You don't want to miss this article by Josh Hillis, one of my friends in the fitness industry. He is an really cool guy, and offers some really important insights.
I saw a lot of myself in his article from back in the day when I had a very unhealthy relationship with food, and a very unhealthy body to prove it.
The take home for me is this:
It's about picking your battles.
I talk and write about it often. Fitness and lasting weight loss is a LONG game. One day is not going to make or break your long term results. Yet I too have been guilty of being "that guy" - trying to make every Thanksgiving dish the absolute healthiest version it could be, and making everybody else suffer along with me.
Mistake number one is focusing on Thanksgiving DAY, while ignoring the rest of November and December. Josh describes the behaviors of people like me, who failed at weight loss for so many years as missed opportunities. We "miss the opportunities to mindfully and intentionally enjoy more food with friends and family. Instead (we) eat more mindlessly at times when it doesn't really add much enjoyment to (our) lives"
Boom - hit me right between the eyes.
But he is exactly right. As my relationship with food has improved, the thing that allows me to maintain a 100 pound plus weight loss is what I do daily, not one or two days a year. So while you don't have to intentionally overeat on Thanksgiving day, relax just a little.
Mistake number two is too often focusing on everything around me that is going wrong, instead of continually practicing gratitude. Full disclosure: I am writing this article a day after I caused myself to have a horrible day (which never affects just me) by doing this very thing - focusing on everyone that was going wrong, irritated me, and ultimately I could not control. Yes, I can be really dumb.
For most of us gratitude does not come very naturally. We must continually PRACTICE. Recent studies have shown that expressions of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods, and our social life.
Robert A Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis and Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to one of three tasks. Each week participants wrote a short passage in their journal. One group described five things they were grateful for the previous week, another group recorded five daily hassles that had aggravated them, and the last group was asked to list five circumstances that affected them, but were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative, Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25% happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and even exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.
Coach Nancy has written a very practical guide, "3 Simple Steps to Practicing Gratitude", which we have compiled into a short but beautiful e-book you can download and refer to.
Just like any other habit or skill, you gotta get in your reps.
I'd be grateful if you would download a copy here. 🙂
I want to take this opportunity to share gratitude.
To my wonderful wife Nancy, who keeps me around in spite of me.
To my kids still in the house; Andrew, KJ, and Amy, who didn't sign up to be kids of busy entrepreneurs, but who bring so much joy into my life.
To my "grown up kids" and their families; Tim, Deb and Lexi, and Jeff, Kimberley, Jack and Janie. I am proud of you and love and miss you.
To the incredible team at Get Fit NH; Meagan, Adam, Brian, Lars and Becky. Never mind can't do it without you - don't want to do it without you. You guys are the best.
To my coaches and friends in the industry, which are too numerous to name, but I'll give you a few; Nick, Kelly, Ryan, Dave, Tom, J-Mark, Anthony, Julie and Brad. To the gang in Watchtower. Thank-you for being there for me.
To my Get Fit NH family, what can I say? The incredible people who we get to coach every day, who we laugh and cry with, sweat with and struggle with. Thank-you. If you are reading this, you are part of that family too, so thank-you.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!