Keeping Your Health Goal Over Any Holiday
There's Halloween, Thanksgiving, December holidays, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patty's Day, Mother's Day Father's Day, July 4th (in the U.S.), Labor Day, etc. and let's not forget about all the spring/summer festivities and celebrations. Except we may also have certain health goals and 'starting over on Monday' eventually feels like more of an excuse. Why not make every day a Monday? Which leads me to your #1 piece of advice.
Find your reason WHY
Deprivation rarely works, dieting is temporary, and if we're lucky we'll see a few short term benefits. However, shifting our mindset out of indulging on specific dates or times, and focusing on the WHY of our goals will help us sustain what we're out to achieve (also called 'intrinsic motivation'). Extrinsic motivation is reward from an outside source (e.g. cash prize). Each has their place, though intrinsic motivation is key for long-term optimal health.
This shift in mindset also helps us through times where it may feel like we're taking two steps forward and one step back. That's totally ok too! Now we have awareness, perhaps something that was not present beforehand- so make that another step forward!
Additional Strategies for Healthy Holidays:
- The holidays are just like any day- ch Except sometimes around a lot more people and way too much food. If there's an awareness that eating a certain food doesn't make you feel good, it's still your choice whether or not to consume. However, your WHY regarding your health goals may shift the choices on your plate.
- I don't care, it's a holiday, I want my burger and beer- Cool. No seriously, if you really do want it, go for it! It all depends on what you'd like to achieve and your time frame. I educate on how to get there, as many times patients say "you've helped me become more aware", but this is YOUR life.
- It's just another day- This country focuses on indulgence, such as the prevalence in binge drinking (i.e. how Canada made the drinking age 19 instead of 18 so high school students couldn't get alcohol by driving over the border). Holidays or celebrations may also have festivities and good company, and the food is just there to nourish you and provide energy to keep going throughout the day.
Let's chat about some other helpful ideas to fit your lifestyle & health goals here!
Regardless of how many years or decades we have ahead of us, healthy living never goes out of style. Integrating in lifestyle changes not only helps us achieve our health goals, but also doubles as prevention for what could be future deleterious concerns.