Your Weekly Wednesday Wisdom
Getting right to the point today since most of you are probably busy preparing to cook, travel or both. I featured Dr. Charlie Seltzer on my radio show, Life in the Groove, this week. He had many suggestions and tips for Surviving and Thriving Through the Holidays. One statement really resonated with me. Thanksgiving is one meal, not the entire weekend. It’s not open season on over-indulgence. I will add this thought – don’t place so much value on food. You might salivate over the turkey or the stuffing or the sweet potato casserole. You might even say that you “love” pumpkin pie. I believe we love the concept of a Thanksgiving meal or the free ticket to eat beyond normal but we certainly don’t “love” food in the true sense of the word. We anticipate and look forward to what it represents. That could be love, comfort, fun, diversion, celebration, entitlement or a combination of many different things. I believe there is a significant and important distinction and it may change the way you approach all your meals, not just Thanksgiving. And now, hopping off my soap box so we can continue with this week’s Thrival tips. If you missed them, here is week one and two.
Holiday Survival Nutrition Tip #3: Do not accept unhealthy leftovers. This is my Achilles heel. One of my worst self-sabotaging behaviors is taking home a plate of leftovers for “my kids back home” or for all of us to share. Yes, those poor boys of mine who didn’t get to attend the party. I’ll just take a plate home of the fudge and Peppermint Bark. If you can honestly handle those enticements around your house, sure – go ahead and accept your host’s generous offer to rid herself of items she already knows she can’t resist but doesn’t want to throw away. I’m so bad that I’ve eaten half the plate (or all of it) before returning home. No mention of leftovers to the boys at that point so then I feel “icky” for two reasons. Say no to unhealthy offers of leftovers if there is even a tiny, slight, sliver of a chance that you will be tempted.
Holiday Survival Workout Tip #3: Create a few HSWs (Holiday Survival Workouts) that you know are efficient, easy to remember, fun and/or empowering and balanced. Use them as your go-to whenever needed. No brainers. Get ‘em done and get on with enjoying the season. My first suggestion is a combination of total body resistance work and short intervals. Tap all your major muscle groups with weight training, bodyweight exercises, tubing and bands or even a circuit of machines if you have access to a gym. Follow with 15-20 minutes of straight high intensity intervals. Big boost to your metabolism. Big boost to your mood and ability to handle stress. Important and critical to stay physically strong and healthy – your bones and joints, etc. And, enough variety to help time pass quickly if you’re feeling like it’s a bit of a chore rather than a gift – which it is, by the way – a gift, and a drug-free energy boost.
Holiday Survival Stress-less Tip #3: Decide your reason-for-the-season and your focus-of-appreciation. Do you simply go through the motions during the holidays and “deal” with them? Are you already anticipating volatile situations with family or work associates? Do you feel obligated, in general, but in an unhealthy way? Perhaps, you create your own stress by striving for perfect meals, perfect decorations, even the perfect gift. Turn those situations around. Start a new family tradition that provides more meaning to this time of the year. Admit that there is something from your past that makes the holidays difficult and take action now so you don’t live in constant re-action. Simply, let go more often. On the other hand, does an annual event warm your heart and soul? Does someone in your life bring joy or laughter or support – genuine love, compassion or understanding? Make them and other aspects of the holidays your personal reason for the season.
How are you doing thus far? Please share your experiences and challenges over the holidays. If you want a bit more, I have several popular podcasts that cover the holidays featuring this information with more details. Sharing is caring so please pass along posts or podcasts if you know of someone who could use some positive motivation. Happy Thanksgiving!