It's the holiday season and I couldn't be happier! With Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas just around the corner, I am ALL kinds of giddy! I love everything about this season: the music, movies, lights, decorations, weather, and of course, the food! But in the past, I've also dreaded this time of year, also because of the food. I've used this time of year to completely let myself go, eat as much as I can, sneak food, and make excuses until I feel sluggish and fluffy by January 1st. I would count down until the end of the treats and parties so that I could relax and get back on the healthy train. But, one week into January, another party would come along, my friend would have a birthday party, and I'd find myself right back in temptation central. Yikes!
I've realized over the years and through my struggles with food that parties and opportunities to trash my body would always be there. Excuses would be so easy, and I'm pretty sure the stores sell pies year-round and not JUST during the holidays. I realized that this 2 month dread/binge habit would not bring happiness to my life at all, and actually left me entering the new year feeling sluggish and not at my best.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am a FOOD LOVER, and fully intend to enjoy apple pie and other treats on Thanksgiving. But I think it's important to recognize that many people, including myself, struggle with overdoing this time of year and treating our bodies horribly BECAUSE of the holidays. For me, these excuses stem from self-worth and confidence issues, which I have only recently begun dealing with through time with Jesus, inner work, and an amazing group of women that God has brought into my life. I've realized that until I start respecting my body and believing it deserves health and vibrancy, I will never treat it the way I should, regardless of what I eat.
This year, my goal is to be mindful of every aspect of this holiday season, and not just hyper focused on the food part. I am going to remind myself that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that respecting it not only makes me happier and healthy, but it also helps me be a more vital instrument to be used by God.
So! With that said, here are some of the mindfulness tips that I will be following this season. Let me know what you think and which ones you can incorporate into your life to help you enjoy this season with the stress and guilt of overindulgence!
1. Remember the reason for the season. Guys, Jesus is the reason for this season. God became man and was born on this earth to redeem me of my sins. Why would I make this season about anything else other than celebrating my Savior with my friends and family? I've let food take the place of God for too long, and that is just no way to live. I want God more than anything else in all the land, and fixing my eyes on HIM is what gives me a firm foundation no matter what is going on in life.
2. Exercise daily. I plan on exercising and moving my body for at least 30 minutes/day during this season. Exercise puts me in the right mindset to treat my body well and respect myself. It also serves as a natural anti-depressant and helps reduce anxiety, which is SO needed during this time of year!
3. Be present with your friends and family. In the past, I've been stuck in my own head during holiday parties and gatherings because I am always concerned about whether or not I am eating too much, or too little, or what exactly constitutes a "moderate" amount of peppermint bark. That keeps me from fully enjoying my family during our time together and always leaves me regretting not being present with them! Focus on the people you are with, and the food often takes care of itself.
4. Eat yo greens! Eat as much of the good stuff as possible! I plan on fueling myself with veggies, fruits, lean proteins, huge salads, and my daily Shakeology! Filling up on the good stuff will leave less room in our stomachs for the not-as-good stuff, and will serve as a natural moderation system. I also recommend having a big salad or snacking on veggies before going to an event. Don't go starving and end up gorging on the appetizer before even the real food (or dessert!) is served. Go in with a happy and satisfied belly and you will make wiser choices.
5. Show yourself some grace. Even the best of intentions can often get side-swiped by a beautiful table of all of your favorite sugary treats. Trust me, I've been there...walking in to a party with a plan and ending up plunging head-first into all the goodies. The best way to get back on track is to show yourself some grace. Enjoy yourself and your favorite foods, but also know that if you fall of track and end up over-doing it, tomorrow is always a new day with its new mercies.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and an AMAZING Thanksgiving tomorrow! I'm personally looking forward to a cozy morning with my hubby, a workout that will energize me, baking, and spending time with family! And some amazing pie :) make it a great one everyone!
Want to join my post-Thanksgiving 5-day clean eating accountability group? It's not too late to sign up, and the group starts up November 30th! Sign up below and I will get back to you with more info!