Merry Christmas

As the long-awaited Christmas Holiday is here, I hope that everyone’s wishes and dreams came true but the reality is that after the decorations, presents and food are gone, we are left to think about what was, what could have been and what we will hope will be next Christmas.

So many face unrealistic expectations this time of year and place unrealistic expectations on a day of the year, the season of the year and mostly on other people.  Happiness, satisfaction and self-esteem all come from inside you.  A gift, a new outfit, a new treat or even a single word from the “right” person doesn’t create real happiness, that comes from inside you.  These things can give you a reason to smile but a smile only lasts for a moment or does it?

Planning for Happiness:

1.  Make up your mind that you are going to be happy and set your mind.

2.  Plan for it.  Make of list of the things that make you smile/happy.

3.  Work your plan;which means to do or experience the things on your list.

This might sound simplistic, but happiness is one of the most basic and simple things we can experience.  What makes me smile?  A sunny day, a funny joke, an act of kindness, the wagging tail which greets me when I come home, the laughter of a child, a fluffy cloud, Caribbean blue water,   the sun warming my skin, the could go on and on.

Gift yourself the gift of happiness this year!

Merry Christmas!

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Weights & Balances (Issue #29) December 25, 2013

December 25 2013

TGIF! – (Takes Guts to Ignore Food!)

This is the time of year where everyone starts acting like the next great baker and all kinds of goodies appear in break rooms all over the country.  Healthy eating can go out the door very quickly unless you have a plan.  Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  The fall and winter holiday season have their own special challenges.  Between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Holiday Parties, and New Year’s Eve celebrations there is a constant stream of traditionally unhealthy foods for 6-8 weeks depending on the year.   One meal will not wreck a health conscious plan but six to eight weeks of total abandon can leave your clothes much tighter and your body not feeling its best.  Now is the time to plan your strategy for the holiday season.

How can I ignore that cake/pie/cookies in the break room?

You don’t have to ignore it, but be ready to accept the consequences of over indulgence if you don’t ignore it.   Create a strategy before you indulge.  For example, I would, if it is really something I want to get, I will get only one or a smaller serving if it is something that has to be cut.  Take my serving away from that area, savor and enjoy it and remind myself that I had some and I do not need any more.  And for us Weight Watchers, track it!  I might even go for a short walk afterwards just to change the rhythm/environment.

If it is something I know could “trigger” me to eat more or to excess, I would ignore it all together and grab a piece of fruit or veggies to eat instead.  This would be a good time to for for a short walk if you feel very tempted to eat it.

We are having a potluck, I have no idea what people are going to bring, what can I do?

Bring something you know you can eat without worry/guilt and put a healthy serving on your plate.  fill in the empty spots with the best healthy choices you can find such as simple vegetables without heavy sauces.  Tossed salads can fill in a big spot on your plate.  Just remember to go light on the dressing or use balsamic vinegar in place of dressing.  Fine a piece of lean meat or a very small serving of lean meat if it is smothered in gravy or sauces.

Can’t I just have a bite?

If you are able to stop at one bite, of course!  Just remember that even  bite of this and that adds up!  And if you have a bite, be sure to track it!

Tracking 1

Surviving the Bermuda Triangle of Weight Loss

Surviving the Bermuda Triangle of Weight Loss

A friend said we are approaching the Bermuda Triangle of Weight loss (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) and asked everyone what their choices/plans are for the season.  The choices she posed: put weight loss goals aside and just “forget it”, try to maintain the loss you have already achieved or keep focused as you press forward and continue to lose not letting the holidays detour your journey.

With only a couple of exceptions, all chose the last option.  The reality is, most people will end feeling like the first option is the only way when the holidays come around.   At New Year’s they will choose to start over with a new year’s resolution to be healthier.   Why will most people fall into the first option?  I think for various reasons, but the first reason is a lack of planning.   Being successful in times of food temptations requires pre-planning.  “Winging it” at a dinner party usually will not yield great results.

The second reason I think people often fall into the “forget it” category is that the desire to eat is greater than the desire to be healthier.  You have to want to and no one can make you do anything you do not really desire to do.  Try sitting down and writing down all the reasons why you want to be healthier and keep this list handy.   When the temptation comes, pull out that list and read it.  Do the reasons still apply?  If so, step away from the fruit cake!  If not, you need to explore what has changed and write down what is now valid.   Again, keep the list and pull it out when you are feeling the need to speed feed!  (E.g. overeat, binge)

Lastly, I think the reason many will fall into the first option is just too tired/overwhelmed/stressed out.  With so many activities going on, I think we often over commit ourselves and when we are tired and overwhelmed were not able to make the best healthy choices.  Simple tasks seem difficult.  Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier and making a list of things to do but assign a priority of “one” to things that HAVE to be done in the next 24 hours (e.g., a bill is due, a performance must be attended, an appointment) a “two” to the things that can be done in a couple of days (e.g., getting groceries, doing laundry, filling up the car with gas)   and a “three” to things that aren’t’ really necessary but ‘nice’ (e.g., picking up an extra gift, decorating the guest room,  etc.).

During the holidays simplify your life as much as you can.  That is a tall order but prioritize your responsibilities, your body will love you for it! To help manage stress, do not let your workout plans fall by the wayside.  Make exercise a daily priority.  Even if it is taking a brisk walk around the mall before you begin your shopping, move daily!  Park your car as far as you can from the store, walk a few extra steps.  When doing housework, turn on your favorite music and dance as you dust and vacuum though the house.  Do squats as you are picking up toys, clothes from off of the floor.    Lunge to the laundry room.  Run up the stairs.  Skip to the mail box.

I realized that I do not have the Bermuda Triangle to be concerned about; I have more like a Bermuda Hexagon!   I not only have those holidays, I have a birthday, a cruise vacation, and a  wedding to attend during that time!   Yikes! I have to get my planning done and really watch my priorities during those times too!

Don’t let your efforts to live a healthier life get lost in the Bermuda Triangle of Weight Loss this year!

  1. Make a choice
  2. Make a plan
  3. Work your plan
  4. Get plenty of rest
  5. Prioritize your responsibilities
  6. Exercise daily