It’s that time of Year
It’s that time of year again when the leaves change color and the weather is cooler. We have all the festivities to look forward to. Halloween was great but how many of us felt a little twinge of guilt after we ate all the chocolate. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. It is that time of year, full of fun and tons of enjoyment. We don’t have to lose it completely and forget all the resolutions we made at the beginning of the year. Remember them? It’s so easy for us to lose ourselves in all the festivities and literally eat our lives away. Not to put a damper the season but we really can do things differently this year.
1. Remember the spirit of the season
Unfortunately, we all get so much into preparing a fantastic meal and getting together for family and friends, we forget what we are actually celebrating. It is important to take a minute to remember all we are grateful for, the fact we are alive at all, and the good health we enjoy. We should express gratitude for the love of family and friends, the freedom to celebrate the God we love who has blessed us so much. Some people can’t afford to celebrate Thanksgiving as a feast. It is a good time to help our kids realize all the blessings they have and teach them to reach out to help others. Lots of churches take contributions to help others less fortunate. Many of soup kitchens and recreational centers take up donations of canned goods and other food items. Teach teens why we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in the first place and teach them how to reach out to help those less fortunate than we are.
2. Create your strategy
Have you ever noticed how things seem to fall into place when you actually sit and create a strategy? We’ve all worked so hard all year long to keep the excess weight at bay and to stay active and we have to decide that we will not let the season completely derail all our efforts. Decide what your game plan is going to be. It’s helpful if the whole family commits to staying active, like incorporating a run around the park if the weather permits or continuing to go to the gym. When you do go out decide if you’re going to take alcoholic beverages and factor in the calories from that. Maybe you can decide on a healthier desert or eat a smaller meal so you can enjoy desert. Just decide what you’re going to do before you are in the particular situation and internalize your strategy and follow it through. Don’t give up on all the fun but make smart decisions.
3. Make healthier options.
If you are cooking for friends and family you could decide to make healthier options of your favorite meals. There are so many recipes on line for this purpose. You don’t have to swap out everything. Some meals just taste better when they are made the traditional way. Just mix things up a bit and who knows you could come up with new favorite dishes for the family. Make it a point to incorporate some fruits and vegetables. There are different ways vegetables can be cooked and presented so everyone enjoys them. Teach your teens to pay attention and stop eating when they are full. Some of us have the tendency to keep going when we are enjoying the meal. Teach them to eat slowly, enjoy the meal and stop when they are full.
4. Savor the meal and leave the rest behind
This is a strategy I’m learning to adopt myself. I have a friend who has been the same size for the past twenty years. Her strategy is not to deprive herself of anything. On Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, she enjoys the meal with passion and enjoys healthy portions of her favorite desert and then it’s over. She does not keep eating the high calorie foods for days on end. At the very least use the left overs to make different somewhat healthy meal options if possible. It’s a good idea to control portion sizes on the special holiday whilst enjoying your meals and then go back to your regular meals afterward.
This time of year is one we all look forward to. We enjoy the gifts of family and friends. We give thanks for the many blessings we have received in our lives. We should take time to honor and help those who are less fortunate than we are and give them the opportunity to enjoy the season too. Helping others actually increases the joy you feel yourself.
Decide how you’re going to enjoy the season whilst still maintaining a relatively healthy lifestyle. Decide on your strategy and follow it through. Take time to enjoy all the blessings of the season, take time to actually give thanks and then savor the good food you are blessed with. Don’t overeat yourself into any regrets. There is too much to be thankful for, for us to waste time in regrets.