When this time of the year rolls around, a lot of people talk to me about the stress around eating, gaining weight, having no control at parties, traveling, and feeling terrible after eating too much. Last week, we gave tips for staying sane around food and not letting it control your every thought so that you don’t feel like you’re going completely off the deep end with your choices.
Every year people tell me that with all the extra stress in November and December, they put their goals on the back-burner and decide it’s easier to “get back on track” after the New Year.
This is the classic all-or-nothing thinking…and it’s one of the biggest mindset issues that gets in the way of being healthy, fit, and feeling like you’re reaching your goals even during this stressful season. And trust me, as a recovering Type-A perfectionist, I know the feeling of thinking “if I can’t do it perfectly, then I’m not going to do it at all” or worse, try to be perfect, then beat myself up for it later when I feel like I’m not.
You don’t have to keep starting over again (on Monday, the next month, or in the New Year) or get in a situation where you have to work harder just to get back to where you were before you threw in the towel. You can break this cycle once and for all.
There’s a much easier approach…and it involves ditching the perfectionist mentality and thinking about how this is a lifestyle.
Living a healthy lifestyle means being flexible. It’s not about feeling guilty or deprived. Instead, it’s value-driven and is based on your personal feelings and beliefs. It’s something you are committed to – it’s not just a fad. You do it because you want to and know how it makes you feel in the moment.
Taking this approach is incredibly empowering. That means you have the option to choose to enjoy your grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie, and to choose not to have the store-bought sugar cookies that your coworker brings into the office. Or you can choose to go for a walk after dinner and get fresh air instead of watching another episode of your latest Netflix binge.
The point is that “all-or-nothing” thinking just sets you up for being “good” or “bad.” There actually is an in between. It’s not “am I being perfect” it’s “am I making decisions that make me feel good in this moment and I can continue for the rest of my life.” It’s not black and white. Just make the space for your health and well-being.
Your best asset this holiday season is having a flexible mindset with feeling good as a priority. It has nothing to do with willpower or your ability to stick with a set of strict rules.
That means you’ll feel amazing during the holiday season…and you’ll also feel pretty great in January when you don’t have to “start over.”
And when it comes to food, remember:
It’s better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude than the right food with the wrong attitude. And when it comes to exercise, every little bit counts. Movement throughout the day adds up.
You don’t need to write off the entire season as if it’s an all out overindulgence for an entire month. Take it one holiday party or celebration at a time. One meal is not going to make a huge difference in your health, as long as you don’t let it affect what you do before, after, and the days following. Do your best to eat and do what makes you happy, and keep going back to the commitment to feel good at the end of each day.
If you feel like you need extra support around the holidays or want to hit the ground running in January, you can learn more and apply for Adrien’s Concierge program here.
Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.
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Alexandria, VA 22314