Wellness Tip of the Day: Going from Halloween to New Year’s with balance, grace, and fulfillment takes awareness, planning, and celebrating the smallest victories.
Are you living as the person you intend to be? Do your actions line up with your desires for the life you want to create?
Often the answer is “No.” For instance, you may want with all your heart to be fit and lean, but you consistently overeat or blow off exercise.
I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. For the past couple of months, I’ve overeaten or made less than stellar choices on the weekends. While I am happy to say that the over-indulgences weren’t nearly what they would have been in the past, I still made the conscious choices to eat and drink more than is absolutely best for me.
The good news is I’m continuing to make progress on my 18-week Transformation Challenge—I’m more flexible and am getting stronger, I’m seeing muscles develop, and my waist is a little slimmer—but the improvements have definitely slowed.
So the questions I’ve been asking myself for the past couple of days are, “Who do I intend to be and what do I need to do to Be that person?”
One limiting belief I recognized is the feeling that I have to be either or. For instance, either I am fit and lean, Or I enjoy myself with family and friends on the weekends. Is it possible to be fit and lean And enjoy myself with friends and family?
Switching that Or to And feels much more powerful to me. It’s giving myself permission to more fully be the person I want to be—and still meet my goals. The key now is to find that balance that lets me speed up my progress And still enjoy my friends and family when I get to see them.
Empowering myself with that “And,” however, may not look like I expect. I think it means I stick to my healthy eating 90 percent of the time, allow myself a little bit less dietary leeway than I have been taking, And figure out how to enjoy myself in other ways than with food.
By making the switch from Or to And, I’m opening myself up to solutions and possibilities that I might not even have noticed before. With a conscious effort to be present, creating a fit and lean body And enjoying friends and family is something I believe can be achieved.
Where are you limiting yourself by using Or instead of And? Do you feel like you have to be successful in business Or have a happy family? Be lean and fit Or are able to enjoy the foods you love?
What happens if you switch Or to And? How does that help you more fully engage in the actions that help you live as the person you intend to be?
Together we can do it!
Photo from www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I’m sitting here drinking a green protein shake (spinach, banana, flax-seed, vanilla protein powder, cold water, cinnamon, and ice) feeling good about getting back on track nutrition-wise.
My husband and I just returned from our first cruise, which we took to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. And boy, people are not exaggerating about the food on cruises. Delicious food is everywhere in massive quantities!
Before I left, I blogged about my plan to deal with food and exercise during the trip and asked you fabulous readers to help keep me accountable.
My intention was to enjoy myself and to feel like I was having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact.
While I didn’t write down what I ate every day (hey, I was on vacation!), knowing that I would be reporting to you all on how I did, I kept a running tab in my head and was planning to give myself a grade of “B” for how well I navigated the week.
But rereading my intention has me re-evaluating that grade. I actually met that intention spot on! I never felt deprived, kept my indulgences mostly in balance, and feel the momentum to resume my healthy habits. Good on me!
Here’s how I did.
Food—I avoided the bread basket all but the night of our anniversary and selected fairly healthy meals. I did eat a lot more beef than normal, but since I am allergic to fish or seafood, I would have been eating the same chicken dish over and over otherwise. Instead of my normal five to six small meals it was definitely more like three larger meals with one snack, but for the most part I avoided empty calories and indulged in healthy fruit because it was so good and fresh.
Sweets—My wonderful husband, David, surprised me which a romance package that included two evenings where appetizers and desserts delivered to our room. The good news was most of the canapés had fish or seafood, so I couldn’t eat them. But the desserts definitely got eaten. Other than that, I ordered dessert every night, but limited myself to a few bites.
Alcohol—The plan was to stick to one cocktail or glass of wine a night. Here I did pretty well. I only had two glasses of champagne twice—the night we arrived when David had scheduled a bottle of champagne to be waiting on us in our room, and the actual day of our anniversary. If I was going to indulge, lower-calorie champagne was definitely the place to do it!
Exercise—We only hit the gym twice, but were walking, swimming, and active the other days. My body was letting me know that it was pretty good idea to also take a slight vacation from the gym. As a result, a slight back injury is feeling much better and I should be able to get back to hitting the workouts hard in the next week or two. And as soon as I finish this blog, I’m going to head upstairs to exercise.
Sleep—We did a good job of balancing our activities with adequate sleep. I definitely felt relaxed and rested at the end of the cruise.
Healthy Thoughts—Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts, as well as actions. One thing I noticed is that I felt much less self-conscious in my swimsuit than I have in the past. That is definite progress!
How I planned to evaluate my success at achieving balance over our vacation was that I would come home having maintained my weight and feeling good physically and mentally. While I didn’t weigh this morning, my jeans fit just fine and I do feel good. Mission accomplished!
Fun, rest, and relaxation are absolutely an important part of our wellness journeys. Maintaining balance is the key.
Together we can do it!
But I’m also aware that I will be facing lots of temptations, and it might be easy to let my attention to health and wellness slip a little—or even a lot. I’m already feeling vacation’s siren song of rest, relaxation, and indulgence.
Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts and actions no matter where you are, even a cruise. To me, it also means finding balance and a little bit of freedom without undoing all the mental and physical momentum I generate on a daily basis.
My intention is to enjoy myself and to feel like I’m having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact. To fulfill that, I’ve created a plan.
I will know my plan was a success if when I come back I have maintained my weight and feel good physically and mentally.
Select and Sample
One thing I know I will be facing is lots and lots of food options. It’s important to remember that there’s no way I am going to be able to eat everything I want, and trying to go there will mean paying for it later.
So I plan to use the plentiful food options to my advantage. What that means is that I will be able to select healthy food and portions most of the time.
My intention is that I will be selective and eat those treats that I truly want, but I am going to choose not to eat as much of them as I might want. A bite or two that I savor and enjoy is truly enough. I find that after that, the taste of what I’m eating becomes less intense and what I’m doing as I continue to eat is trying to regain that first taste-sensation.
Although I’m having visions of drinks with little umbrellas, celebratory champagne, and superb wine pairings, I am also going to be careful with alcohol, which is where empty calories can sneak in so easily.
What I’m going to do here is choose one each day. Once a day I will have either a Pina Colada, a glass of champagne, or a glass of wine with dinner. (And I will choose lower-calorie and better for me wine or champagne most often.) Since I normally don’t drink much, any one of those will be an indulgence. My head and body will thank me in the morning (and after the trip), if I maintain some moderation here. Drinking plenty of water during the day will also be key.
I’m bringing along protein bars and individual portion packs of almonds for quick and healthy snacks while on excursions. By not letting myself get too hungry between meals, I will be much more likely to stick to my plan.
Pack Workout Clothes
The ship we’re sailing on has a gym, outside track, climbing wall, surfing simulator, and even an ice rink! While I’m nursing a mild back injury, there should be plenty of fun ways for me to move my body every day.
A workout doesn’t have to be perfect to leave you feeling better and more energized. You just have to do it.
Catch Some Zs
One of the keys for making sure I stay on track while traveling is to get adequate rest, which can be a challenge in a strange bed hearing noises that I’m not used to, as well as having so many fun things to do that I’m not getting to bed until late.
I know what adequate rest means for me, so I intend have fun, but allow myself to get the sleep that I need.
I would also like to ask you fabulous readers to hold me accountable when I get back. Knowing that I’ll have to report to you on how I did at following my plan will absolutely help me think twice before sticking my fork into some delicious dish.
And if I do find that I drank a second glass of wine, heeded the call of dessert, or chose having fun over sleep, I won’t beat myself up. To achieve optimal wellness, we only need to be consistent, not perfect.
What do you do to maintain your wellness while on vacation? Please share the travel and vacation tips that have worked for you. The best way to learn is from each other.
Together we can do it!
Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net