Many people talk about “burning off” holiday calories or exercising to earn their holiday treats.
It makes me sad to hear people equate sugar cookies consumed with number of burpees performed. Or over-exercise just to over-eat and make themselves sick.
Let me tell you: this mindset sets you up for a negative relationship to fitness and a lifetime of fighting for a healthy weight. Anytime the motivation to move or eat well comes from a place of guilt, shame, or fear, the outcome never leaves you feeling better long term.
Moving your body is NOT punishment and you do not have to EARN your food.
Eating well and exercise during the holiday season is about SO MUCH MORE than avoiding weight gain. And who wants to live through the holidays feeling scared to gain weight? Shouldn’t it be a time of joy and celebration? Yes. And it all starts with shifting your mindset.
I want to invite you to exercise because it feels good to move your body. Because it allows you to clear your mind, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, and gives you energy. I want to inspire you to love exercise because of how it makes you FEEL and the gifts it brings to your lifestyle.
Want ideas you can practice to avoid the “exercise as punishment” mentality and develop a positive relationship to food, to fitness, and to yourself? Here are some great mindset shifts to help you have a healthy relationship to holiday food & fitness:
How to Have A Healthy Relationship to Holiday Food And Fitness
- Follow an eating style that works for you and move your body in a way that you enjoy.
- Keep in mind (over the season and all year long): a few meals and workouts aren’t worth obsessing over. It’s the things we do over and over for the long-term that matter most. 365 days a year.
- Let your workouts give you energy, stamina, and strength. If you feel stressed out about your workouts or too exhausted from them to ENJOY your life, you are doing it wrong. The right kind of training and balanced program design will give you more power & energy for everything you love. From holiday parties to shopping, long days of cooking or socializing, you’ll have more power to do it all with quality fuel and exercise induced endorphin power.
- Make exercise and healthy cooking a way to bond with friends and family. One of my favorite ways to build positive relationships is through exercise and eating well. Preparing nourishing meals and making time to exercise with each other, supports both your relationship AND your health goals. Its all about how you choose to spend time with your loved ones. Together you can create an environment of support that embraces exercise and eating well in a positive light. If you want them to, your relationships CAN support you in your health.
- Use exercise and healthy food choices as a tool to manage the physical stress of holiday traveling or unusual schedules. Nothing says back pain like a full schedule, the car, or airplane. A little bit of exercise goes a long way and helps you not feel so bent out of shape from long days. Healthy meals and snacks keep your digestion and mood on track despite unusual hours. Exercise and eating right helps you travel smart, manage long hours, and get around feeling your best.
- Gain confidence for family/friend gatherings. You know that feeling you get after a workout? Or that satisfied sensation you experience after eating a nourishing meal? A million bucks, top of the world, happier than ever, ready to conquer? Yea I thought so. Me too. It’s that undeniable, unstoppable power that health gives you. It puts extra strength in every step and the confidence that gives all your holiday plans a little boost.
- Find calm, stress relief, and a better mental state. The holidays can be emotional, demanding, and challenging for many people. From dysfunctional family gatherings to running into ex-boyfriends or old memories, it’s a time of year that can bring up a lot of feelings. But when you take time for yourself and connect to the silence within you, that’s when you can make sense of any chaos going on around you. Exercise can be that space for you. It can give you time to clear your mind, feel your feelings, sort through your emotions, and find a better state of being. Simply by taking time out to take care of yourself will allow you to be your best and deal with any stress with a positive outlet.
- Let your health allow you to be more present and in the moment. Taking care of your health allows you to be conscious of how your body feels, what you put in your body, and what you put in your mind. Fitness is a practice of listening to your body and mindfully nourishing yourself with healthy foods and movement. Research has shown that being more present with how you care for your body can relieve stress, while also improving energy levels, memory and attention. Which in itself allows you to truly be present throughout the holiday season.
I’m not saying NOT to indulge in your favorite holiday treats or take some well-deserved time off to hang in your christmas pjs over the holidays. Please DO! I believe in balance, listening to your body, and living life to the fullest. I want to invite you to shift the way you look at exercise and eating over the holidays. Motivate from a place of gratefulness, health, and feeling your best. You deserve a life full of energy and strength to celebrate all the blessings in your life. Through moderation and choosing to look at health as a gift, I believe that you can drop the holiday “fight to fitness” and find yourself feeling your best.
Remember, it’s not about a few workouts or a few meals. Focus instead on how you FEEL and the little healthy habits that make a big difference over the 365 days of the year because those matter most. I designed the Strong Body Beautiful program to teach you how to develop a positive relationship to food and exercise and feel good for GOOD. Finding a healthy relationship with fitness is the goal. ENROLL in my Strong Body program and let’s keep moving forward in health together.
How to you keep a positive relationship to your body, food, and fitness over the holidays? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy holidays and Merry Fitness my friend,
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