Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

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.

The Gift of Wellness for My Birthday

Sunday is my birthday! My fabulous folks are driving into town as I type to help celebrate. I anticipate that we will have a wonderful time, and I already know that delicious food and drink will be plentiful.

In the past, celebratory weekends like this were the triggers that would send my diet and exercise program spiraling out of control, sometimes taking weeks, months, and even years to get back into alignment.

Fortunately, I’ve come far enough that I’m no longer worried about that happening, but I do want to get back to work Monday afternoon feeling physically, mentally, and spiritually good! No food hangovers for me, thank you very much.

But I also don’t want to be so rigid that I’m not having any fun. It’s my birthday after all. My family will be here and I want to celebrate!

The key for me is setting some intentions and doing some planning before family arrives and chaos ensues. Once that happens, it’s too easy just to open my mouth and start shoveling in the goodies.

I also find accountability extremely helpful, so if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you fabulous readers to help with that. So here’s my plan.

Moving my body:

Fortunately there are only two workouts that I have to plan for—tomorrow (Saturday) and Monday, as Sunday is a planned rest day.

Typically I do my workouts in the area outside our guest room. My being in that space while guests are trying to sleep is inconvenient and uncomfortable for all of us. So I have brought down my exercise mat, resistance bands, weights, and a workout DVD that I can set up and do in the living room.

I will do my work out on Saturday first thing in the morning so we have plenty of uninterrupted day to get out and enjoy.

Monday, my workout will actually be later in the morning so that I can spend time with my folks before they head back home. Once they are gone, I can move my equipment back upstairs and resume my normal workout routine.

Lots of walking while they are here should be an added bonus.

Eating:

For me, this is going to be about moderation.

My Mom has already sent me notice of all my favorite treats she’s bringing, and we have reservations out for dinner Saturday night and Sunday brunch. If I’m not careful it could turn into a three-day free-for-all.

Starving myself all day in preparation for a big dinner doesn’t work for me as I get too hungry and significantly overeat at dinner. My normal eating plan includes five to six smaller meals throughout the day, so I’m going to stick with that.

A small piece of the ginger cake my Mom is bringing will be a snack instead of being tacked on the end of a large meal.

Where I can, I will make healthier choices.

When we are eating out, I will immediately pack up at least half of the meals to take home to freeze for a future time so that I won’t overeat.

I will limit alcohol each day to one glass of wine or champagne.

Afternoons are my hardest time, and it’s easy to dive into the nuts, cheese, and crackers that my Mom likes to serve. I will plan that as one of my small meals and be mindful of the portions I am choosing. A good way to do that is to actually portion out what I am going to eat onto a plate instead of just grazing for an hour.

I will be mindful when my stomach says it is full.

I will savor what I am eating in the moment and consciously appreciate it. The full flavor is only experienced in the first few bites. Once I sense the flavor falling off, I will stop eating.

I will look for satisfaction in delicious moments with my parents and husband, I will soak in the ambiance of the restaurants and surroundings, I will bask in the love that I am giving and am being given. I will nurture myself in ways that don’t involve food.

OK! I think I’m ready for a fun and satisfying birthday weekend where the indulgences will satisfy my soul and maintain the wellness of my body. I’ll report how I did in my blog Monday.

How does taking the time to plan how you will maintain your wellness while celebrating special events, holidays, etc., help you achieve your goals? How can you keep a free day from turning into a free-for-all?

Together we can do it!

Take a Restraining Order Out On Yourself

How long would you want to hang around someone who was constantly critical of how you looked, what you did, what you said, or how you acted?

Would they be the friend you went to for support when you were down, or to celebrate your success? Let’s hope not!

Loving support is about building you up, cheering you on, and having someone who believes in their heart that you can do anything that you set your mind on achieving.

Now look at how you treat yourself. Are you critical and demanding or loving and supportive?

If you are like most women, you say things to yourself that you would never say to a friend or loved one.

I’ve watched women give themselves a little slap along with a bit of self-criticism. “I should have thought of that.” Slap. “I’m so sassy.” Slap. “I can’t believe I did that.” Slap.

Many verbally abuse themselves for things like not being able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of real challenges, being less than perfect, and not looking the way fashion magazines say they should look.

In relationships where someone is verbally or physically abusing another, a court will step in and issue a restraining order to the keep the other person from inflicting any more harm.

It’s time to take a restraining order out on yourself.

Begin to ease up on the demands and criticisms you direct towards yourself. Look for and celebrate the signs of the progress you are making rather than the distance you haven’t yet traveled. Catalog and have confidence in the things you do well.

Treat yourself as you would treat another.

What can you do to draft yourself as an ally to support you in achieving your goals? How does changing how you treat yourself alter how others treat you? How much better does loving and supporting yourself feel?

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

Create A “No Regrets” Policy

I haven’t been perfect this weekend. While I got all my workouts in, my eating has been a little on the high-calorie side, as is apt to happen when family gathers and we celebrate a birthday—in this instance, my husband’s.

In the past, a splurge like I experienced this weekend would have been enough to derail me. I used to suffer from a severe case of perfectionitis where if I didn’t do my diet and exercise perfectly, I would be so hard on myself that I would give up.

Fortunately, I now have a personal “No Regrets” policy. This gives me the ability to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best I can, and to celebrate those actions that are moving me towards my goal.

Being more tolerant and supportive of myself has helped me lift the “all or nothing” requirement that I used to have for success.

This feeling that you have to do your diet and exercise program perfectly or you’ve “blown it” is very common amongst dieters and is one of the primary reasons that people fail to meet their weight-loss goals.

The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect. If you eat a cookie or two, it’s not the end of your diet. But if you give up then and down a pint of ice cream on top of it—well that’s going to be much harder to recover from and your progress for the week will likely be stymied. Too many weeks with no progress and the motivation to continue seeps away and dies.

If you slip, it’s much better to pick back up right where you are.

One way to do this is to let go of regrets. Those cookies might not have been on your eating plan, but hopefully you enjoyed it, and now it’s over and done. Focus on getting back on track with your next meal.

By creating a personal “No Regrets Policy,” you more easily and consistently move towards the best possible version of you.

What do you need to tell yourself to get back on track immediately after you have been less than perfect? What can you do to be more tolerant and supportive of yourself? What difference does that make in helping you meet your goals?

Together we can do it!