking hot chocolate while driving around town looking at holiday lights, rather than having it become an everyday habit.
  5. Avoid drama. Prepare a graceful response to remove yourself from unhelpful situations. You don’t need to get hooked into other people’s crazy. And, you don’t need to make any of your own. 😊

    Can you to savor the holidays without regrets? I’ve done it for years and I’m sharing my 10 Best Holiday Hacks so you can, too.
    Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
  6. Beyond food. In what innovative ways can you enjoy the holidays beyond peppermint mochas and Christmas cookies? Think cheesy movies, ice skating, blasting Christmas music…let food be ancillary to your overall enjoyment of the season.
  7. Be kind to yourself. This is true at all times, but especially when stress is high. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can (and so is everyone else).
  8. Identify what’s most important. And don’t let it get overshadowed by shiny objects this time of year. In fact, this may be one of the biggest gifts of the pandemic. With less distraction, focus is easier.
  9. Define healthy. What does it look like for you during the holidays? Identify the habits you want to maintain and those that may need to shift. Plan ahead.
  10. Re-think traditions. Another COVID reality…what new traditions will you create for yourself? For your family? Take this opportunity to notice what previous ones you stuck with out of obligation.

There you have it, my 10 Holiday Hacks to savor the holidays with your healthy habits intact.

Feel harder than it sounds? Schedule a strategy session and I’ll help you enjoy the holidays and wake up January 1 with pants that fit (and are maybe even a little loose!).

10 Hacks to start losing weight and feeling better!

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