How to Stay Grounded in Your Priorities and Thrive This Holiday Season Without Gaining the Dreaded Holiday Pounds

As a mom of four, business owner, model and health/life coach, I have come to understand the extreme importance of taking care of ourselves, especially during the holidays.

I remember years ago—OK, who am I kidding? This was last year—I thought, “I’m going to go all out for this year: decorate, make every pie from scratch, have kids activities, adult activities, goodie bags, host everything all by myself and look cute. It is going to be perfect!”  WRONG.

I was so stressed, yelling at kids, in a terrible mood, eating too many of the cookies I made and just plain miserable to be around. Why? Was I just focused on what everyonewould think of me, or did I really want to serve others? Maybe both? How am I able to be present and make memories if I’m so focused on myself? I wanted to impress the world around me. How did the giving season turn into being so self-focused? Lack of clear priorities. 

This season isn’t meant to impress the world around you with elaborate table decor or homemade pies or having the best party in town. This season is about spending moments with family and friends, slowing down to createlifelong memories. It is about resting and being present. Rest meaning,Release Every Single Thing. Don’t worry about that email or call or dishes in the sink or toys on the floor. This season is about taking a breath and being grateful for what this year has brought you and setting intentions for the next year to come.

Why is it then, that the average American gains between 8 and 12 pounds during the holiday season? I want to equip you with five simple, tangible steps that if applied will help you not fall into that statistic.

1. Create Moments for Mindfulness. You are the quarterback of your life, which means you make the plays. Be intentional with your time. Find moments in your day to pause and reflect for even five minutes where all you do is focus on three thingsyou are grateful for. This helps reduce anxiety and bring you to the present moment, which increases your peace.

2. Prioritize Sleep. Going out more and staying out late often means less sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to control your blood sugar. When you are sleep-deprived, your body will want to eat higher fat, sugar and carb type foods—bad combo! Less sleep also makes you irritable and less efficient throughout the day, so prioritize sleep!

3. Stay Hydrated. Keep your water bottle with you at all times. I recommend filling a 64-ounce bottle at the beginning of each day so you can track and be sure you are getting enough water in. Sometimes we think we are hungry when in fact, we are dehydrated. Water will help you stay full, energized and eliminate toxins.

4. Eat Before You Party. ALWAYS eat a little snack before you go to a party where you know there will be tempting food. This allows you to make smart food choices when you arrive and you won’t overindulge because you didn’t show up with a rumbling stomach.

5. Move Your Body. Often times we think, “If I can’t get a full workout in, I might as well do nothing.” Or someday syndrome: “I’ll work out next week.” Every single day, intentionally move your body. Whether you are able to go on a 10-minute walk, lift, whatever it may be, exercise is your secret holiday weapon. It can help reduce stress and help make up for the extra eating.