How to Overcome Holiday Hurdles

Looking back on this year, sometimes I think 2020 has flown by while other times I feel as if this year has gone by slowly.  Anyone else feel that way?

Either way, it is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  These holiday times tend to be obstacles for people who are wanting to lose weight, stay away from inflammatory foods, and avoid overeating.

Many times these obstacles are mental hurdles that we have to overcome using whatever tools we can to help us stay focused and on track.  No one is forcing you to eat the certain foods that are in front of you (I know, I know, some of us do have that one relative who doesn’t take no for an answer and makes you try whatever they brought to the table).

To overcome these mental obstacles, here are some tools that you can use this holiday season.

1. Make a plan

Going into the holiday season with some kind of plan is always helpful when trying to navigate this difficult time when working on your goals.  Even if you cannot stick with your plan 100%, you at least have a general outline of a plan that you can still follow.  These plans can include your meal times.  Some people like to snack throughout the day when cooking Thanksgiving meals or spending more time with family.  Establishing your meal times can help deter you from grazing throughout the day.  Another form of a plan that you can make is the food that you aim to eat.  Writing down ahead of time the foods that you are hoping to consume that day (if you have a general idea of what foods will be available) helps you establish that goal for yourself.  I say write down these plans because you are more likely to stick to a goal that is written down somewhere.  Telling others your goals can go a long way as well!

2. Bring foods that will help you with your goals

If you are in a situation where you are not preparing all of the foods for the holidays, you can volunteer to bring something that is a part of your plan.  This way, you know there is something available that will not deter you from reaching your goals.  This is also something that you have full control over when it comes to how it was prepared and how much you know that you should have to help you with your goals.

3. Be honest with yourself about your expectations

Sometimes, we can go into these events and gatherings expecting ourselves to be 100% on plan and perfect for us to reach our goals.  However, that is not always the case.  Understanding that you are not perfect can help with the expectations that you are setting if they are not met.  This also helps inhibit the “all or nothing” mentality that many weight loss clients seem to fall into.  An example of this is when clients will eat one small thing off their plan and that usually leads to thoughts like, “Well I already went off track, so I can keep eating the foods that I had not planned on eating.”  No one is perfect.  Do you need to read that again?  No one is perfect, so change your mindset to focus on your progress instead of striving for perfection.  Is your goal this year to eat one slice of pumpkin pie compared to the two slices you had last year?  That is still progress.

4. Be honest with your loved ones

This is probably the most difficult one for many people, and I can certainly understand why.  Being open about your journey and your goals can make you feel vulnerable, and some people do not want to be seen as a failure if they do not achieve their goals or in the time period that they had hoped.  However, expanding your support system and other people who can help hold you accountable is helpful for achieving your goals, especially during these obstacles over the holidays.  Letting others know how they can support you can go a long way.  For example, is there something that a sibling could say to help you refocus on your progress?  Many clients do not like being told something a certain way, so letting others know exactly what they can say to you that will be helpful for you staying on track.

5. Remember, the holidays are more than just being about food

Our society is definitely surrounded by events that seem to center around food.  The holiday season, though, should be about more than just the different foods that you may have once a year.  It is supposed to be about spending time with your loved ones and sharing what you are most thankful for at this moment.  Enjoy the holiday and the time that you have with others because if this year has shown us anything it’s that life can suddenly be changed in the blink of an eye.

If you or someone you love is wanting to lose weight, lower inflammation, lower blood sugar or blood pressure, come off of medications, balance their hormones, or change their overall health, give us a call!  We can help you take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle as we do focus on the person as a whole, body and mind included!

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