I am on my way to Quebec City to spend 4 glorious days with my best friend who is coming in all the way from Goose Bay, Labrador. I can’t wait. After too long apart we will have plenty to talk about and plenty to do. Here is my problem, this is the same best friend that was my room mate in University and together we bonded over more than just late night cappucinos and cookies… All this fun and frolicking saw me reach my peak weight, over 40 pounds heavier than I am today. I had a new best friend and it came in the form of nice, stretchy track pants.
I am truly a changed person since then, in my day to day life I am a very healthy eater, I exercise as often as I can and in general I keep things in moderation. BUT when it comes to ‘special occasions’ this old me that I think is long gone rears her ugly head and wants to come out and play. The good news though is that what used to be like trying to tame a caged pitbull, has now become more like calming an over excited labrador. The old me would have eaten my way through the weekend and I simply wasn’t strong enough (or so I thought) to hold myself back. The new me still gets a little excited about the rich foods and sweets but with a little bit of positive self talk and a whole lot of reasoning I can keep things within reason. Which means at the end of the weekend I will come away feeling great which is more than enough reward for me. I guarantee you that there will be times where I will have to work a bit harder to keep things in balance but to prevent from going overboard I will remind myself that ‘nothing tastes as good as thin feels’ and I can tell you first hand that this is absolutely true. From someone who was never obese but definately overweight I have seen both sides and I know which side I want to stay on.
One trick I use to help me maintain my wellness goals is visualizations. I take about 5 seconds to do it and it has long lasting results.
First, I remind myself that all action creates reactions. I know that I can only control my actions, I have no control of the consequences of my actions. I also know that Positive Action= Positive Reaction, whereas Negative action= … well you get the picure.
Second, I decide what reaction/result/consequence I would like and then I visualize how I will feel when I attain those results (I don’t actually picture anything physical, although you may choose to, I focus more on the feeling of pride, lightness of spirit, strength etc). The positive feeling that visualization evokes allows me to take the correct actions so I will get one step closer to maintaining or attaining the reaction I want.
Ask yourself this holiday season what consequence do you want to have. What results do you want? Maintenance? Weight Loss? Fitness? Decide what you want, let yourself visualize how it is going to feel and then hold onto that feeling. Remind yourself as often as you need to of your goal. VISUALIZE IT. FEEL IT. Health feels great! You deserve to feel great. One last tip, look forward to how you are going to feel when these positive actions result in positive consequences and keep heading in that direction, DO NOT LOOK BACK.
Did I say VISUALIZE? If not, I will say it again, VISUALIZE, VISUALIZE, VISUALIZE!
Christine is a yoga instructor, personal trainer and nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and womens health at Four Forty Fitness for Women in Burlington, Ontario. Check out the website at www.fourfortyfitness.ca