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Celebrate Thanksgiving with healthy mindset

Betty Doyling

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the things in life to be grateful for.

There’s so much that many of us take for granted: a roof over our heads, good relationships with friends and family, a fulfilling job — and a refrigerator stocked with delicious food.

It’s the beginning of a long holiday season. I plan to celebrate it with a healthy mindset and I invite you to join me.

1. Gluttony is not good

The first thing we need to remember is our holidays are for rest and recovery from our normal day-to-day activities; that doesn’t mean sloth-like behaviour and gluttony. When we make a pie for dessert we should leave it for just that. It wasn’t made to be part of our main meals at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Even if it tastes incredible, it’s doing absolutely nothing to help your body relax and recharge.

2. Allow yourself to enjoy the meal

On the other hand, holidays are not days where you should stick to your plans to only eat squeaky clean. If you eat more at Thanksgiving and Christmas than on your average day, if the food isn’t in keeping with your regular diet, that is fine! It is a holiday. Just stay mindful of your choices and make sure that you celebrate the day and not the entire week!

3. Make an eating plan

One thing that can be really helpful is to make decisions beforehand. It is easier to make good choices if you have a plan. Choose something that you want to stick to. Maybe you want to make sure you only eat one piece of pie, or that you are gluten-free or that you eat your vegetables first. When presented with the opportunity for seconds, it is much easier to decline if you have fixed decisions in your mind in advance.

4. Stick to it for exercise too

Plan your pre- and post-holiday workouts to ensure success. Don’t say: “I will work out over the holidays.” Be specific. I already know that over Christmas I will be cooking in the mornings and throughout the day so I will plan to work out before I begin so it doesn’t get overlooked. Whether you spend your holidays on-island or abroad, schedule in some activity time. It is much easier to get back to training after a few days off as opposed to a few weeks.

5. Be thankful

And finally, make sure you exhale. If you start to feel stressed, take a deep breath. If you feel like you are doing too much, if your plane is delayed, if you ate too much, breathe and let it go. Enjoy the time with your family. Be thankful for what you have in life. It is surprising what that shift in perspective can do for your mindset.

Have a great holiday and B-Active For Life!

•Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife