Ginny Grabowski, MSc.
It's All Downhill From Here -- 10 Ways to Make the Most of the Last of 2019
Updated: Dec 5, 2019
Just like that, it's December the whirlwind of shopping, parties and feasting is in full swing. We make our way down the slope of 2019, picking up speed until we wake up January 1, 2020 wondering how the year went by so fast.
Between now and then though are a few weeks of activity and food that can wreak havoc with our mindset and our health. Here's a quick check list of ways to have your healthiest holiday season.
Remember, it's about the people, not the presents. We get together with family and friends to reconnect. It's easy to get caught up in "buy this, buy that," impulse purchases and wake up with a credit card hangover. Speak with family and friends about gift expectations. You may decide to trade in gifts for spending time together.
You can indulge without the guilt. Yes, this is the time for once-a-year goodies. Rather than feeling guilty with every bite, consider what your real favorites are. Pick your top 2 or 3 and decide when you'll have them. Slow down and enjoy every bite...you likely won't eat as much.
Don't use exercise to "burn off" the extra calories. When we get caught up in the "I'll burn this off with exercise" mindset it's easy to slip into "punishing" ourselves for indulging, which can lead to disordered eating-exercising patterns. You're not "good" if you go to the gym and "bad" if you have a cookie. You're eating well throughout the season and enjoying rare treats.
Do remember exercise is a stress reliever. Go to the gym as you normally would. We're heading into a stressful time of year. Exercise is the perfect stress-reliever. Sticking to your regular schedule is how exercise becomes a part of your day and stops being a chore. It's just what you do.
Eat until you're full without going over. Slow down a bit, chew every bite and tune into your body. When you're full, be done. Avoid "topping off" and finding yourself feeling over-full, sluggish and miserable.
Remember, it's just a meal. Even Thanksgiving dinner is just that...dinner. A special dinner? Sure. If you think of it as one meal and not a week of feasting, it's easier to eat a reasonable number of calories and leave the table feeling great.
Not all treats must be sweet. Catching up with family/friends and having some extra time off are treats that make the holiday season special. What activities do you love to do that are not food related? Perhaps your treat is sleeping in and having a pajama day with your spouse or family.
Breathe. The holidays can be busy and stressful. When you feel anxiety climbing or that your schedule is spinning out of control, find a quiet place (in the bathroom, in your car, wherever), take a deep breath through your nose and slowly release it. This simple act can reset your entire day and help you regain your balance.
Let go of the guilt. I ate X, I didn't visit Y, I should have gone to the party, I shouldn't have gone to the party. Let it go. Everything that truly needs to be done will be done. Give yourself permission to do your best and know that it's good enough.
Enjoy! As you're running around trying to get everything done, remember to smile and enjoy. This time only comes once a year...but it does come every year. Keep things in perspective and have a wonderful holiday season.
P.S. If you like this list, please share with a friend. P.P.S. If you're thinking now about how to make 2020 your healthiest, best year, check out The Women's Wellness Academy. We'll be starting in February. Class will be small (maximum 10 women), so contact me ASAP to find out more.