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  • Self - Improvement

    Stop Fighting Yourself; How To Prioritize Long-Term Lifestyle Changes Over The Battle of Holiday Food

    Stop fighting yourself

    The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it, all of the delicious drinks and desserts that evoke special memories and loving emotions. But what happens when these holiday indulgences threaten to derail your progress toward accomplishing your lifelong health goals? How do you approach (yet enjoy!) the upcoming holidays without “falling off the bandwagon?”

    What Is Your WHY?

    First, start with your “WHY.”

    WHY are you making changes to your lifestyle now, of all times? What is your lifelong health goal?

    Are you looking to…

    • Be healthier and make better choices so you can feel confident and strong?
    • Have more energy and feel comfortable with your food choices?
    • Get down to the right weight where you can fit into last year (or before) clothes?
    • Do something about your high blood pressure, to wean off your medication(s)?
    • Banish food as an emotional comfort factor- especially at night?
    • Take back time for yourself and re-prioritize your health?

    What is YOUR “WHY”?:
    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    Dig Into Your Desires

    Let’s think ahead to the holiday season quickly approaching. From the food and drink standpoint, what are you most excited for but worry may derail or sabotage you staying on track toward accomplishing your greater WHY?

    Identify what your top trigger food or drink is:
    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    Ok, great. We’ve narrowed it down.

    Now that you have a specific treat / beverage in mind, let’s work through an imagery and visualization exercise:

    What thoughts are triggered when you think of this treat? What’s the backstory?

    Now, close your eyes and imagine yourself enjoying this special holiday food / beverage:

    • Where are you…?
    • Who are you with…?
    • What are you wearing…?
    • What are you talking about…?
    • How are you feeling…?

    How does your treat taste?

    In slow-motion, I want you to take a very intentional nibble / sip of your holiday treat.

    Imagine slowly piercing your treat with a fork, or slowly bringing the beverage to your lips.

    • Is it warm? Cold?
    • Is it sweet? Savory?
    • Crunchy, smooth, leathery…?
    • Oily, dry…?

    Taste the texture in your mouth and imagine exactly what it tastes like.

    How does it make you feel?

    Hit PAUSE, and sit with how you are feeling as you enjoy your treat.

    • Is the warmness filling your belly, making you feel comforted and soothed?
    • Is the pop of sweetness giving you a spark of excitement and energy?
    • Are you feeling mischievous and childlike?

    Or is the treat heavy and boggy in your body?

    • Do you feel lethargic and tired?
    • Are you feeling sluggish and lazy?
    Connect With Your Emotions

    Connect With Your Emotions

    Think about your treat and describe the 1 emotion that comes to mind as you enjoy it:
    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    For example: My special treat during the holiday season is a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte. The emotions that come to mind are soothing and comforting.

    Your turn:
    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    Ok. Sweet =)

    Now, let’s dive into your emotions.

    What healthier options can you explore that would also satisfy the emotion(s) you experience from your treat?

    Try to brainstorm an alternative that is:

    • Something you wouldn’t mind experimenting with
    • Attached to something fun!

    For example:

    I feel soothed and comforted drinking my holiday Starbucks Peppermint Mocha latte. I love how I can sip on it and it warms my belly. A healthier option I wouldn’t mind exploring is making a healthier option at home. I could use unsweetened almond milk, cocoa powder, a shot of espresso, and a few drops of peppermint oil. I can make the experience equally cozy by splurging on a fun (and sassy!) new coffee mug.

    How can you approach enjoying this food with mindfulness?

    If you’ve given a solid effort toward finding a healthier substitute to your holiday treat, but find yourself continuing to struggle…

    Try honing in on how you can bring mindfulness as you indulge in your actual treat.

    Set yourself up for success when you’re one treat away from falling off the bandwagon by establishing:

    • Stimulus control (out of sight, out of mind!)
    • Portion control (choose a smaller plate / cup than you normally would)
    • Make it un-tasty (add some pepper or salt to your treat so you stop over-consuming…yuck!)
    • Package it up (enjoy one helping and package your 2nd helping To-Go)
    • Slow down (eat / sip twice as slowly to savor every bite)
    Stop fighting yourself - Holiday food

    In Summary

    Staying healthy over the holiday requires intentional planning. Start thinking about what upcoming treat(s) are a real threat to your lifelong health goals.

    Take the time NOW to better understand why your treat is so special, how you can replicate the same evoked emotions, and what ways you can substitute or bring mindfulness to enjoying your holiday treat. This way, you’ll be better able to stay on track and cruise through the Holidays feeling in control of your food!

    Share your treat and how you are going to stay on track with the FB community! We can’t wait to hear about it!


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