5 mindset makeover ideas to finish the year strong

You might need a mindset makeover if this sound familiar…

“My pattern is to buckle down at the end of the year and promise myself to be good, and not give in to over-eating. ‘This holiday season will be different’ I tell myself. But each time my willpower dissipates and I blow it. Treats are everywhere. Parties are non-stop. At least, it feels like that. I’m afraid nothing will change this year.”

In so many words, I hear this a lot. On the heels of the biggest candy holiday of the year, we can head into November and December feeling like we’re already behind.

What if you don’t succumb this year? Instead, make a commitment to yourself and follow through using a mindset makeover.

Start with an intention of how you will treat yourself this holiday season. What it looks and feels like to enjoy food and love life during the holidays, while making healthy choices for you.

Photo by Kylie De Guia on Unsplash

I promise, you can do it better this season, using a mindset makeover:

  1. Mindset Makeover #1: Before every function – and I mean every function – where food will be available, decide well beforehand how much you will eat. That is, decide if you will eat until comfortably satiated or leave a little room. (Note, you may consciously decide to over-eat, which is anything from feeling the pressure of the food on your stomach to feeling stuffed. Like with all decisions, I want you to make it well before the function, not in the moment).
  2. Mindset Makeover #2: Once you decide when you will stop eating, imagine being at the function and being at the place where you’ve decided you will stop. Then imagine there is more food that looks super tasty that you’d like to eat. Imagine the pull to eat, feeling a bit uncomfortable. Then imagine gently keeping your commitment to yourself.
  3. Mindset Makeover #3: Set a personal standard. It’s easy to fall into the “it’s a special treat” argument but in fact, treats are everywhere. Especially if you’re in an office environment. Even a hospital or medical office (seriously, right?!). Decide what meets your standards and forget the rest. For example, in a box of Sees candy, there are relatively few that meet my standard, like a dark chocolate Bordeaux or Scotchmallow. Do I like the others? Sure, some of them. But on a scale from 1-10, they’re maybe a 6 or 7. My standard is at least a 9!
  4. Makeover #4: If you have an instance where you don’t follow through on your commitment to yourself, have compassion without making excuses. Beating yourself up leads to shame and generally giving up. Rather decide how you can learn from the incident and change your behavior next time. And don’t excuse it away. It only becomes easier to make more excuses for not following through on your word to yourself. It’s a downward spiral.
  5. Mindset Makeover #5: Focus on people and purpose. Food and alcohol are secondary, maybe even tertiary. If meeting new people, consider all the questions you might ask and all the things you’d like to know about them or what they do. If you’re with folks you know, be present. Imagine how special you can make others feel, and how good you will feel, when you engage and connect below the superficial level.

Sound simple? It is. But simple doesn’t mean there’s never discomfort. You may eat to a comfortable level when suddenly you spot your favorite…. fill in the blank. It might feel uncomfortable to not eat it. But it feels even more uncomfortable to be overly full. And even more uncomfortable to break your word to yourself.

Give these five mindset makeovers a try and let me know your experience! And, get support with your new mindset at the Enjoy food. Love life. Lose weight. Facebook group.

Want to gain weight this holiday season?

I didn’t think so. But what to do with the barrage of holiday favorites incessantly coming at you?

Do you white-knuckle your way through parties, office potlucks and family dinners, feigning a penchant for raw broccoli? Or do you give in and overdo it because “the holidays only come once a year?”

Neither choice gets you what you want. One leaves you deprived and primed to overeat. The other leaves you hungover with the regret of poor choices. Both set you back on any progress you’ve made.

There is a third way, which is to eat mindfully, choose your favorites and identify healthy options. I know, not easy when you see a plate of magic bars in the break room at 3pm. And how do you bring something healthy to a potluck that doesn’t get shoved to the side, untouched until you take it home?

I’ve curated a list of ten holiday recipes to make at home or take to parties, that are tasty and satisfying, without sabotaging your healthy habits:

1. I love this creative take on a veggie plate. Serve at home or take to a party. Beautiful!
2. A tasty gingersnap cookie recipe for vegans (or those of us who play vegan from time to time).
3. This kale stuffed butternut squash could be a side or main dish.
4. Now here’s an extravagant mashed cauliflower recipe (with room to play on how much fat you want to add).
5. When you’re hungry and it’s not mealtime, having snacks on hand can keep you from making poor food choices. These granola bars are a tasty option that will satiate and not deprive.

Photo by Brenda Godinez on Unsplash

6. Brunch can be filled with pastries and pork (not saying I don’t eat those). Try adding this winter citrus salad.
7. Love this roasted red pepper dish, a twist on the typical salad/veggie option. Like the veggie tray (#1), a beautiful holiday presentation.
8. I’ll admit it’s not my thing, but eggnog is a holiday favorite for many. Try this slimmed down version and see what you think.
9. I’ve made a couple energy ball recipes with dates and really like them (similar to RX bars that you find at grocery stores). But these are a step above! I WILL definitely be making peppermint fudge no bake energy bites.
10. Accommodating everyone’s food restrictions and preferences is near impossible. But you can get close with this healthy sweet potato casserole. It’s a vegan, gluten-free alternative to a perennial holiday favorite. (You can have brown sugar and marshmallows on the side for those with a stronger sweet tooth.)

Try several of these or search out your favorites. The key is focusing on food options that are healthy AND that you enjoy. If you do that about ninety percent of the time, I suspect you’ll be pretty happy with the results.

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