Ah, it is that time of year yet again. Halloween is coming, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Chances are you have parties to attend, whether it be with family, friends, or colleagues. Even if your schedule isn't booked with tons of events, there are probably treats at the office lined up. It may feel as if they are begging you to eat them and the only thing that is holding you back by a tiny thread is your dwindling willpower.
An interesting fact I just read states that Christmas and New Year's Day are the two days of the whole year that heart attacks are most likely to happen (Kloner 2004). Make no mistake, stress affects your heart and often the holidays bring with it a big side helping of stress. There is lots to do, not enough time to do it in, and not to mention the emotional triggers that we all face.
Is your habit to binge eat during the holidays and then spend the New Year beating yourself up with your resolution to work it all off? Rising health care costs and increases in obesity show us that our approach to weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle aren't working. How can this be? We exist during a time where information is available at the touch of a button. What if the way we have been going about it is all wrong?
What if we are attempting to work on a problem from the outside in instead of the inside out? Every single one of us has been conditioned to seek pleasure and avoid pain. As we understand what has been driving our behavior over the years on a deeper level, while making SMALL healthy changes, offering nothing but compassion, we begin to step into a new world of possibility.
The only problem with this is, stated the way I just did makes it almost insulting because it is too general. What does a small healthy change mean? What does compassion really mean and can we really, I mean really, have compassion for ourselves? Well, it is a process. Is that an annoying answer? Probably, but when you reframe your thoughts about how annoying the process is, it helps a lot.
Think about it; if you have been practicing something like self-loathing thoughts and behaviors for 30, 40, 50 years, would there be anything or anyone who could magically snap that out of your mind? Nah, and we all know it. Good news is, once you start cracking at it, there is a natural compulsion to continue more self exploration (if you have a good coach). Trust me, you will be fascinated by what you learn about yourself and as doors start opening, you will look back in a year or more and be so surprised with how much different of a person you have become. The feeling is hard to explain, but is by far, hands down, the most rewarding effort that I have ever spent my time or money on.
Julia Broome is passionate about health and exercise but is most excited about educating women concerning the short and long term impact of exercise on pregnant women and their baby.