I just want you to know that I’m not here to tell you what to do, think, or feel.
(And as your personal trainer I’m not here to make you feel guilty, ashamed, anxious, or deprived). Instead, I’m here to help you think through the questions. To help you choose more consciously, with awareness and intention.
And to help you keep it real. Because holiday foods taste great when made with love and shared with friends and family. They just do.
So here is an idea…
Enjoy some real cookies this holiday season. Or some other thing you enjoy but think is “off limits”.
Just do it consciously. Mindfully. Joyfully. And — as I teach in my programs — SLOWLY.
Instead of scarfing it down and waiting for the guilt, savor it. Taste the layers of flavor and try to enjoy every last one of them. Stay present and checked in. Choose with purpose. Then move on.
Because, with the right approach:
You can enjoy food, connect with others, and be healthy and fit.
Along with: choosing with purpose; slowing down and taking a moment to really savor and enjoy; looking for moments of true joy rather than getting distracted by guilt, anxiety, or regret.
But it’s not always easy. Even if you’re not ready to embrace this mindset because restricting is your only way to feel in control. Even if you can’t believe that enjoying certain foods guilt-free is possible. Even if you feel stuck in the middle of a nasty cycle of restrict, collapse, shame, repeat.
Even if you’re poking your belly angrily as you read this right now, thinking about the crappy cholesterol test results you just got and muttering,
“Yeah right, that’s easy for you to say, because you’re a Fitness Guy, and I can’t even get to the gym twice a week with my crazy schedule / shoulder injury / kids.”
Because, I’m 100 percent sure that connection, love, and enjoyment can exist while working toward better health. And maybe, somewhere along the way, I can help you discover the same thing.
What to do next
1. Think about what brings you joy over the holidays.
What really fills your tank? What rejuvenates and renews you? See if you can do more of that. It doesn’t have to revolve around food or eating. But it could.
2. Think about the choices you make, and how you make them.
Remember, it’s not about making the “right” choice like a Good Fitness Person. It’s about making a choice that’s right for you, right now, and being aware of how you got to that decision.
3. Savor the moments.
Whatever you choose to eat, drink, or do during the holidays: Take the time to “check in”, pay attention, and be present with those things.
4. Reach out.
Strong relationships are an important part of good health. Connect with friends, family, and whoever else you consider your “group”. If you’d like to add more supporters to your team, consider the professionals out there. Like myself (selfless plug I know)
5. Give back.
It’s stressful when your gaze is constantly fixed on yourself, your body, and your food decisions. So look outward. Consider how you might be able to share good health and well-being with others during this important time of the year.
In the end, whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate…
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy all that the season has to offer.