By Dr. John H. Sklare
As hard as it is to believe, the annual Christmas Holiday Season is already upon us. I know this by the arrival of all of those catalogs in the mail, the onslaught of gift promoting TV commercials and the appearance of holiday decorations popping up all around town. It’s a time of great celebration and excitement as our lives are temporarily turned upside down by the hustle and bustle of this festive occasion. Not to mention the fact that our senses are often overwhelmed by the temptation of all those home baked seasonal goodies that can break the will of even the most steadfast weight loss warriors among us. Yes, for the dieter, this season can be a real challenge to say the least. So, I have an idea to share with you today that is directed at those of you who are attempting to walk a healthy line this holiday season while surrounded by all that mouthwatering temptation. But let me begin by telling you what triggered this holiday inspired idea.
I was having a conversation with a woman who was struggling with weight loss one day when the topic of angels came up. The topic arose when she jokingly commented that she needed to have her guardian angel nearby at all times because she was constantly tempted to eat those off program foods that were no longer on her wellness menu. My interpretation of her angelic reference was that she was using the concept of having a guardian angel to help her deal with the angst and high degree of emotional intensity that weight loss and dieting bring to the surface. She went on to tell me that she loved angels and truly believed that they were a constant influence in her life as well as in the lives of others. I nodded my head in silent agreement because I know that the belief in angels is very reassuring to a great many people as they are powerful symbols that influence and guide the lives of many believers. Our discussion, however, started me thinking.
So, I asked myself, how could I harness this concept in a positive, life changing way that could ease the emotional pain involved in weight loss and help people stay on track with healthy lifestyle change. As I thought about it, I was reminded of that classic old movie that is featured every Christmas season starring Jimmy Stewart, as George Bailey, titled – It’s A Wonderful Life. I’ve watched that movie countless times over the years and I never get tired of seeing it and feeling the power in the message that it delivers. I’m sure that most of you are familiar with it as well. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure that you’ll get numerous opportunities in the next few weeks as it’s a regular offering every year at this time. Anyway, I was particularly thinking about the end of the movie where everyone is gathered together singing and celebrating when suddenly you hear the sound of a bell ringing on the Christmas tree. As you may recall, this is where George Bailey’s daughter says “Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.” George Bailey grins and tells his daughter “You’re right”. He knows she’s right because, as you may recall, his guardian angel Clarence told him the exact same thing. To this day, every time I hear a bell ring, I imagine an angel getting its wings. So now let me bring this back to dieting, weight loss and staying the course over the holiday season.
Most people who engage in weight loss and lifestyle change are always in search for some powerful inspiration that will help them stand firm when the going gets tough. They both want and need an effective way to keep themselves committed to actively pursuing their weight loss goal by mindfully infusing themselves with goal-oriented thinking. After all, motivation is the fuel that drives and sustains commitment. In my opinion, you can totally take the sting out of weight loss if you can find some kind of inspiration that will finally allow you to honestly and enthusiastically embrace healthy living. With that in mind, I would like to offer you an idea that I hope will inspire you to make healthier choices during the holiday and thereby make it easier for you to reach your weight loss goal. So, whether you believe in the power of angels or not, here’s what I suggest you consider.
Every time you make a healthy choice, imagine that an angel gets its wings just like in that great holiday movie. Every time you make a decision that moves you toward your goal, an angel gets its wings! Every time you have a positive thought about yourself, an angel gets its wings! Every time you choose to exercise, an angel gets its wings! Every time you eat something healthy, an angel gets its wings! Every time you resist a holiday goodie, an angel gets its wings! Get the idea? By the way, nothing bad happens if you make an unhealthy choice. It’s just that the next wingless angel standing in line has to wait a little longer to take flight.
Now, if you want to take this one step further, I have another suggestion. In counseling and psychotherapy there is a term that refers to making something more real or concrete in your life. It’s called grounding. So, I’m going to suggest a grounding activity here that will add a physical dimension to this imaginary activity. Find yourself a little bell or something that jingles a bit and carry it with you in your purse or pocket. Then, every time you make a healthy choice, give it a little jingle. Who knows, you may even here the fluttering of wings at the same time.
I’m hoping that the power of this image will give you the focus and motivation that you need to make healthy choices throughout this holiday season and beyond. The key is to not look too far down the road and to just focus on each decision as it unfolds before you and then choose wisely in that moment. Because, when all is said and done, it really all comes down to this. There is one incredible moment when the decision to eat is made and, if you can manage that moment, you can win this weight loss battle. So, what do you say? Are you interested in trying this whimsical weight loss strategy? I hope so because the line is forming and the angels await their wings.
Wishing You Great Health,
Dr. John H. Sklare
The Inner Diet
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