It’s that time of year again! Candy-filled jars decorate the inside of your home, cookie platters being delivered to your doorstep, all perfectly wrapped and ready to be indulged. Nothing says “holidays” quite like food, and lots of it! Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. However, with the extra food comes its extra stresses about making the right decisions for myself and my body.
As all things holly and jolly roll around, here are a couple of ways that I have found to be beneficial in taking back my health and maintaining balance while enjoying every merry moment.
1. Prioritize Yourself
I know how stressful and anxiety-ridden this time of year can be surrounding a number of things. Maybe for you it’s family, maybe it’s money or maybe for you, like me, this time of year triggers stressors around the never-ending train of food. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to intentionally take the time to check-in with yourself. Are you feeling stressed? Overwhelmed? Unable to actually enjoy the holidays?! Reset and realign yourself with what truly matters.
Know that you CAN say no to this party or that “obligation”. Know that you CAN take a step back to protect and preserve your energy. There isn’t a single commitment more important than your well being and the greatest gift you can give YOURSELF this season is freedom. You and you alone hold the power to make this season either frightful or delightful.
2. Stay Active
As we start revving up for the busiest time of year, don’t forget to keep your body moving. When I’m active I make better choices, I have more energy and am less likely to find myself backsliding into bad habits (especially surrounding so much temptation.)
My advice to you, make a plan, not excuses! Make the decision to stay committed to your best self this year. Hot yoga is one of my favorite forms of movement especially as the weather begins to change. I make a point to schedule my workouts ahead of time so that I know exactly when I can get my sweat on. I typically plan to workout early in the mornings incase something comes up later in the day.
If you’re into running, there are some awesome races this time of year! A few of my favorites include the Whoville 5k, Turkey Trot and the Resolution Run. (find more races in my Fall Race Guide) The point is, don’t become so busy taking care of this, that and the other that you forget to take care of yourself as well!
3. Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire
We both know that there won’t be any shortages of baked goods at that party you plan on attending so why are you bringing another one? What about a healthy option that both you and others can enjoy instead? Worried that there won’t be anything “healthy” for you to have? Eat before you go! It’s not rude or selfish to take care of your body. As a vegetarian myself, I’ve learned that you can’t rely on, nor do I expect other people to have options for me, therefore eating ahead of time ensures that I don’t end up eating mashed potatoes and dinner rolls all night.
I will never be the one to tell you not to eat at least one piece of pumpkin pie this year! Matter of fact, I encourage it! I also encourage you to focus on fueling your body with plenty of the good stuff too. Eat your veggies, drink your water and then treat yourself with that damn piece of pie! Remember that one (or two) bad meals will not ruin the progress you’ve made, indulging a little bit over the holidays will not make you fat and there is absolutely no reason for you to let your fear of food ruin the most wonderful time of year.
So, to whomever is reading this, and for however the holidays have played out in the past, this is my hope for you:
I hope that this year is different. I hope that this is the year you count your blessings instead of calories, that you focus more on your family than you do on your food and that this season is sweeter than any cookie you ever thought you shouldn’t eat.
Carry on, Warriors.