FEATURE — We’re all surrounded by people who love and care for us and who show that love in many different ways — especially around holidays, celebrations, parties and get-togethers. Our friends and family members mean well and are invariably doing the best they can with whatever it is they have.
However, we must keep in mind that we all have uniquely different nutritional needs, dietary restrictions, allergies, goals and lifestyle preferences. Most people are not sensitive to — or even aware of — this fact, and when we gather as families, organizations and communities, many of us silently struggle as we survey the spread of food options available.
For a hundred different reasons, countless people find it most difficult to maintain their dietary and nutritional goals during family celebrations and holidays.
Consider, for example, your nutritional and exercise goals over the last few months and how relational and associational influences have played a role, for better and for worse, in how you currently feel — especially as you look back over the recent holidays.
Introspection can be an incredibly powerful tool to stir forward action within us, particularly at the dawn of a new year. With all of your brilliant resolutions in your mind and the powerful momentum that comes along with it, let’s reflect on how relationships and associations of all kinds greatly influence how we choose to live and who we choose to become.
Here are a few key points to consider — intended to help strengthen your “nutritional 20/20 vision” — as you move forward with new intentionality about the lifestyle you desire for yourself and for your family this year:
- Visualize the ideal lifestyle for you. If you don’t become crystal-clear about the kind of life you’d like to be living — for yourself and your family — the only one that can show up for you is by default and is out of your hands, left almost entirely up to the thoughts, actions and influences of those around you.
- Selectively choose your associations. The only lifestyle capable of showing up is the average accumulation of the lifestyles of those with whom you spend the most time. We all deeply influence the decisions and choices of others, so choose your circles of association carefully, selectively, and intentionally.
- Communicate desire for self-care. Let others know that you’re trying to be good to yourself, eat more intentionally, show more self-love and be more intuitively mindful. This will deepen the love you have within yourself and will stir admiration in others. Proper self-care is highly contagious.
- Express your preferences and goals. By establishing clarity, others will be more mindful and aware of your needs and wants and will move forward much more thoughtfully. Don’t communicate just to be understood. Communicate so that you couldn’t possibly be misunderstood for any reason whatsoever.
- Find opportunities to educate others. Be the one who always brings multiple alternatives and replacement options to share. Others will be empowered by your discipline, educated about your particular needs and preferences, and floored to finally find out how deliciously satiating healthful foods really can be.
- Learn to say “no, thanks” with love. Give yourself permission to be selective, understanding that you are always free to choose for yourself aside from any perceived obligation or requirement. Others will understand why and will find strength within themselves to exercise the same disciplinary muscles.
- Create opportunities to be the host. It’s much easier to influence the meals and snacks when you’re the one organizing the entire event. From the beginning, delegate with specificity and visualize the end result. Rarely are we as proactive as we wish we’d been once hindsight shows up.
- Take full responsibility and ownership. Be accountable for all of your choices, decisions and actions. When it comes to the healing and wellness of your body, it’s up to you alone. Moving forward, decide that you will continue to take full ownership of all the results you’d like to see in your future.
Written by BENTLEY MURDOCK, owner and founder of Healistic Vitality.
This article was first published in St. George Health and Wellness magazine.