“Damage Control” Prevention Tactics

These are, “I think I can do that,” small changes you can make NOW as we head into holiday season- don’t wait for January “Damage Control!”

You know the drill- Halloween candy starts things, we roll into Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years Eve and by January 2nd we are full of regrets and resolutions, right? I would like to propose some “Do it now” ideas that may change things this year, even a little!

Take 10 full minutes daily to do nothing but breath. You’ll be surprised how much clarity there is in silence and relaxation. It will help you to keep your head on straight. Put your legs up and over a ball, or a piece of furniture, or up the wall and say, “AH!”

Only do exercise you love for the next 8 weeks. Cut out what you dread and focus on what you enjoy. If it makes you groan and grimace, replace it with a smile activity- chances are you’ll actually do it instead of ditching it over the holidays.

Put aside your big agenda. I know I preach the 3-4 hours cardio & 3 strong strength sessions weekly plus daily stretch sermon, but for now, slim down the demands on yourself and make a commitment to a short term attainable goal- say 30 minutes a day doing SOMETHING active, whether or not your heart rate gets in the zone, or your muscles get fatigued- just stay in the game! Try not to be on the bench until the New Year! So cut the commitment down to appropriate size and do something!

Come up with even a 5 minute routine. If any time goal leaves you cold, consider creating a little flow of the stuff you like if the class or DVD or gym time isn’t going to happen- for instance do a little series of planks and down dogs and child pose.

Wear your best work out clothes. Yup. Dress up like a workout girl (or boy) and you may feel more motivated to keep up with the image your ward robe creates. It’s hard to get active effectively in high heels and tight jeans, right?

Have a healthy shopping strategy. Park far away, wear walking shoes, and go! Eat something nutritional before you leave home and skip the coffee, cinnamon roll, candy, and cookie kiosks. Bring a water bottle and be intentional about what WILL happen on your excursion, and what definitely will not. “She’s makin’ a list, and checkin’ it twice!”

Food. Know Your Enemies/Know Your Friends! This is no time for denial. At every gathering there will be friends and foes. Your friends are fresh in the vegetable & fruity way, proteins that are not breaded or fried, and complex carbs. Public Enemy #1 is sugar, its accomplice is alcohol. Beware. Their cohorts are anything with white flour!

Create a good Plate. Look at it! Take a reasonable amount of the right food for one person and then go sit down and eat it slowly and mindfully. Try to avoid the unconscious eating thing. Slowing down will give your body a chance to alert you as to when you are actually full.

Back to the Booze. It will be around, right? So what’s your plan? Wine is better than sweet mixed drinks, but too much is still too much (read my Wine-OH! Article in the archives on the Oaks website!) Slow down the party by sipping your first glass slowly then drinking at least the same if not a greater amount of water before you consider a second glass. EAT something good FIRST! Don’t drink on an empty stomach!

SIMPLIFY! Just because “you always have” doesn’t mean “you always have to!” What do you love & hate about the whole holiday “thing?” See if you can get rid of the ughs (not the boots- the stuff you dread.) When my kids were little everyone used to get a present for everyone else- every sibling, parent, niece, nephew, etc. One year my sister suggested that we all draw names and just get one gift. What a relief! It stuck! Sometimes I donate to a great charity in someone’s honor and feel great about that gift.

My goal with Fit Notes is to simply remind you of things you already know and to inspire you to stick with your healthy endeavors. The next 6-7 weeks don’t have to be a disaster! Make your changes now and avoid the January Damage Control!

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