I went to my first holiday party this weekend, and there’s many more on the calendar in the next three and a half weeks. I am sure the same is true for many of you. The office party, the clients sending food baskets, the neighborhood drop-ins…
It boils down to the same thing: too much food and drink. It seems as though we haven’t even digested the tofurkey, and now we’re bombarded with Christmas cookies, eggnog, gingerbread anything, and all those yummy goodies that only come around this time of year, so we have to eat it while we can, right?
And who has time to exercise when you’re busy party hopping, decorating, shopping, traveling, and planning gatherings?
It’s enough to sabotage even the fiercest wellness warrior!
This sets you up for the annual New Year’s resolution. Since all of your good habits went to hell in a hand basket for the past two months, it is time for redemption. The over indulging during the holidays can inspire unrealistic resolutions around diet and exercise starting in January. (Kind of like the time, after a particularly decadent holiday vacation, I resolved to go to ninety Bikram yoga classes in ninety days, and, yeah, I didn’t.)
It can be overwhelming and exhausting just thinking about it! Where to begin undoing the damage?
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. We’ve all been there or are there right now. The real question is how to make diet and exercise choices and changes that are sustainable all year round.
I want all of you to live your best life. Not just for a couple months, but for as long as you are living in your temple on this earth. In order for this to happen, your mind, your body, and your spirit all have to be nurtured and nourished on a regular basis.
Changing anything is hard work. Throughout your life, you have accumulated beliefs, habits, and experiences that shape your thoughts about yourself. Oftentimes, you can’t sustain the changes you implement because you haven’t peeled back the limiting beliefs or stories you have about yourself and “the way it is.” If you have a negative script about your health or weight that you reinforce with your thoughts and words, your desired change can’t stick because it is not aligned with a core belief.
Below are a few examples of limiting belief statements I have heard from clients:
“I’ll never lose these ten pounds. Every time I try, I just wind up gaining it back and then some.”
“My sister got the best body in the family; I am the smart one.”
“My entire family is built like me. It is in my genes.”
“My mother never lost the baby weight either.”
“I’ve always been sickly. I am used to it.”
As Joseph Bernard, Ph.D. said, “If your underlying messages are negative, a topping of whipped up positive attitude and a dusting of chocolate won’t be very effective. The core of who you are needs to shift.” EXACTLY!
I had so many clients talking about their holiday mayhem cycle, that a pattern emerged. What they are really struggling with is creating and sustaining a healthy way of life that is balanced and doable for busy people. They were not exclusively talking about overindulging at the holidays and then trying to undo it with over-promising with their resolutions. They were basically saying they needed to transform rather than simply change the way they approach their health.
So we started with becoming mindful of language. Words like “diet” and “lose” are a set up for failure because of negative feelings associated with them. They conjure feelings of lack and constriction rather than abundance and expansion. As part of my work, I teach clients to flip their script on these limiting beliefs, understand the origin of the injury, and effectively use affirmations to inspire change.
But what I kept coming back to was that even with the psychological changes, changing our physical habits couldn’t be ignored. Neither exist in a vacuum. If you feel better about yourself mentally, you will most likely make adaptations in your eating, exercise, and other physical choices that promote your well-being. And, when you are eating right, exercising, not smoking and not excessively drinking, you feel better mentally. So, I couldn’t leave out half of the wellness lifestyle equation. Therefore, I enlisted the expertise of my pal, Dr. Frank Lipman, a pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine.
Frank and I sat down over many hours and many days brainstorming about health and wellness from the physical and psychological perspective. Dr. Lipman shared that many patients struggle with health and weight issues caused by food allergies and intolerances. It is not necessary to be diagnosed with an allergy to gluten, for example, to have an intolerance, which leads to inflammation (a.k.a. bloat, poor digestion, suppressed immune function, fatigue, depression, anxiety). We could keep digging more and more psychologically, but if your body is resisting gluten and you keep eating it, we can only get so far. There are many foods that impair cognitive and other bodily functions. On top of that, there are the chemicals we ingest in our food, water, and air that are toxic and addictive but to which we can minimize our exposure once we are aware of their existence.
We hope to inspire you to rid your conscious and unconscious mind of fear-based limiting beliefs and your bodies of inflammation and addiction. By tackling these two issues together, you will not only see results, but they are more sustainable. You won’t want to eat gluten because you physically and psychologically feel noticeably better being gluten-free. Turning to food for comfort because it is how your mother comforted you growing up can be replaced with an effective coping mechanism that does not sabotage your desire for good health. All change requires the same skill. You must make the effort to be mindfully aware of what you are actually doing in your life. Set your intention and then mindfully GO FOR IT!!
We want you to ignite a revolution to achieving your resolutions in 2013!
I hope you have a balanced and beautiful week, remembering that you deserve health and happiness everyday of the year!
Love love love
In the spirit of the season, we want to gift a member of The Daily Love community a spot in our 21 Day Mind/Body Cleanse! In the comments section, tell us what you are struggling with, why creating and sustaining a healthy way of life has proved challenging for you, and what you hope this new balance will bring to your life. We announce the winner in my blog next Thursday, December 13th.
|Terri Cole, founder and CEO of Live Fearless and Free, is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. For almost two decades, Terri has empowered companies, celebrities, professional athletes and individuals to Live Fearless and Free. Follow Terri on Twitter @terri_cole.|