Take a Step Towards the Healthy and Happy Holidays You Want

Decisions
T
here’s a lot of tempting food around this time of year.

Many of the women I work with feel out of control with their eating, or rebellious about holding back on holiday treats, or rationalize that “it’s just once a year.”

So you eat. And eat.

And then you mentally beat yourself up. 

We’re not talking about a little, “Oh, I shouldn’t have eaten that.”

What often happens is a full-blown attack

We’re talking guilt. You say things to yourself like:

  • “I am so weak.”
  • “I’m so stupid.”
  • “I’m ugly.”
  • “I’m fat.”
  • “I hate my body.” 

You say things that are totally and completely UNTRUE! You say things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else. 

And it is a painful place to be.

I love the Dan Millman quote:

“You began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning—when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”

Let me repeat the key sentence:

“Making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”

This absolutely includes eating what you judge to be “bad” over the holidays. Or not being at what you feel is your optimal weight. Or not looking like a super model.

Beating yourself up is NOT helpful.

And it could very well end up making you feel so bad that you just give-up trying to eat healthy until the New Year.

If you found yourself driving in the wrong direction, would you just keep going for weeks trying to find your destination? Would you tell yourself how horrible you are because you’re not there?

Would you say to yourself, “Oh well. I’m lost. I might as well just keep driving until January 2?”

Think of all the extra miles you would add-on to the trip, and the possible damage that could be done to your car?

You can make a different choice. 

And there are lots of options. You can:

  • Pull over and ask for directions.
  • Turn around right now.
  • Start driving in what you know is the right direction, and focus on enjoying the occasional detour.

Often you put off taking care of yourself until Monday, the first of the year, or some deadline that is later.

Then when you get there, you may do well for a couple of days, only to feel overwhelmed and deprived and find yourself back to your old eating and exercise habits.

What if, instead, you committed to eating just a little bit healthier today?

Or moving your body in some way for 10 minutes?

Or celebrated all that you did that was healthy, instead of the few things you didn’t do?

  • Would that feel like you were headed in the right direction?
  • Would your self-talk be more supportive?
  • Would that make it easier to keep going tomorrow? Next week? On January 2? 

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Don’t just keep driving in the wrong direction by putting off eating healthy and exercising until everything is perfect.

The only perfect time to start taking care of yourself is right now. Even if it’s just one tiny step towards the body—and life—you want.

Together we can do it!

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Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Putting off eating healthy and exercising until everything is perfect? The only perfect time to start taking care of yourself is right now.

The 3 Keys to My Personal Transformation

From August 1, 2008 to August 1, 2009, I went from wearing a size 8 and running and working out regularly to busting out of size 14 pants and not working out at all.

After years of consistent exercise, I couldn’t believe I was starting over from scratch–again.

I was really struggling with getting back on track.

“Before” photo taken October 2009

While I hated where I was, I just couldn’t seem to find the energy to pull myself out of bed in the morning and move.

Three things were key to my turning around that situation.

  1. Accountability. Support is vital. Having a friend, coach, or group to turn to is huge!
  2. Progress not perfection. Counting every single thing you do during the day that could even be remotely considered part of a healthy lifestyle builds positive momentum.
  3. Mindset training. Shifting your thoughts from hating where you are to focusing on why you want to be fit, strong, and slim is the true secret to long-term weight-loss success. 

Here’s how I did it.

My friend, Julia, was my first accountability partner and we checked in with each other every day to cheer each tiny success and reframe any “stumble.” (Thank you, Julia! I couldn’t have done it without you!)

I set small, attainable goals for how much time I would move my body. Starting with a goal of just 10 minutes a day, I counted walking the dogs, vigorous vacuuming, and even a long walk across a parking lot to my car. I literally counted anything and everything that involved moving. A few weeks of meeting that minimal goal and I bumped it up to 20 minutes, and so on.

And I wrote out all the reasons I wanted to be fit, strong, and slim on index cards—and I read them everyday to retrain my brain while I was retraining my body.

Changing my mindset, focusing on my success, and having a supportive person to report my successes to made all the difference in the world.

Today, I love my body and life more than I thought possible!

I regularly work out vigorously for 25 to 60 minutes, six mornings a week. I eat healthy foods most of the time, and I wear between a size 4 and 6. And I’ve kept the weight off now for more than two years!

“After: photo taken November 10, 2012. Photo by Lindsay A. Miller

I didn’t get here overnight. But by slowly and steadily making those small decisions towards a healthier me, I built momentum and achieved my goals.

And you can do it, too.

If you are already working out regularly, awesome! How can you push yourself just a little bit further?

If you are changing your energetic momentum towards a healthier you:

  • What is the minimum you can do today that will make you feel like you are making progress?
  • What are the reasons you want to be fit, strong, and slim?
  • Who can you turn to get the necessary support and accountability?

Just consistently making those small decisions to move in the direction of who you want to be will help you achieve the body—and life—you want.

Together we can do it!

Doing Your Best Sometimes Means Rest

Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

From One of the The Four Agreements

don Miguel Ruiz

 

I am treating myself gently.

While I’m feeling much better, rest and self-care feels like the wisest path back to physical balance.

It wasn’t too long ago that I would have made myself get up and workout anyway.

There’s a fine line between knowing when to push past mental resistance and when to ease up and give your body a needed break.

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to listen to your body and honor its messages.

  • How often do you give in? Are you regularly skipping treats and working out most of the time? Or do you scarf down every treat thinking it will be your last one and often blow off moving your body? It gets easier to tell when your body needs a little TLC when you are more consistent in your actions.
  • Take out the judgment—yours or anyone else’s. Just observe what’s going on with you. Skipping an occasional workout because it feels like what you need in the moment doesn’t mean you’re a slacker. When you take out the self-criticism, you can tell if there is a pattern of negative thought that needs to be shifted, or if this a positive step of self-care.
  • Listen to your body. How is your overall energy level? If taking a shower is exhausting, your body is screaming for rest. If you feel cruddy, but still have energy to get everything done, a gentle workout may actually help boost your immune system.
  • Regularly meditate.  When you practice quieting your mind, the messages of your body become clearer. The key is to listen to them, and not ignore them like I did.

You are the only one who truly knows what is best for you. Learning to listen to yourself and trust your judgment takes practice, but is an important part of loving your way slim.

Together we can do it!

 

Getting Back on Track After Thanksgiving

Nothing else in your experience responds as quickly as your own physical body to your patterns of thought.

Abraham-Hicks

For the first time in two years, my body let me know just before Thanksgiving that I was not following my own advice about loving myself for optimal wellness.

In other words, I was sick over the holiday.

The reminder to tend to my own self-care was actually a message I’d been getting for several weeks.

But I had exciting things underway with travel for a business mastermind retreat, professional photo session, and VIP day with my coach where we created plans for me to launch a new website on December 13, start a new Love Your Way Slim coaching program on January 7, and hold a beachside retreat for 8 women in Charleston, South Carolina, in April. Plus my folks were arriving for five days to celebrate Thanksgiving.

I was focused on “doing.” And it felt like “too much” happening at once.

There is so much more to wellness than checking your workout off your “to-do” list and eating relatively healthy foods.

A significant part of optimal wellness is believing in your wellness and your capacity to deal with any outer situation.

The purpose of life is to give you a chance to be the

grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held

about Who You Are. When challenges arrive, then,

move straight to clarity: This is what you came for.

Now rise to this occasion, and know that you have

every resource with which to create the right and

perfect outcome.

Neale Donald Walsch

The good news is not feeling well forced me to take some time to “Be.” I used the time to rest, meditate, spend quality time with my family, and read a book that felt like the next logical step in my own spiritual development.

And I focused on what I know.

  • Almost all illness and injury is evidence of being out of balance and is temporary. Wellness is your natural state of being.
  • You are unique, powerful, gifted, resourceful, and loved. A great part of optimal wellness is seeing yourself that way.
  • You are never, ever, given a challenge you cannot overcome.

I am grateful that my body gave me a great reminder to take the time to rest and reflect on my beliefs about myself, what I am capable of, and what I deserve, and to tap into what is really important to me.

How are your current beliefs impacting your optimal wellness? Are they helping you be the “the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are?”

If not, how do you need to change how you think about you?

Together we can do it!