Some Ways to feel Freer and Healthier this Summer!

Hopefully you’re looking forward to the summer: a time of good weather, time with friends and family, and perhaps you are going away. But you may also be secretly dreading some bits of it too, especially if they present different food challenges that may make you feel a little uncomfortable: bring and share lunches, barbeques, parties, picnics and ice creams!

If this is true for you, the video and blog below give you some ways to beat the dread and to feel heathier and freer this summer…

First, you need to decide what being freer and healthier looks like for you:

  • Is it continuing your normal way of exercising and eating?
  • Is it completely forgetting about anything you have learnt and what your body really wants and eating and drinking whatever is on offer?
  • Is it enjoying everything in moderation?
  • Is it choosing a few specific things to try, some new exercise perhaps, or choosing to walk more?

Any of these things is fine if that is what you really want, and it is your choice. So, as you head into the summer, it can be helpful to think about what being healthier and freer mean to you and decide what it is you really want.   

It can be helpful to visualise and picture how you want to feel in September.  Imagine it’s 6th September when most of the schools go back, or perhaps you are going back to work after a little break. Perhaps you aren’t affected at all by the school holidays, but September still feels like a turning point in the year as we head into autumn. So how do you want to feel?

When we visualise things and revisit this regularly, our brains make little adjustments to try and make sure we go in that direction. The more that you picture how you want to feel when September comes, the more helpful that will be for your decision-making process through the summer.

You can use other events throughout the summer in the same way to picture how you want to feel, for example, when you come back from holiday, or how you want to feel on your birthday, or coming back from an evening party.  Keep visualising, keep picturing what you really want and then that will filter back into your decision-making process.

And remember, any of the choices you make are fine as long as it’s your choice and you are not being controlled by anything else, like sugar, or emotions, or trying to please other people!

After the summer I’ll be challenging my Forever membership group to look back on whether they had peace in most of their decisions over the summer. This is what I’m most concerned about when working with people: whether they feel like they are in control, that they are able to as they want to most of the time, and on the occasions when they don’t feel in control or make a decision they aren’t happy with, that they can have peace with that too.

And it really is about having peace and not about the details. For one person that might be that they had three course dinners and an ice cream every day and are completely at peace with that. For another person it might be that their holiday was self-catering, they made all the meals in advance, took their own snacks ate very lightly the whole time, and they have peace with that. And for another person, perhaps they mainly ate as they would do at home but then had the odd cream tea or the odd ice cream. What they did or what food they ate is not important, but whether they had peace with their decisions is.

You can break this down and aim for peace after each meal or at the end of each day when you get into bed. So, if you’re going on holiday and the whole holiday fills you a little bit with dread, why not just aim for peace after each meal. You are aiming to be able to say to yourself: “I had what I wanted to at the time, and I was in control of that.”

Planning can help you attain that peace. Maybe it’s cooking meals in advance for self-catering holidays, offering to do the cooking where you are sharing meals with others, taking healthy dishes to bring and shares, or making plenty of salad for a barbecue.

Think about what you could do to plan in advance to make sure you can made decisions and choices that you feel peaceful about.  

And of course, peace is also possible when you’re faced with a situation that you really didn’t want. For those impossible times when there is just no other option there is plenty of grace available. Today, a couple of friends going to the shop asked me if I wanted an ice cream. I said no, but they came back and said: “Surprise! We got you one anyway!” There’s not really much you can do with an ice cream except eat it or watch it melt, so I had the ice cream. It wasn’t particularly what I wanted but there was almost no other option at the time, so that’s where grace comes in and I had peace with it that way.  

If you take nothing else from this blog, the key is having peace with your decisions. And if you haven’t got peace, then dig a bit deeper and work out what’s going on.

Here are a few other tips for a healthy summer:

  • Drink plenty of water: whatever else you drink; whether that’s cocktails, beer, tea, coffee, juices or something else, you can still decide that water will be your main drink throughout the summer
  • Enjoy being outdoors and the extra activity that entails
  • Enjoy the social element and conversations and everything else that summer entails. And though social occasions will often include food, remember it’s the socialising and not the food that’s really the important thing!

We’d love to know if these tips were helpful, leave us a comment and let us know what you think. And if you’d like to explore more ways to feel healthier and freer for good, come and join us for the Healthy, Whole and Free Course, a 12-week online programme that starts on Monday 26th September. You can find out more and sign up here.

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