Houston Forward Times

11 December 2013 Written by  Valecia Weeks

Holiday Training for a Healthier Lifestyle

CONGRATULATIONS!  You made it!  You survived the Thanksgiving temptations; but now ask yourself, “how will I handle the monster sized temptations, all the barrage of holiday parties over the next month?”  There will be office buffets, neighborhood gatherings and family get-togethers.  Brace yourself, sticking to a healthy eating plan can be a great challenge, to say the least.

 While it will probably be more fun to overindulge during the next 4 weeks, the best way to defend your mid-section against holiday eating disasters is a good plan of actions: “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Try using these tips as a basic plan of action.  Please feel free to come up with your own.

When someone asks you why you are not eating the tempting food options, tell them you are in the training field learning to lead a healthier lifestyle. People are so used to hearing ladies use the phrase that they are watching their weight that its value is sometimes minimized.  Think about it, you can be in training for anything.  You are just choosing to train for living a healthier life.

Make it a mental practice to pass up certain foods so that when the foods that so tempt you, are presented before you, it will be easier to actually follow through with your plan when the temptation stares you in the face and tries to pull you in.  It’s just like acting.  You role play and imagine, in advance, pushing that big fat piece of moist lemon cake away.

If your kids are all grown up, consider going away for the holidays to reduce stress.  This way you are getting away from the weariness of thinking of how much extra work the holidays require and it will also give your kids the opportunity to establish their own family traditions.  Shortly after the holiday, try getting together as an extended family a few weeks later once the holiday craziness has settled down.

Be creative. Find ways to spend quality time with family and friends that DON’T include food.  Some good examples are playing cards and board games, having some good ol’ friendly competition and laughs, and getting out old photos and videos of holidays past.

With so many things going on during the holidays, you might feel like you are on a treadmill and can’t get off. Step back, meditate for a while and calm down. Feeling calmer can help you feel more positive.

The holidays can evoke a variety of feelings and emotions such as stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, and financial constraints, etc.  If you are feeling emotionally drained during this holiday, find a way to “give back.”  That usually helps you realize what is really important and also helps you see that your life could be much worse.  EAT, DRINK, AND BE THIN this holiday season.