It’s two days after Thanksgiving, and I know what you’re thinking . . .

MH900448550You just spent two days eating way too much and you’ve been beating-up on yourself for almost as long. And, you are now making promises to yourself you can’t possibly or won’t keep. “I’m not going to eat anything at all today.” “I’m going to fast and just drink liquids.” “I’m going to go to the gym right after I go shopping.”  “I don’t care how cold it is , I’m going for a walk.” Problem is you do care, and you probably won’t.

Or, you’ve already thrown in the towel and decided to spend the next few weeks eating anything and everything you want, since you’ve already blown your diet and your good intentions. Your new plan is to worry about it in the New Year.

If I’m reading your mind, before you think another thought, take a deep breath.

That’s good, now take another one. Belly breathe, which means you not only inhale through your nose and fill your chest with air, you fill your belly as well.

Now, simply note “I probably ate more than I should have.” Followed by another deep, belly-filling breath. “Yup, I did.” “I kind-of wish I hadn’t done that, because now I feel bad about it.” And, breathe . . . take two more deep breaths.

The deep breathing gives your brain enough time to focus on what you are saying and feeling, and will relax you even if were feeling guilty or frustrated a few seconds before. Relaxing your brain also gives it time to readjust and switch gears, and that’s a good thing.

Now tell yourself something positive. “Hmm, I’ve been in a tough place before and I have gotten myself out of it. I bet I can do it again.”  And, breathe. Try to keep the deep breathing going, as it not only relaxes you, it breaks the negative spiral your brain is used to going into at this point. (Oh, why do I even try. I always overeat, I can’t lose weight, Why do I even bother, Besides, my family just metabolizes food different, other people eat more than me and they are skinny; it’s not fair…)

And, breathe.

You’re right, it’s not fair, and I’m sorry you can’t just keep eating everything you want. It’s hard to pass-up all that food, especially during the holidays, but you can do it.

Start by picturing yourself at your ideal weight. You know, when you can slip into your skinny jeans and zip them up with no trouble. Or you can wear that dress you love and not feel you have to add a jacket or shawl to cover your jiggling bits, wherever they are. Or, you can run around with the kids and not feel winded or tired.

The more detailed and real the picture is in your mind, the more likely you are to achieve it. (Accessorize it – I know exactly which jeans and which top I’m wearing!) The key is to create the picture that works for you – you will know what works for you when it feels real and makes you feel good at the same time.

Now, mentally give that you a hug.  Do it, because that is the you that you truly want to embrace. The you, you know deep down inside you can be.

And, breathe.

Now figure out what you can do today, right now to take a step in that direction. Throw out the leftovers, find your walking/running/hopping jumping shoes, and put them on.  Or simply head up and down the stairs a few times. Do what ever you have to do to set yourself on the path you want to be on.

And, remember to breathe, deep and long and often as you go, and to bring the picture of you, the you you know you can be, wherever you go. Every time temptation strikes – and it will – picture that you. When you wake up or before you go to sleep – breathe long, and deep, and slow and picture that you. Make it a part of you, and it will be!

Now you have a plan and you are not alone. The breathing and the picture of you are the perfect holiday gift to give yourself. After all, ’tis the season for believing, why not start by believing in yourself?

You can do it!

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