Willpower will only get you so far…

Truth: Resisting repeated temptation this holiday season will take a mental and emotional toll on you. Tying to rely on willpower alone can only take you so far.

Earlier today in the 365 Tribe closed Facebook group we were chatting about navigating holiday indulgence with tools and strategies so that we can actually *enjoy* the season from an empowered perspective. This holiday season we will literally be bombarded with temptation at various social events. It’s naive to expect that you can harness your willpower and self-control 100% of the time. What’s more likely is that you’ll harness it for a bit, but think of your willpower like a muscle that gets fatigued. Eventually you’ll be mentally and emotionally exhausted and end up in binge-guilt city. Let’s avoid that, shall we?

Quick note, 365 Tribe, my online community for women who are committed to prioritizing their health and wellness, is open for registration at a discounted rate for this week only. Learn more here.

Today, I want to give you 5 actual strategies that will blow willpower out of the water when it comes to navigating your indulgences.

  1. What do I love, and what can I easily live without? In the tribe, we discussed that there are some indulgence type foods that we LOVE (me: chocolate covered ‘blueberries’) and others that can easily live without. For me that would be things like mousses, Nanaimo bars and any baked goods with walnuts. Good riddance. If I never ate any of these things again I’d be totally fine with it. Recognizing this is helpful, because it helps us to navigate our indulgences towards things that we actually enjoy instead of mindlessly eating whatever’s in front of us.
  2. Am I even enjoying this? Check in with yourself and ask, am I even enjoying this? When it comes to baked goods, I’m more than happy to indulge in something that’s fresh and homemade if I’m enjoying it. I almost never enjoy grocery store caliber baked goods (think: baked goods that have been on a grocery store shelf in a plastic clam-shell for a week). This is a simple no-go for me. If I’m enjoying it, great. If I’m not enjoy it, what’s the benefit?
  3. Get mindful. Blah, blah, blah, mindfulness. Let’s get specific: Firstly can you sit while you’re eating? Eating while seated, again, brings us back to act of enjoying our food. Next, can you tune into your enjoyment: flavours, textures, smells? I’m willing to bet that when you’re paying attention, the first few bites will satisfy  you, and they’ll be enough. If you’re still actively enjoying it, by all means, go for it.
  4. Evaluate your options. There are no good or bad foods, but there are foods that are more or less in line with our goals. We almost always have options, and it’s up to us to explore and navigate those. I want my women to navigate that by making the choices that are satisfying and enjoyable for them. This might include opting for a glass of wine over sangria, or a vodka soda over rum and coke. There are no right or wrong choices, but consciously making choices keeps us in our power.
  5. Take the next opportunity. Know that your indulgences are a form of dietary relief so that you don’t have to flex that willpower muscle 24-7. When you make choices that aren’t necessarily in line with your goals, you are actually doing yourself a favour; you are potentially stopping yourself from a big binge later on. If you feel yourself getting pulled into the cycle of guilt-restrict-binge, know that you are always just one choice away from stepping back into your power. No need to wait until tomorrow, or Monday, simply take the next opportunity to make a choice that’s more in line with your goals.

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