Make no mistake, we’re in the throes of holiday warfare.
There are adorable gingerbread men packaged up in festive baggies everywhere, and Starbucks is pumping out its holiday line of 500 calorie drinks that we can’t get our hands on fast enough.
There are chocolate Santas, hot chocolate, yule logs, gingerbread houses — Lord, the sweets are out in full force and they’re coming for us.
If you're trying to maintain your weight and want to make sure you’re not taking with you more than you can handle into the new year, I’m right there with you, and I have a plan!
First, we’ve got to level the playing field.
If you’re contending with tasty treats every time you walk into your kitchen, sooner or later your resolve will melt faster than modeling chocolate.
And hiding them will do nothing to dilute their power over you. You can try keeping them behind your dried elderberries and canned garbanzo beans, but you’ll find them because you know exactly where they live!
This is our kitchen and we have home-field advantage over these holiday treats. If there are too many goodies piling up in the pantry, it’s time to package up these gingerbread men and ring and run all over the neighborhood. This will save you countless calories while making you look like the charitable baker you are.
Keep a few for yourself of course, but get rid of the excess or your waistline will be carrying that load into the new year.
Once you’ve leveled the playing field by cleaning house, resisting the urge to re-stock is paramount. To do that, we turn to our one true powerful ally.
Ye pen is a mighty sword.
Whenever I have to straighten myself out when things have gone sideways, my trusted go-to sources for advice recommend writing down my words because they hold tremendous power. And seeing them on paper (or digitally) allow us the opportunity to digest their true potential. (Yes, your words have the potential to turn your thinking on its head.)
The theory, I believe, is that to read something you’ve written, you have to stop what you’re doing, and in that stopping, we’re throwing a new step into an already ingrained habit.
Normally, we have a thought like, “I want something sweet right now!” which triggers this invisible magic that overrides our senses and has us placing one hand in the cookie jar.
But when we stop and read something that says, “If I’m serious about improving my health, I will not mindlessly eat junk”, that extra step throws everything off course and now you’ve become a conscious thinker. You’re aware of what’s going on and that gives you back your power — power that’s up to you to hold onto, or dismiss, either way, it’s in your hands and you’ve become aware of a mindless habit.
I have two quotes written on my corkboard that I keep in my office. One says “Be the energy you want to attract” and the other says, “The ability to stay calm during conflict is a superpower.”
When I see those words, their impact is massive. They evoke emotion, and emotion is what we base every decision (and purchase) on, whether we realize it or not.
Seeing our words wakes us from unconscious thinking and actions, and brings us into the moment.
I also have five reasons why I enjoy writing written out on five separate post-it notes. Seeing those words fire up my creative juices and invigorate me. Without them, my internal (and evil) inner critic would continue to run through its varied rendition of how my writing is anything but readable. (So rude.)
If you’re having trouble keeping yourself committed, take 15 minutes to write five reasons why you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your weight, make healthy changes, or whatever it is you’re after.
I can say with 99.99% certainty that when you’re about to make a decision based on your feelings, when you stop and read your own words you’ll stand a little taller and you’ll make the right choice — because you just threw a huge wrench in your thought process. Good for you!
In case fitness is your jam, and you’re having trouble getting into the flow, I have a free 14-Day Perky Butt Challenge that can get you started up again! (But this is only for those who are choosing themselves, not “fixing” themselves!)
AM Costanzo is a wellness coach, a motivational junkie, loves a-ha moments, and loves to help people feel strong, powerful, and downright fabulous in body and mind!