Define Yourself

December is upon us, which means shopping, parties filled with rich foods, cookie exchanges and pretty cocktails.   Will you let the holidays define your waistline?   Will your exercise or daily routine be in jeopardy during this month.    It’s time to define yourself –  What do you want to do differently this month – why wait until January to get a jump start on your health.

What can you do today to be successful during this stress filled month?   Make yourself a priority!  It starts with you … life becomes much easier when we feel great – but how do we do that?    It has been a year of growth for me.    Weight loss, healthy boundaries, healthy eating habits and not overdoing it in the gym.    One of my client conversations included the “I want” statement … and she continued with vague statements such as I want to feel better, I want to have more endurance, I want my clothes to fit better.   In order to define yourself –  you need to quantify what you want!   Feel better – how, by doing what?   No more pain, where is the pain and what are you doing to make it better, does that mean walking or physical therapy – don’t wait!  Be clear if endurance is your goal – and how do you measure it?   Set a goal to be able to walk a 3-mile trail by May, what do you have to start doing today to get to that goal?   MOVE!

Weight loss and healthy eating should go hand in hand.  It should be slow and steady and it’s all about what you put in your mouth – do you eat well during the five-day work week and then throw everything out the door when it comes Saturday and Sundays?   That was my first mistake!   Our bodies are designed to support a seven-day a week eating habit.   Make eating a priority, which means breakfast, lunch and dinner plus 3 healthy snacks – once your body recognizes you are taking care of it, it will take care of you.

Healthy boundaries are recognizing what brings stress to our life, then reduce it – yes, that is easier said than done.   We make lists, though we don’t make lists to define our triggers, what stresses us out and then we feel depleted when everything is not checked off that list.  Our expectations of ourselves don’t include time to relax or drink a cup of tea.  Does baking six different kinds of cookies and shopping for everyone really need to be done?    Are there individuals that just push every button and we fall back on our old ways to meet their expectations?       If you are having a hard time coming up with what stresses you ask your best friend – they can tell you!

As a personal trainer I see a lot of individuals overdoing it in the gym and think it will be beneficial.    You don’t need to spend more than an hour a day in the gym, yet I see individuals who feel the need to push through pain with the mentality no pain no gain.   Does that attitude define you?     Set realistic expectations of a workout whether it’s in a gym or a brisk walk.    The fresh air will do you wonders!

Look at this December as a time to start your new list, WHAT DEFINES YOU.   Set specific and clear expectations for yourself that gives you permission to sit for 20 minutes when you get home from work and relax with a cup of tea. Make walking 40 minutes your goal with you ultimately attaining 10,000 steps by the new year and the sleep component of 7 hours.     You will leap into the holidays with a fresh outlook on me time!