Mindset: A Little Help from Santa

Santa may not be the picture of health and slenderness, but maybe we just need to readjust our thinking and adopt the mindset for weight loss regarding the jolly old elf!

S              See Yourself as Slender

A             Act As If

N             (k)Now Your Outcome

T              Treat Yourself Well

A             Announce Your Intention

Is seeing yourself as slender now too much to ask for on your holiday list? Then See Yourself as Successful instead. Even if you haven’t reached your goal weight, even if you have no clue what that will look like in the mirror, you can picture yourself doing the things that will lead to that success. Picture yourself making healthy choices, moving your body more, being happy and having fun.

How many times do we put off behaviors until we reach a goal…like, I’m embarrassed to be seen exercising in public so I’ll join the gym after I drop 25 pounds. Hmmm. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Now is the time to Act As If you have already reached that weight goal, as if you are already healthy. What would you do differently then? Would you go hiking? Would you take a trip? Would you cook different foods? Would you invite friends over? Be that person NOW. By being that person now…by doing the things that that slender, healthy person does, then your body will have to follow suit.

Certain things are given at the holidays—you just know what is going to happen: Aunt Martha will serve her famous annual dinner, famous in part for the lack of anything green or not covered in gravy; the office will be decorated with treats and sweets; the neighborhood party will be overflowing with booze. Since you know what to expect, you can (k)Now Your Outcome—in other words, you can wrap your head around it and plan ahead. It isn’t a surprise so do what you can to balance it out and then enjoy life knowing you have put yourself in the driver’s seat for this holiday sleigh ride.

Santa’s “nice” list is filled with kids who have made mistakes—maybe even some big ones—over the year. A misstep or two doesn’t relegate those mostly-good kids to the “naughty” list. Learn from Santa and cut yourself some slack, especially at this time of year when the temptations are everywhere. Instead of expecting perfection shoot for “good enough”—I call it the 80% Rule. If I make the healthy choices 80% of the time then I know I will have success in the long run. Treat Yourself Well and congratulate yourself for doing a great job instead of berating yourself for the occasional slipup.

It isn’t necessary to let the entire world know your plans, but having even one ally can really strengthen your resolve, so Announce Your Intention. Carefully pick someone who will be there for you, not someone who will bring you down or tell you to wait until January. You may be long-distance accountability partners checking in by phone or email, or maybe you are walking buddies ensuring you move your bodies at least once daily and get your day started on the path to health.

Seems Santa may be a good example for us to follow after all!

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