Finishing Strong in 2013

I struggled with choosing a topic for this edition.  I had so many ambitious ideas for these last few weeks in 2013—I wanted this article to be helpful, interesting, festive, jolly and so much more!! Then, I realized I wanted to do too much; I wanted to accomplish too many goals and was becoming overwhelmed.  How many of you are like me this? You set goals that sound so good but in reality are unrealistic. I have heard people say “I want to lose 50 pounds in 3 months” or “I’m not going to eat any pie, turkey and ham this Christmas.” While it is always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve success, it is never a good idea to set yourself up for failure. If you have been trying to lose weight during the year and have been successful, one of your goals this holiday season could be to not regain any weight.  You can achieve this by sticking to the exercise schedule you have been following and kicking it up a notch to include more days or to be more intense.

Many people share emotional ties with food and as a result, may become an emotional eater.  How do you know if you are an emotional eater? If you want to eat ice cream, chocolate cake or some other “feel good food” when you are depressed or have gotten some bad news, then you may be an emotional eater.  If the holiday season is especially hard for you, you may want to start thinking of some strategies that can help you resist the urge to overeat.  Making plans to be around family and friends is a good starting point.

On the other hand, food plays a huge role in our culture—we use food to celebrate, to comfort ourselves and to make memories. So instead of focusing on what you can’t do or can’t eat this Christmas, focus on what you can do and how you can still make wonderful food memories with your family and friends. Of course you will have to make some conscious decisions during this Christmas season, but there is no need to make yourself miserable. One thing you can do is find low-fat and low calorie holiday recipes that you can still enjoy as a family. Better yet, you can make healthy versions of your own family tried and true recipes.  Make it a game to see who can come up with the healthiest, yet tasty, version of an old recipe. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you actually enjoy the “skinny” version of an old family favorite.

In this article I have only briefly dealt with setting and achieving goals; however, I hope I was able to convey the main objective—set goals that you can realistically achieve by implementing small, sensible steps. Develop a game plan so when your internal war of “I really want that eggnog” “No! that’s bad for me” begin, you will already have some options to help you succeed. Focus on what you can do not on what you can’t do–Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.

Happy New Year from my family to yours!!