Halloween marks the beginning of a series of holidays and events filled with delicious food and drinks. First there’s Halloween, then for some of us birthdays, next is Thanksgiving followed by an endless string of holiday parties, and finally New Years Day.
The average American gains weight during the holidays that takes 5 months or more of hard work to lose.
There are sweet treats, fat-filled casseroles, never ending wine pours, and more food choices than you can count. Everywhere you turn there is something else delicious staring you in the face.
You want to make healthy choices. You’re afraid of feeling tired and achy again. The idea of gaining weight is terrifying.
As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense.
And so, we often recommend preparing in advance, eating before you go to an event, bringing healthy dishes to an event, making “mocktails”, exercising regularly, and more.
Of course these are excellent steps for helping us to stand up to temptation and make healthy choices, and you should absolutely find ways to utilize them. They will help you stay on track.
But those appetizers and desserts just taste so good! Everyone at the party is making fun of you for being the “healthy one.” You start to feel like an outsider looking in when you once were right in the middle of all the action.
Suddenly that one glass of wine turns into 3 or 4, and the next thing you know you’ve had seconds of the green bean casserole and a mega slice of pie.
At this point most of us throw our hands in the air and say, “well, I’ve already messed up, so I might as well enjoy the holidays.”
The next thing you know you’ve completely abandoned your healthy lifestyle, you’re eating anything and everything, avoiding exercise, sleeping poorly, have an aching body and are oh-so-very tired.
You think, “How did this happen? I should really get back on track.”
Unfortunately, now it’s even harder to make healthy choices than it was in the first place, and the longer you continue with a devil-may-care attitude, the harder it is to make any changes at all.
The holidays can be a difficult time, but they are not hopeless.
You can put yourself back on track and keep moving forward. The trick is to do it immediately rather than letting things compound until you feel frustrated and helpless.
This one simple thing is all it takes: Reframe your mindset.
When your wi-fi goes on the fritz what do you do? Hit reset. When you were young and your video game would freeze? Reset. When the clock is blinking after a power outage? Reset.
You don’t allow these things to continue going down a path that produces poor results.
Even more so with your health.
That party from last night does not define the next two months of your life.
Just hit reset, as soon as possible.
Your thoughts have power, and you can choose your thoughts. As soon as possible after a party or an event where your food choices didn’t go quite as planned, find a quiet space for yourself to reset.
First thing in the morning is always a great time to set an intention. When you first wake up, transition from lying on the bed to sitting cross-legged on the floor or sitting up with your feet flat on the floor.
Rest your hands, palms facing up, on your knees.
Close your eyes.
Take 5 slow, deep breaths. Breathe in to a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Breathe out for a count of 4.
Then repeat to yourself 5 times (out loud if you can), “I am the only person who has control over what I eat. I am grateful for my healthy body, and I make healthy choices. Every decision I make is the best decision for me.”*
Continue to take slow, deep breaths as you repeat those words to yourself.
If you are able, look at yourself in the mirror (or flip your phone camera into selfie mode), and repeat these words to yourself 3-5 more times, “I am the only person who has control over what I eat. I am grateful for my healthy body, and I make healthy choices. Every decision I make is the best decision for me.”*
You can use this affirmation anytime you want to hit the reset button or even just to encourage yourself to continue in your healthy choices.
You’ve got this!
*Affirmation adapted from the affirmations of Louise Hay www.LouiseHay.com
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