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Mindful Weight Management for the Holidays - Focus on Joy, not Calories

If the ‘weight gain/weight loss’ cycle has been part of most of your life, anticipating the holiday season can be stressful, heavy and worrisome. “What if I can’t control my eating? What if I gain weight again and then have to start dieting come January? I am already too heavy. I don’t have the strength to restrict myself.” OR: “Hey, It’s the holidays! Calories don’t count until January!”

I’d like to help you navigate this holiday season differently so you can approach the coming months feeling less stressed and worried about food and weight gain, and instead focus on joy, celebration and connection with loved ones and friends.

Tip #1 - Bookend your day.

Set an intention in the morning and end the day with gratitude. For example: “May I give myself permission to take it easy today. May I focus on all the things that are going well. May I be kind and gentle with myself and others. May I allow myself to take breaks and breathers throughout the day. May I nourish myself well.”

Tip #2 - Let go of the idealized vision of doing things perfectly.

Give yourself permission to release unrealistic expectations. Let go Hollywood’s portrayal of the holidays and rewrite your holiday story: Create your unique version of your ideal holiday season. Allow yourself to follow your needs and wishes. Remember: Kindness starts with us. Dare to break familiar patterns. Say no to what feels wrong to you and yes to what feels right. Give yourself (and others) the gift of authenticity. Discuss this with your family and include others in the brainstorming and decision making process. Keep it light and make it fun.

“May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love. To postpone my dream no longer. But to do at last what I came here for. And waste my heart on fear no more. -John O’ Donahue

Tip #3 - Love matters most.

The antidote to stress is self-kindness and self-compassion. The antidote to having unrealistic expectations is going with the flow and allowing life to unfold. The antidote to shame is love. What matters (in my opinion) is not how we perform, what role we play, how skinny we cruise through the holidays, how perfectly we eat and manage our calorie intake etc. What matters is to live each day from the heart, to be loving with ourselves and then sharing that love with the world around us.

Tip #4 - Focus on joy - not calories.

This holiday season, be the one who inspires others to focus on joy. Come up with creative ideas for gifts and games, both indoors and outdoors. Play more and stress less. At the end of the day what matters is how well we loved, how much we laughed and how genuinely we shared our heart - not just during the holidays, but every day.

Tip #5 - Plan for mindful indulgences.

Don’t deprive yourself of special treats. Look forward to them, celebrate the moment and take your time really tasting the deliciousness. There are no taboo foods. Also, slow down the eating process, starting tomorrow. Practice mindful eating, either alone or with family members and friends. Make time to unplug from all electronics and focus on your meal, one mindful bite at a time. Enjoy!

Friendly reminder: Alone-time is crucial for our wellbeing.

Carving out time for ourselves is so important. Make sure you honor the need to take care of yourself and take breaks and breathers. By doing so you will prevent emotional stress eating later. Give yourself the oxygen first!

I AM HERE FOR YOU! If you’d like to work on all of these tips preemptively, please reach out to me. Together we can design a game plan and customize strategies for you so you can cruise through this holiday season feeling lighter, brighter, more joyful and more empowered!

I look forward to supporting you on your weight management and self-care journey. Get in touch with me.

With compassion, Petra


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