The Holiday Season from a Health Coach’s Perspective

The Holiday Season from a Health Coach’s Perspective

Within American culture, November and December are strange times in the health and wellness profession. On one hand, we have an open platform for discussing all the effs with our clients….food, family, fitness and faith. On the other, November and December are prime time for a pass to sabotage any futile efforts that were made during “bikini season”. All the effs cause such anxiety that cake, pie, bacon wrapped dates and spinach artichoke dip seem like the only plausible answer for self medicating. A million untruths wrapped into a single paragraph, all to dissect for my reader’s benefit.

How did we arrive here? Let’s discuss the effs:

Food: I blame Starbucks and their brilliant marketing. It is October 1st and you DESERVE a pumpkin spice latte laden with 100 million grams of sugar and not a trace of actual PUMPKIN in sight. Sure, it’s just a change of season, but you aren’t experiencing fall in all her glory unless you EAT your way through ALL the harvest’s bounty.

Family: If you’re married, decide mutually and respectfully who you will spend Thanksgiving with. Never mind; just go ahead and polish off the “practice” apple pie, because in-laws are challenging. If you’re single, enjoy Thanksgiving with your family while they ask in 45 different ways if you’re STILL single. It’s ok, just have another glass of wine. If you have kids, they DESERVE a memorable and Instagram worthy Thanksgiving that they will forget, with gratitude. Good luck.

Fitness: August was really hot. October was really busy. November you exercised twice, once the day you signed up for the Turkey Trot (a family tradition) and then the Turkey Trot. You can’t eat unless you “ran” a 5K.

Faith: Summer was busy. Back to school was, back to school. Now, be grateful. Have gratitude. Then start buying a bunch of stuff because nobody will have the capacity to celebrate Jesus; the savior of the WORLD, unless there are a lot of wrapped gifts under the tree. Don’t forget to flock the tree, because everybody is doing it.

How do we depart from here?

Food: The Spiced Double Mocha Peppermint thing with sprinkles on top, doesn’t define your season?! I know it seems like it should or maybe for that MOMENT when you taste the artificial “Christmas”, you BELIEVE that yes THAT FLAVOR defines THIS SEASON. For all the efforts of large corporations to redefine a season, I personally stand in defiance. Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, cinnamon and Oh, my beloved….butternut squash. They, among many more not mentioned (but not forgotten) are the provisions of the season. Not by accident, this harvest provides the exact nutrients the body needs as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop.

Family: They are my people. For better or worse, they are my people. If you have a family to lean into during this holiday season; do it, because the sanctity of family holds power. Throw off the pressure, pull out the cozy blankets, put down the tech and lean in. From the littles to the elders, we have so many truths to uncover within our families.

Fitness: You don’t have to move a muscle to earn a meal. Let the permission to eat wash over you. Now, bundle up in hats and vests and go for a walk. The Turkey Trot has massively engaged families across the nation in exponential numbers in the last 10 years, which is good news. Unless you’re a health coach and you see the hidden message of exercise outweighs poor eating habits. That untruth will never be reframed as truth. Never mind the psychological implications of this message, the science is also faulty. If calorie expenditure were equal to calorie consumption, then an apple and a coke would be equals. My four year old would laugh at that ridiculous way of thinking! Exercise is amazingly beneficial to our bodies, but it will never be a good reason to over-indulge in nutritionally inadequate food.

Faith: If you are over the age of 15, holidays can be sensitive. Memories of what was are poignant. Realities of what is are difficult to navigate. Aspirations for what we aim to be are daunting at the turn of a year. Practicing gratitude can feel like another failure. However, taking the time to intentionally reflect on the highlight reel will unintentionally create mood boosting hormones. On a personal note, Folk Angel Pandora takes me to that place. Sufjan Stevens version of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” gives me all the feels every time.

Cheers to the Holiday Season AND Don’t forget to order your cookie box if you live in Flux Nourishment meal delivery areas. Indeed, the irony is not lost.