One down, two to go…
I finally took my own advice this year and only purchased Halloween candy that I don’t like, so I would give it all away to trick-or-treaters and not eat any of it myself. I can’t begin to tell you how big this is. I love chocolate. I mean, I really love chocolate. Therefore, the jumbo bag of Halloween candy that made it to my house had zero chocolate in it. Only hard candies and sweet tarts. So I’m feeling pretty good about surviving the first of the three holidays that have the potential to derail my healthy lifestyle. One down, two to go. Halloween candy swoops in like a witch flying in on her broom, with Thanksgiving arriving only 24 days later with its creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole covered in mini-marshmallows, and homemade pumpkin pies. Then, just four weeks after the Thanksgiving feast, we find ourselves enjoying family, friends, and the neighborhood cookie exchange…and the office Christmas party. So how do we enjoy the holidays, connect with family and friends, and stay focused on our healthy goals all at the same time? Well, it takes focus and commitment…and a bit of pre-planning. It means we must be intentional with our social calendar and our meal planning. Just like buying Halloween candy – we must approach it with our healthy goals in mind.
Stay on track nutritionally – If you currently subscribe to a healthy eating plan (think vegetables, fruits and lean meats), keep the majority of your meals in line with your plan. Look at your social calendar, identify the events that will involve food, have a healthy snack prior to these events, and during the party be sure that you exercise portion control and carefully choose the items that you really want (it must taste as good as it looks). If you’re still developing your healthy eating plan, commit to it today by making wise nutritional choices, so that by the time holidays #2 and #3 get here, you will have developed healthy habits that you are more likely to maintain.
Stay on track physically – If you currently have a healthy habit of movement and physical exercise, congratulations. You’re already a winner! Stay on track physically by making the commitment to continue attending your group fitness classes and even commit to trying a new class as a Christmas gift to yourself. Be a blessing to your friends, and invite them to join you. Continuing your healthy habit may require saying no to a few holiday invitations, so take a moment and consider your social calendar before responding, and be intentional so that your healthy fitness goals don’t get bumped from your schedule. If you struggle with keeping your exercise appointments you make with yourself, find a friend and hold one another accountable so that both of you stay on track.
Stay on track spiritually – If you currently take time to pray and read God’s word as a regular habit, you are most likely staying on track in many areas of your life because these practices feed us and enable us to achieve more than we can on our own. When we commit to spending time with God, He equips us with knowledge and imparts His perspective upon us, allowing us to stay on the track He has mapped out for us. Staying on track looks a bit different for all of us. For me, it means I am more likely to choose healthy options (good food, regular exercise, kind words, rest) and less likely to dive headfirst into the dessert table or skip my Body & Soul fitness class because I responded yes to too many holiday party invitations. Let God equip you this holiday season during times of prayer and Bible study, and then enjoy the blessings that come from achieving healthy nutritional and physical goals.
The time is now. Eat well. Keep moving. Connect with the Lord. One down, two to go.
Amy Stafford is the President of Body & Soul Fitness. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, ACE (American Council on Exercise) Faculty member, wife of Steven, and mom to Jordan.
Pictures courtesy of pixabay.com.