Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Holiday Season...Put yourself First!

By Jillian Michaels

The holiday season is upon us, and this time EVERY year I write diet, fitness, and motivational tips (and now blogs) about how to not gain weight and let your health spiral out of control. In fact, I just had to write two others on this same topic.

It’s ironic that during a time when we should be celebrating the blessings in our lives, we are most prone to depression and dysfunction. The holidays bring out our co-dependency in spades: doing, buying, being for everyone except ourselves. And the symptoms of this behavior are obvious: Eating becomes gluttonous. Family issues become magnified. The gym becomes a distant memory. Stress levels go through the roof, and so on.

So I ask you… Are the standard tips about white meat instead of dark meat, or going for a walk before your Thanksgiving meal the answers to these problems? Isn’t it obvious that if you consume healthy foods in moderation and move your body more you won’t gain weight? And since it is that simple, the real question becomes, Why aren’t people doing it? The solution isn’t reiterating self-evident information, but rather discussing ways of remedying the problem's origin – lack of self-worth.

This issue is a major one and not something we can fix overnight, but by taking small steps like redefining our holiday experience we are moving in the right direction. Let’s start by shifting our thinking, behavior, and overall attitude to one of self-preservation instead of self-sacrifice so we are heading into 2010, and subsequently, many new years to come, with our bodies healthy, hearts happy, and minds centered.

Every day this season I want you to wake up and think about how the actions you take throughout your day will make you a happier healthier person. If holiday parties create temptation for you, avoid them. Find a healthier way to celebrate with your friends like a night on the town dancing. If stressful family reunions throw you off track, set boundaries and stay away. Take a healthy vacation with close friends instead. If the memories of holiday seasons past cause you to feel lonely, channel those feelings constructively instead of destructively. Take them as a sign that it’s time to form new connections. Join a club, support group, or online community where you meet new people and make new friends. If buying presents for everyone and their mother crushes you financially and puts you behind the eight ball, offer the ongoing gift of your love and friendship instead.

These things might seem impossible at first. You might be plagued with concerns about what people will think. Will they be angry or disappointed with you? Stop talking to you and so on? Honestly, who cares? If someone doesn’t love or appreciate you for putting yourself first they have done you a favor and identified themselves as someone you don’t need in your life.

So stop wasting time and start putting your health first, physically and emotionally. Make the holidays a time of inspiration and possibility, one empowered step at a time. And remember, taking care of yourself is a gift to everyone else because everyone ends up having a happier and healthier holiday.

Jillian Michaels is one of the country’s leading health and wellness experts. The New York Times bestselling author, trainer and life coach on the NBC hit series The Biggest Loser, and star of the upcoming NBC show Losing It With Jillian, has become a household name by helping people achieve healthier and happier lives. Every week she motivates 10 million TV viewers and approximately 3 million subscribers to her Web site, www.JillianMichaels.com, through daily e-mail newsletters. As a motivator and role model, Jillian has a unique connection with her audience that stems from her own personal journey toward wellness. Before she was a TV success, Jillian struggled with her own weight and was determined to reach her goals. Her dedication and hard work has empowered her to inspire others to achieve total wellness through bestselling books, DVDs, video games, weight-loss supplements, fitness equipment, and other life solutions. Become a fan of Jillian Michaels on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jillianmichaels and follow her on twitter @JillianMichaels.

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