Are you fearing the next six weeks of holiday festivities?
Are you wondering how on earth you can avoid getting lazier, overeating, getting more sedentary and somehow not lose all the fitness gains you have made this past year?
You are NOT alone if you are worried about or fear the next few weeks. Often these worries and fears lead to complete resignation and as a result, lead us to fully indulge in everything beyond measure, leaving us with guilty consciences, sick stomachs, sleepless nights, sluggish bodies, and bad attitudes.
The bad news is: many of us have no idea how to enjoy the holiday season AND stay healthy, active and fit at the same time. The good news is: it IS possible!
I believe that if we are open to allow ourselves to be completely transformed in mind, body and spirit, we will be able to breathe through any type of challenging social, environmental or even personal challenges or barriers in life. Then, the yearly festivities will no longer be these scary and dreaded obstacles to make it through; rather, you can embrace and enjoy them.
First, I would like to challenge you to adopt a new mindset and make a couple of key choices:
1. I want to engage in total transformation to become FULLY ALIVE for the rest of my life (and not just for some 6-week diet or fitness program or holiday survival plan that won't last).
2. I believe that once I adopt a whole transformative lifestyle perspective and once I CHOOSE THE TUNE I AM DANCING TO, I will be able to adopt healthier behaviors by making regular positive choices. This will then in turn empower me to be able to make it through any festivities or any other life barrier.
So, getting "down to business" now, here are some key behaviors and principles that will assist you with getting started with your transformational life journey to a healthier and happier you, particularly focusing on physical wellness elements. Coincidently, I believe, they will also help you be 'festively fit' this holiday season and from thereon out. This is not a concept for survival, but rather a strategic plan to become FULLY ALIVE and enjoy life.
PRINCIPLE 1: Drink water. Always choose drinking water over anything else - at home or at a party. Cold or hot herbal teas are a good option, too. Drink two cups of water: a) when you first wake up in the morning; b) when you feel hungry or snacky outside of your regular mealtime/regular snacks.
PRINCIPLE 2: Move more, sit less. If you have the option of standing versus sitting, stand. If you have the option of walking versus driving, walk. If you have the option of moving about versus standing, move about. Regular daily physical activity and structured exercise should become a part of your foundational identity and daily routine. Include cardio, strength and flexibility.
PRINCIPLE 3: Rest regularly. Sleep at least 7 - 8 hours per night. Take a couple of short breaks during the day (power nap is ok!). Take weekly time for yourself to meditate, reflect, relax and think.
PRINCIPLE 4: Something positive is better than nothing. Get away from the 'all or nothing' concept. If you can't get an hour workout in, then do 10 minutes and you will still reap positive benefits. If you forgot to add any fruits or vegetables to your meals during the day, still add an apple at night. Apply this principle where it makes sense!
PRINCIPLE 5: You are in control. Focus. Reflect. Choose wisely. Follow-through. (A practical example of this is: when you are at a festivity and are about to fill your plate with all the goodies from the buffet, pause and ask yourself: is it time to eat now? What have I already eaten today? What is available here that categorizes as healthy? etc.)
PRINCIPLE 6: Feelings follow behavior. Do not impulsively act on your feelings and emotions. Think about your values, your goals, your principles and then evaluate how what you are about to do relates to all of that. (A practical example of this is: your brother asks you to go on a walk, but you don't feel like it. Do it anyway, because it is the better thing to do and the positive feelings will follow).
PRINCIPLE 7: When it comes to food or drink (except water), apply the "half is enough" principle. Only eat half of what is there or on your plate (ideally, you won't take that much to begin with!). If you take a cookie, eat half of it only and pack the other half for another day (or if you can't control yourself, toss it! - DISCLAIMER: I am not in favor of wasting anything valuable, however, when it comes to your health, don't make yourself the trash bin!)
I believe that we all have the power to change, transform and live our lives to the fullest during times of joy, trouble, hardship, success and festivities. Make a choice to apply foundational principles and you won't get bogged down with overwhelming seemingly endless challenging choices every day. Make the foundation your default and even if you are starting now for the first time, that is awesome! It is always a good time to start - even before the holidays.
It is my desire, beautiful people, that we all can live happier and healthier lives and during this year's holidays, we can all become and stay FESTIVELY FIT!
With all my love - Dominique