3 tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays

People want to stay healthy during the holidays, so I asked the members in my FB group what small intention they could set and honor to carry them through the season.

One comment struck me in particular. A member decided that she could have See’s candy at any time of year, so she wouldn’t eat it during the holidays. Brilliant.

An article on the healthy holidays topic takes this even further, recommending that we de-mystify holiday food. That is, once we recognize that we can truly eat holiday food at any time, we can better control our choices.

But you might say, “I don’t eat pumpkin pie any other time of year.” Or peppermint bark. Or stuffing.

But you could. And that’s the point.

I recall the 1989 Christmas season, working as an accounting intern at a large insurance company. Boxes of Sees candy seemed to appear daily. And somehow, gratefully, I decided that I could eat my one or two favorites and leave the rest.

That was huge for me, because during the better part of the 1980s chocolate was one of my food groups. Really. Not kidding.

People want to stay healthy during the holidays, but what does that mean? Here are 3 tips to define and carry out "healthy" for you this season. Read more here: https://www.weightbreakthrough.com/3-tips-on-how-to-stay-healthy-during-the-holidays/
Photo by Jessica Johnston on Unsplash

Want even more simple strategies to get and stay healthy, especially during the holidays? Get my 10 Hacks here!


Here are my three tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays:

  • Start with the intention. And decide that it’s doable. Otherwise, if you think that it’s hard or, worse, impossible to control your behavior, you won’t make many healthy choices.
  • Define what it means. Eating. Exercise. Enjoyment. Downtime. What does your picture of healthy look like?
  • Plan to carry it out. I love the idea of standards. In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown talks about the decision that makes a thousand other decisions. Like my member’s decision not to eat See’s candy. Think of the brain power freed up by not having to decide each and every time you’re presented with a situation to choose health. Decide beforehand.

And be careful of the “moderation” argument, as it can keep you in the murky middle. You find yourself saying things like, “at least I didn’t eat three desserts.”

Lastly, if you experience a moment of over-indulgence, be kind to yourself. It happens. The next moment is a new opportunity to hold to honor your intention and carry out your plan. Don’t excuse the behavior (that makes you more likely to do it again), but have self-compassion.

Maybe self-compassion could be part of all our plans. And not just during the holidays. 😊

 

Is it possible to be busy and bored?

I left home one day to run errands and decided to leave my phone charging on the counter. The amplifier in my car has problems, so I keep my radio off.

I got gas. No email to check.

I got a carwash. No Facebook to peruse.

I waited 90 long seconds at a stop light. No podcast or music to entertain me.

I rarely feel the boredom during these micro episodes of “nothing to do” because I don’t have to. That doesn’t mean I’m not bored. I’ve just found something to avoid it.

Avoiding boredom with calories and cabernet gets us more of what we don’t want. If we want to avoid eating when bored, we have to be willing to feel bored. Read more here: https://www.weightbreakthrough.com/is-it-possible-avoid-eating-when-bored/
Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

Like you, I have a lot on my calendar. To admit to being bored sounds ridiculous. I wondered during that short errand run, how is it possible to be both busy and bored?

Boredom is a normal part of life, it’s just that today we rarely have to acknowledge it. For example, working on a project you’re not enthused about? There’s certainly a tasty treat in the break room that’s more exciting than that spreadsheet or report. Or, a quick look at your phone will do the trick. Another hit of dopamine and you’re off to the races!

Eating when bored is easy.

But I think there’s a downside to that. Boredom can be a useful reprieve from the busyness. It’s a chance to clear our minds, to brainstorm or visualize. (We can even come up with a blog post topic!) Using boredom as an opportunity to think clearly can be a valuable exercise.

I regularly coach clients around experiencing boredom without distracting from it. Eating, drinking, going online…these are all quick, easy boredom fixes that can have negative consequences. And the thing is, we don’t necessarily recognize it. Meaning, we don’t realize what we’re missing.

Keeping ourselves busy – whether with work, entertainment or “vegging out” – keeps us from “hearing” ourselves. Our true selves. Any angst we feel about something in our life never has time to surface…until it’s a huge hairball we can’t ignore. Then, it feels like it came out of nowhere.

Living our best life – including being at our ideal weight – means we experience all emotions, without distracting. Boredom, sadness, disappointment…these are useful for our growth and well-being. Trying to avoid or paper over them with calories and Cabernet only gets us more of what we don’t want. If we want to avoid eating when bored, we have to be willing to feel bored.

So, I have a challenge for you. Set up a specific five-minute period to experience boredom. Maybe it’s being alone in the car with nothing playing. Or waiting in line at the grocery store. Use that time to breathe and reflect. To feel bored. And to be okay with it.  The more you practice, the less of a pull all those distractions will have on you.

Share with me below the results of your boredom experiment. And join me over at FB if you’d like to enjoy food, love life and lose weight!

 

P.S. Check out my Top 50 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays (and not gain weight!).

New Year = New You?

Right about now, most of us start thinking about the New Year. We dream about what we want to change and accomplish, about what’s possible with a clean slate.

Have you been here before, but never seem to get much past the “hope and wish” stage?

Making change is uncomfortable. Even if we want what change brings, inertia can keep us stuck. Old beliefs can keep us stuck. We get in our own way and we don’t even know it. Or we do, but we don’t know what to do about it.

Whether your dreams for the New Year are for better health and vitality, more energy, or reaching your ideal weight (or something altogether different), you’ll need to shift in ways you likely haven’t considered. I’d like to offer a couple ideas.

Are you thinking about the New Year, dreaming about what you want to change and accomplish, about what’s possible with a clean slate?
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

First, if your desires are about making health and weight loss a priority (while enjoying life and not counting every damn calorie), then schedule a strategy session with me for January. Get it on the calendar and handled so you don’t have to think about it the rest of the month. In a few weeks we’ll talk about what you want, what stops you from getting it, and decide if it makes sense to work together.

Second, I recommend three books, any one of which will take you deeper into the behavior shifts you will need to make, whatever your dreams:

  1. Essentialism: Still my favorite book of the last two years (I’ve read it three times). If you never seem to dedicate the necessary time to get what you say you want, this book is for you. And if you can’t seem to say no and set boundaries to achieve what’s most important, you needed this yesterday.
  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F^@(: So, you have to be okay with the F-word. In a clear and frank manner, the author shows how we put our energy toward things that don’t matter and tell ourselves stories that prevent our success. He also offers guidance for overcoming those sabotaging behaviors.
  3. Your Best Year Ever: If you like goal setting, Michael Hyatt provides a helpful framework. You’ll measure your current satisfaction in several areas and identify what’s most important to you. When setting goals, he helps you determine your motivation and next steps toward attainment. I’ve used this process for several years and highly recommend it.

With just a couple weeks to go, you can take small steps to set yourself up for a great New Year. And while you may be planning and imagining possibilities for the future, remember to stay present and make the most of every day this year, too.

And if you decide to schedule a call with me, I look forward to getting to know you and talking about the amazing possibilities for your health and your body!

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