I use to dread the holidays. It was the time of year that I missed my mom the most and although it has been over 15 years now, I still miss her presence daily, but particularly during the holidays.
Every holiday season, I would use the typical coping mechanisms to survive including indulging in alcohol and eating decadent food. And of course, there were no shortage of opportunities to wallow. But the results were always the same, my mom was still gone, but now I was also left with a huge dose of guilt and constipation to go on top of my loneliness and sadness.
As I began to take responsibility for dealing with my mom’s death and heal instead of escape, I wanted to appreciate the holidays and find the joy again. This began with rewriting my “rules” for the holidays. I began to get curious and question the patterns I had lived my whole life by when it came to “getting” through the holidays.
I asked myself: Why did I view the holidays as an opportunity to have a free-for-all and throw my health to the curb? Part of me wanted to say that it was more “fun” to live this way through the holidays, but the reality was that feeling bloated, constipated, fat and lethargic were not fun. Waking up in the morning and regretting how much I ate and drank were not fun. Entering a new year depressed about how my body looked and felt as well as feeling the ramifications of sugar addiction, were NOT fun.
This self-reflection gave me a reality check and I wanted to share it with you.
The reality is that we can create whatever traditions we want during the holidays, even if it’s not what we have done in the past. (Some of you need to read that line again.) Not every tradition serves us as a person or family...so let it go!
For example, I decided to think outside the box and overcome the time excuse for exercise. I began to workout at home during the cold holiday months. Circuit workouts are very effective and push-ups, squats, lunges, crunches, jumping jacks and wall sits can all be done without any equipment and little space.
Another example is I decided to take new dishes to my holiday parties that were beautiful, delicious and HEALTHY! I knew that I would be able to enjoy my dish at the party and still have tastes and bites of my favorite holiday dishes. It wasn’t about not eating the things I love. It was about moderation and eating to enjoy rather than eating to escape. Once you figure out this difference and live by it, your whole health can change!
By the way, I would like to share some of my holiday recipes in my free downloadable cookbook at www.healthyedgeholiday.com if you are curious about what healthy holiday food looks like. Your guests will never even know!
It’s time to ask yourself: What are your holiday patterns or traditions that support health and energy and what are the patterns or traditions that leave you feeling defeated and out-of-control? Decide this is the holiday season to say YES to the joy and possibilities of the season versus YES to the status quo. Being empowered and feeling energized are amazing ways to embrace the New Year.
If you would like a free health coaching session to set your goals and priorities for the new year, you can connect here with one of my amazing Healthy Edge coaches!
Amber is CEO of The Healthy Edge. She has passionately
created The Healthy Edge lifestyle system and a comprehensive health coach certification program to further her mission of empowering people to live their most abundant life.