You’ve made up your mind. You’ve set an intention to lose weight over the holidays instead of dragging your self back to work in January having gained a bunch of sweets, drinks and gravy around your mid line. Well that’s all well and good but “now what?”, you may be asking.” How do I actually avoid temptation and excuses for not following the protocol and sticking to my goal?” Let’s sort through it a bit from a mindfulness perspective. Remember there is a mindset to evolve along with your physical body.
Our minds can really set us on a course of self sabotage. The stories we carry and invent can lead us to feel left out, sad or angry when we are not prepared to do things differently. This year, you can be armed with all the tools you need to do just that. Phase One is all about mind set. We always start a first appointment by asking “Why?” What is the reason that you came to lose weight and what makes you ready? What is your Why? Go back to that now or with your coach before the holidays to get grounded and excited to lose weight BEFORE New Year’s. That’s the first thing.
Next, really make a decision to follow some basic principles of mindful eating, practical preparedness and essential gratitude to get you through. We can give you a list of mindfulness techniques to use but if you are not WILLING then they won’t be too useful. It is SO worth it to keep the promise that you made to yourself and your coach. This is one Christmas season. Just one. You are going to be proud of yourself for following through, feeling true to yourself and of course all the physical well being that you get to keep feeling. Okay. Ready?
Here are a few ideas and tools to keep you rocking your program:
- PLAN AHEAD: You know that you have an event or four to go to in one day right? Make sure that you take easy to eat IP’s when you are on the go. In your purse. In your car. Wherever you can have easy access to. Things sometimes go later than you anticipate. You don’t need to be caught off guard and starving. You may want to eat your Restricted when you are at a family dinner for the dessert portion of the meal. Cocktail party? Eat a big “unlimited” salad before you go and allow yourself to have a sparkling water with lemon while you are there. Remember that you are in charge of what you put into your mouth. Use your coach to get a plan for particular events that you know are coming up!
- THROW DOWN TECHNOLOGY: Put the devices and distractions away when you eat. We can do this for the most part. No texting or looking at You Tube while eating please. Looking at technology while eating leads to mind LESS eating.
- BREATHE: No one has to know that you are having a little mindfulness moment to check yourself 🙂 One way to do this during a meal or when around food is to place one hand on your belly and simply breathe and FEEL where you are at. Physical or mental hunger?
- SLOOOOW DOWN: Do you know that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that the body is satiated? If it takes that long for the brain to get the message, all the more reason to chew slowly. Go for between 5-15 chews for each bite. You can make this a mini mindfulness practice if you are up for it!
- BE CREATIVE: Creativity is a great way to get out of our heads and into our body and spirit. make some old fashioned paper ring wreaths with your kids or some hand made Christmas cards, labels or ornaments.
- INTENTION: Set an intention every morning about how the day will unfold. You are in control of what you eat and being clear about THAT, may help to smooth out your day in other areas too.
- GRATITUDE: A daily gratitude list is an empowering way to end each day. Thank yourself for 3 things that you feel good about at the end of the day. Give yourself credit where due, appreciate what others have done and the positive aspects of your day.
- HELP OTHERS: When we focus our attention to being of service to others, it takes us out of our own self centredness. The contradiction in that is that we get the huge benefit of FEELING GOOD and WORTHY when we help others. Is there a volunteer opportunity that you can do? Helping an elderly neighbour or family member with their shopping? Put on your thinking cap 🙂
- CONNECT: Having a peer to talk to can be a game changer. is there anyone going through a similar life change that you can help out and and vice versa? Use your coach as a sounding board too of course!
- REJOICE: In the way that your body is feeling leaner, your clothes are fitting better, that you aren’t hungry and that you are putting your health first.
All the suggestions laid out here can be taken in small pieces. One thing at a time and built upon. Any kind of mindfulness practice is about progress. Go forward through the holidays with a sense of balance between ease and rigour and you will come out into the new year feeling AWESOME!
And remember, we’ve got your back, call or e-mail or talk with your coach during your weekly check ins for fine tuning about any and all of this.