Choose well this holiday season by choosing you.
Health is precious, which also includes feeling good, day in and day out, so protect it.
- Drink water – divide your weight by 2, and drink this calculated number in ounces.
- Don’t sacrifice sleep. Aim for 8+ hours a night. We need more sleep in the winter. Can you tell?
- Journal daily. Jot down your feelings and a list of gratitude.
- Track habits, not your calories.
- Remember food is fuel by honoring physical hunger. Emotional hunger feels real but is for a very specific thing or craving and comes on strong. Real hunger is a quieter sensation and much more manageable. Do you let yourself feel real hunger?
If you want to dig deeper, let’s touch on the hard stuff…
- Goals around this time of year are to either lose weight or maintain weight. You must step back and realistically evaluate what makes sense for you. Once you make that decision, commit to a plan (see below for more information to help you with that).
- Empowerment and affirmations – can you count on yourself? Even if you feel like you cannot, fake it until you make. Choose an affirmation to repeat to yourself daily, to turn this thinking around. “Of anyone in the world, I can count on myself.”
- Your best tool to ground yourself, to improve your health, mindset, even sleep, is a blank notebook or journal. If you struggle with this, invest in the “5 Minute Journal.” There is even a version for kids. You can make this a family affair.
- Collect any data you need to get to know yourself better, and collect facts that will help keep you motivated. I highly recommend taking the Gretchen Rubin quiz to uncover your tendencies in adopting new habits, do a finger prick food sensitivity test (I recommend a test from KBMO Diagnostics), journal your food to see if you have episodes of mindless eating, weigh/measure your body, use tape measurements weekly (if you have a hard time separating the number on the scale to your worth). You are worthy.
- Understand your mind and your demons. How do you talk to yourself? Do you have any internal beliefs that you are not enough, unfit, incapable, etc. Understand where these thoughts have come from (perhaps childhood). Next, separate these voices and beliefs from yourself, yet embrace them at the same time. These voices are part of us and will be around forever. View these voices as a much younger, child-like version of yourself, that needs to be parented and advised to view the situation in a more mature way. These voices/beliefs can be viewed as benign, but just like holding a piece of paper, it’s not heavy. Yet, if we hold a piece of paper for days and years, it weighs a lot. Don’t sweep these voices under the rug, and learn to not dull the feelings from them with food.
- Find a way to self-soothe that isn’t food. Around the holidays we are exposed to a lot of good and stressful emotions. When we learn to feel our feelings and create an outlet for them, we practice self-care.
- Learn and then use the Thought Model (below) to gain confidence in reaching any goal you have, health-related or not.
Thought Model – 5 Steps – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- The Circumstance – facts of what happened (Not the boss yelled at me. The boss told me I was doing a bad job). This is a neutral fact.
- Thoughts. Step back and think about what you’re thinking. Do a thought download on paper or phone/computer. Understand the buzz in your head. Let it out. Do this for 5 minutes straight; you will surprise yourself with what all you try to cover up. Do it on whatever topic you want. About your job, about your weight, about your child, whatever is consuming you.
- Emotions – a situation creates thoughts, thoughts fuel emotions.
- Actions– emotions lead to actions. Our thoughts create our results.
- Results – if we thought differently about something, we’d feel differently, we’d make ideal actions and get the results we want. Let me paint you a few examples below.
- Circumstance (facts) – I have a body, a business and I am alive
- Thought – I’m plugging through, good enough
- Feeling – Unmotivated, resignation
- Action– I’ll continue doing the same thing
- Result – No growth in my life or health, and business is stagnant
- Circumstance– I have a body, a business and I am alive
- IMPROVED Thought– Just a little more (compassion, effort, awareness, pushing myself past my comfort zone).
- Feeling – Empowered, purpose, motivated
- Action – Step up workouts, craft a plan, look at ways to improve/grow business, more attention to nutrition
- Result – Moving everything to the next level, I am stronger physically and mentally, I am more confident
There is never a time when you are not responsible for how you feel. It is not what happens to you, it is what you believe about what happens to you that causes your feelings.
- Circumstance (fact) – The picture of my body in the mirror
- Thought – I am disgusted
- Feeling – Depressed, disgust, disconnection, shame
- Action – Squeeze into clothes that are too tight because I refuse to buy a bigger size, mentally beat myself up, go and eat a bunch of processed foods.
- Result – Continue to gain weight, feel uncomfortable in my clothes, emotional pain/suffering
- Circumstance –The picture of my body in the mirror
- IMPROVED Thought– This is my body
- Feeling – Awareness, neutral feeling, curious
- Action – Find clothes that fit and flatter my current body, keep working towards my goals
- Result – Clothes I feel good in, less emotional pain, wanting from a place that feels good
The best way I often find to change my thoughts is asking myself good questions. Ex: What if losing weight was easy? What would I do? What if having diabetes was easier or more fun? How would it be? Our brain will seek solutions and we will gain empowerment.
Recipe: Real Food Fried Apples
These are delicious and do not require any additional sugar as the natural sweetness from the apples is enough. This is a great alternative to more decadent desserts, such as apple pie, but far more forgiving on health. Lower in sugar, lower impact in spiking blood glucose levels, more favorable on gut health, energy levels and wellness goals.
- 2 peeled and cored apples
- 2 tbsp of grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is a personal favorite)
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- Sea salt/pink salt to taste
Peel, slice, and core the apples, while a medium skillet is being heated to medium heat.
Add all the ingredients to the pan, while stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes, all depending on your texture preference. Serves 2; ~15g of carbohydrates and 175 calories.
Options: you can chop the apples in bite-size pieces and you can also add Pascha 100% cocoa chocolate chips at the end or even cocoa nibs.