Monday, November 24, 2008

Planning for the Holidays

It is important to have some plans in place that support your intention. Let's face it, intentions and affirmations all by themselves are not what it have to plan and take action. Remember the saying "the path to Hell is paved with good intentions"? Well that is true about intentions for our health...just replace Hell with Ill-Health and you get the picture!

I suggest you enlist the support of a few close friends and family members. Do not broadcast to the entire clan-- either on the work or home fronts --that you are on a diet or health journey or that you intend to maintain or lose weight over the holidays. Not everyone will be supportive of your goal. Others may be supportive but will try to help in their way, which may not be the best way for YOU.

Carefully choose your allies. Typically the best people to select are folks who are also health conscious, no matter what their weight is.

Set up the ground rules! Don't just ask people for support--tell them how you want to be supported.
  • Do you want someone to point out to you that what you are about to eat has 200 calories a bite?
  • Do you want a walking buddy so that you know you will keep your body moving when it would be easy to let that slide?
  • Do you want a person to be able to call when you are feeling "called" to eat?
  • Do you want someone who will listen to you express your feelings/stress/anxiety so that you don't stuff them down with food?
  • Do you want a friend to go to social gatherings with so that you know you have at least one person you can talk to rather than grab more food or drink?
Think about what you want in a support person. Then choose your person based on the type of support you want and if you believe that person can provide it for you. In other words, if you need someone to listen to you express your feelings, and your feelings are triggered most by your mother, then she might not be the best support buddy for that purpose.

You can have more than one support person--in fact I encourage it. Maybe Mom can't be your emotional support, but maybe she can help by preparing a favorite dish that is a healthy choice. Or maybe she is a great choice for going for walks after every meal!

Sometimes you don't have to let a person know you have selected them...for example, if you are going to be visiting family for the holidays and you decide you want to move your body more, you could enlist a sibling as a walking buddy. Or you could say "wow, I could really use a short stroll around the block after that delicious meal...anyone want to join me?" OR use the opportunity to have a little one-on-one time and select a different person and say, "Sis, we haven't gotten much time to catch up, how about just you and me go for a spin around the block and chat?" That way you get your body moving and you have a chance to visit with some of your favorite people away from the crowd!

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