Journey Back To Strength 10

My Approach To Thanksgiving

Journey Back To Strength 10 - My Approach To ThanksgivingMy Approach To Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 2013. What does hearing that mean to you when you think about it? I immediately think about the beauty in my existing relationships and all of the possibilities for growth in those relationships. Your family, friends and even acquaintances have been placed in your life for a distinct purpose. Are you capable of seeing those possibilities right in front of you?

Some of these people are put in your life to build your character and to force you to grow. Some have hurt you along the way, and maybe being able to love them anyway is the tie that binds you together. Some relationships aren’t beneficial for either of you—do you have the capacity to remain gracious anyway? And finally, there are those who have loved and supported you for years, and is it possible that you haven’t been able to see the love as it sits right in front of you?

Thanksgiving This Year…

My personal goal for Thanksgiving this year will be to focus on these exact scenarios I just mentioned. It is my deepest desire to see with new eyes. How wonderful to feel fearless with regards to overeating by focusing solely on the people who I love and love me.

Journey Back To Strength 10 - My Approach To ThanksgivingMy Approach To ThanksgivingOr maybe I lost my way, and this year, I will be committed to shifting my complete focus. I want to be thankful for the people and opportunities right in front of me and to become a better, more loving and forgiving person moving forward. What I do know is that all of these relationships have been divinely placed in my life, and now I am choosing to become very clear as to why. This Thanksgiving, I will have a distinct shift in focus.

I am choosing to really see the love that exists in my life, and I can almost guarantee I will be much less concerned about the calories I should or shouldn’t be eating that day. I am deeply committed to moving to the next level in my life. Overeating, people pleasing, fear around food, negativity and all of the same old issues I am choosing to leave behind this year. I am so deeply grateful for this shift in perception. What a gift!

Moving past the “fix” (food) and progressing to the next level in my life may just be what I need right now, and maybe you are ready for this shift as well. I can only share my journey, my path, my vision and my insight and hope that it can somehow help you as well. If so, then my primary purpose for being on this earth is finally where I want it to be.

Shift in Focus…

This Thursday, the shift will be from focusing on how much food I can eat to fill some inner void to instead looking right at people who are sitting before me.

Giving Thanks…

This year, I am thankful for the people in my life. I am thankful for the people who aren’t in my life. I am so grateful for where I am today. Just know, not everyone has a place to go for the holidays. Not everyone has food on the table this year. But everyone can choose to be thankful for where they are today, because it all is for a much bigger purpose.

Want to give the perfect holiday gift? Bring love to the table, and I can assure you that your experience that day, and every day that follows, can be different.

These blogs are deeply personal to me. This week isn’t about my training, but it is about finding that “balance” that so many of us are searching for. The balance comes from facing the places within that can be scary to look at, acknowledge and change. But it is in those places where you will find the balance you’ve been looking for. Body, mind, spirit and food when equally addressed may be the “balance” you’ve been looking for. I know I have.

There are so many areas in life that may distract, such as the mindless hours spent on the Internet, watching TV, focusing on the outside world, negative people and the list goes on. All of these can become escapes and distractions. Unfortunately a “cheat meal” cannot fill the emptiness I am speaking about. Finding deeply enriching ways to fill the void may make mindless food consumption less and less important. That is just my experience anyway.

On a lighter note…

Ava’s Top 10 Ways To Stay On Track For The Holidays

Journey Back To Strength 10 - My Approach To ThanksgivingMy Approach To Thanksgiving1. Bring your own food. Don’t discuss it. Just have it on hand, grab a matching plate, heat it up, sit down and eat. The matching plate makes it look less obvious than eating out of the container you brought your food in.

2. Be ready to respond. Be prepared for the “suggestions” you never asked for such as: how you should eat, what you need to be doing, how you don’t need to diet, etc. Here is a simple and succinct statement you can use, “Thank you for your suggestion, I will keep that in mind.” It’s essentially a polite way to shut it down.

3. Don’t complain. You chose this path, no one else did. No one wants to hear about how miserable you are. That’s #RealTalk.

Journey Back To Strength 10 - My Approach To ThanksgivingMy Approach To Thanksgiving4. Make plans to escape if necessary. Sometimes, it can just be overwhelming, and if you have to leave, well, then leave. Remember, do it with a smile—it confuses people and makes everyone less defensive.

5. Don’t waste time trying to explain your meal plan. They aren’t going to listen or suddenly implement your diet plan. So, it’s best just to save time for you both and politely shift the subject.

Journey Back To Strength 10 - My Approach To ThanksgivingMy Approach To Thanksgiving6. Always have a glass filled with a beverage. Not the vodka-tonic kind of beverage (though it’s OK to wish you had one). Doing so keeps your hands occupied and gives you something to focus on rather than being empty-handed while eyeballing the appetizers.

7. Refer a friend. If someone wants all of your nutrition tips, send them to your trainer. It takes the pressure off of you to become their newly appointed coach and consultant.

8. Move it to lose it. If you happen to succumb to eating extra calories, suggest going for an after dinner speed walk. Invite the family to join you. Or, hit the gym as soon as you can to use those calories wisely.

9. Feeling Tempted? Feel like you are about to lose your mind with all of the food around? Here is a simple thought that has always helped me in a pinch. In your mind, envision that one part of your body that you absolutely don’t want to live with anymore. Now think of that body part as it appears in the changing room at a department store with the fluorescent lights. Get very specific with your visual. Now armed with that vision, make your final decision to skip the dessert tray. That should help a bit.

10. Make A Choice. Are you close to competing in a show? Are you starving and know you just don’t have it in you to deal with negativity, abundance of off limits food and barrage of questions, comments and critiques? Well, just skip it then. It’s your choice, and they’ll get over it. :)

Until next week, Happy Thanksgiving!

Ava Cowan is an IFBB Figure Professional, a CPTS® and full time online coach and consultant for women of all fitness levels.

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