Food Strategies for the Holidays

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The holidays are filled with amazing foods, especially fudge, cookies, pies, and large meals. Traditionally, it is the time to feast and celebrate. It can cause us to gain unwanted weight, and causes food-related stress.

It’s not fun watching everyone eat, and feel like you cannot participate in the “celebration.” I think we tend to focus on what we cannot do, instead of realizing we are making a choice. We choose not to eat certain foods, because _________. Each of us will have different reasons for not eating the high-sugar, high-calorie foods of the Holiday season.

I love home-made fudge! I choose not to eat a lot of it, because it contributes to water-retention and swelling in my joints. I make the choice to feel better, instead of indulging and hurting for a week or two. Each of us has different reasons for not wanting to eat certain foods. We need to realize and honor ourselves, over the peer pressure of other people or holiday memories.

I believe that we need to re-define what it means to celebrate the holidays. Does it really mean to eat so much food we feel sick? Or, is it a time to re-connect with family and friends? What role does food play in these events? Does it really need to be a high-calorie feast, or can it be a healthier alternative?

It’s easy to follow the same old path that we grew up knowing. It can be challenging to create new traditions. I think the Thanksgiving turkey is ingrained into our societal culture. When we think of Thanksgiving, we think about the large turkey dinner with all the fixings. What would happen if we chose another meal option?

Our culture dictates that certain foods go with specific holidays. We blindly follow this rule, without questioning its relevance in our lives. Do we really need the huge turkey feast? Or, can we chose other options and still celebrate the holiday?

Just a little food for thought. . .

Blessings for a fun-filled safe Thanksgiving. . .

Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coash

Holiday Stressors & Food!

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We’re coming into the holidays, and often becomes the most stressful time of the year! There is all the “things” to complete, decorations to put into place, shopping, parties, family gatherings, and the holiday food. Sometimes, I think we cram a year of “everything” into the month of December!

How can 1 person orchestrate and accomplish all this in 1 month (on top of their normal schedule)? It’s no wonder that people gain weight during the holidays!

Is it possible to enjoy all the festivities, and maintain / lose weight during this time? YES!

Here are a couple ideas to consider, to ease the holiday stress and bring more joy into the season.

First, it’s not about material items. “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” We place undue expectations on ourselves to be the “perfect” hostess, mother/father, or ___________. Perfection is truly a culmination of imperfect events that are perceived through our collective experiences. It’s really about doing / being the best we can. The holiday season tends to bring up memories (good or bad), while we strive to achieve impossible goals for others. Remember, we are one human being, and capable of a limited amount of “things” we can accomplish in a short period of time (aka the Holiday season).

Second, people love you for you, not for what you can do for them. Love isn’t conditional! Love is accepting, forgiving, and compassionate. The Holiday season is richer with these ideals, instead of the mass consumerism that begins with huge crowds on Black Friday. There is greater value in life experiences, instead of one more toy, piece of jewelry, or tool under the Christmas tree. It is nice to give gifts to those we love and care about. It’s just not the only thing that matters. Relationships are more important that “things.”

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed with the season? Try closing your eyes, taking a few deep breathes, and repeating a mantra that helps you calm down.

Life is Good!

Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Tomorrow Never Comes. . .

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Tomorrow never comes. . .

I learned this from all the people I knew and loved that died in the past few years. They all felt that they could start tomorrow. They could do “it” tomorrow. They had plans for tomorrow. . .

Maybe the person who drove this concept home the hardest was my mom. She battled cancer, and died in 1998 at the age of 56. She didn’t even reach retirement age, and she didn’t accomplish all the plans she had in place for retirement.

Her death was a shock!

Throughout her life, she battled with her weight. I think she tried every diet available. She wanted to lose the weight, and feel better. She would accomplish short term weight loss, but it would all come back (and more).

She taught me that true weight loss required lifestyle change, and self healing (mind, body, and spirit). This was through watching her struggles with her own weight. Her internal “demons” won the battle, and she succumbed to her illness.

Her tomorrow never came. . .

I chose to change. I strive to be in the present. I want to live past 56. I want to climb mountains at 70. I believe that I can live a healthy and fulfilling life. I changed my lifestyle. I’m passing that on to my immediate family.

I know that my decision to change could cost me my family of origin. I know that they may not be able to accept me after I change. I also know that anything is possible!

I know all too well. . .Tomorrow Never Comes. . .

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .Think about what is important to you. Do you want to accomplish this in your lifetime? Is there something stopping you from accomplishing this event? If so, do you want to change the situation?

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Then There Was Wildfire Smoke. . .

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First came the heat wave. . .then the wildfire smoke. . and a week or so disappeared.

Time is an abstract we tie our life events too. A week seems like a really long time to not workout, but it is far better to take care of your body.

Actually, our bodies need rest time to adjust to all the changes we make, whether it is weight loss, adding a exercise, or changing dietary intake. It’s easier to make changes and allow our bodies to adjust, than a continuing barrage of change. It feels better mentally too.

I make the changes, push myself hard, allow my body to rest, and come back with greater results than if I continually push myself.

I’ve had a week rest from my exercise plan, which is walking 4 to 6 miles 3 to 5 times a week. The smoke and heat made it unhealthy to continue.

What I love about taking a break like this is that I cannot wait to get back to walking. I cannot wait for the smoke to clear. My body feels ready to take on the next step in my weight loss and fitness plan.

I maintained the weight that I have lost to this point. I have lost 32 pounds since March. My self image is catching up with my body changes. I love what I see in the mirror, and am adjusting to the knowledge that I can wear a size M comfortably. I cannot even imagine what I looked like 32 pounds heavier.

My body feels rested and ready for the next 10 to 15 pounds. This makes it easier to shed the unwanted weight, and continue on this lifestyle path. I do have a plan for the last bit of weight loss and fitness changes.

Challenge for Those Who Accept. . .Look at the changes you are making in your life. Do you like them? Do you want to keep them? If you could change them, what would they look like? Think about it. . .then decide if you want the make the changes. . .

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach