The first official week of the holiday season is here! Family gatherings, Friendsgivings, weekend obligations and holiday parties. This time of year is meant to be fun, exciting and filled with love. But for so many people is it stressful, anxiety ridden and at times dreadful.
Trust me, I have felt that. No one wants to come into the new year 8 pounds heavier and unhappy. So begins the dreaded internal dialog "Ugh, I am going to indulge at dinner. Guess I better run at least 3 miles this morning or starve myself this morning to make up for later." But, what if it doesn't have to be that way? Hear me out...
Ask yourself, when you have these thoughts, what is your main focus? 9 times out of 10 it will be the FOOD. But...you're missing the point.
If you focus on food it takes away from the special time you spend with friends and family, it takes the focus away from creating memories.
In 10 years, you won't look back on the holiday wishing the scale said a certain number. You will look back wishing you had enjoyed the memories being made.
I am not saying go hog-wild and eat whatever you want, I am saying there are things you can do in order to have a healthy balance throughout the next few weeks.
It won't just magically happen. You need to actively do a few things to get yourself in a position where you are able to do this. Here are a few places to start.
1. Offer to help cook or plan the menu. Then you have more control over what is being served.
2. Control your home and work environments. Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you should buy things out of the ordinary. Stick to the basics you normally would.
3. PLAN for the main indulgences. Look ahead at your calendar each week and see what you have coming up. This also includes looking at restaurant menus before you go and figuring out what you will order before you go.
4. Stick to the basics when you're not celebrating. Keep in your usual routine of focusing on the basics: water, protein, veggies, balanced meals and healthy snacks. Keeping your schedule as normal as possible will help you navigate holidays and feel good as you are doing so.
5. Control your stress. When you are stressed this can make it easier to lead to regretful decisions. Do your best to manage stress the best way that works for you - mediation, exercise, breath work- now more than ever you need to keep these things high on your list of priorities.
Start now. Start practicing these things now so you are prepared and ready to tackle your first event.
And most importantly...enjoy the holidays!