By Kim Dolan Leto, KimDolanLeto.com
The holidays are here and so are their temptations! I want to arm you with a battle plan to keep first things first and stay healthy, happy, and fit God’s way.
This is your first blog in a series of Holiday guides to health, mindset, getting your workout in, detoxing, gift ideas, recipes, and more.
Okay, let me first say thank you for the 5-star ratings and reviews. If you haven't yet left yours, please do so here.
Thank you in advance for helping me help other women know Jesus in their food, fitness, body image, and worth, and Live Strong. Confident. His.
We win or lose battles in our minds
Okay, I’m going to kick this series off with where we win or lose our battles, our minds!
As a man thinks, so is he. Proverbs 23:7.
Your mind is the steering wheel of your life, so let’s drive you into the New Year Happy, Healthy, and Fit God’s way. I’m hearing Carrie Underwood sing, Jesus, take the wheel, and that is exactly what we want.
I encourage you to get out a journal and write these tips and scriptures down. I’m giving you a winning Jesus-fille, happy healthy, and whole holiday plan:
- The number one thing you can do this holiday season to stay healthy, fit and whole is to prepare your mindset. Here’s how!
Remember Jesus is the reason for the season
Have you ever noticed how hard the devil works to keep your focus off of Jesus during the celebration of His birth? Remember, if he can steal your health, he can steal your future.
From November to January, everything seems to be about food and buying things, but we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus, not buckling under the expectation of perfection. From the stress of perfect gifts, meals, and decorations, we’ve forgotten Jesus.
Decide NOW! And Recommit daily. This is your loving reminder and a wake-up call to get off the emotional roller coaster of all-or-nothing dieting. Let’s get very real, And decide with our hearts we are not going to blow off the next two months and that we’re going to keep first things first, God and family, and especially keep Christ in Christmas.
Going into the holidays is like a long, very long weekend or vacation. There is a massive temptation to think, I’m too busy, I don’t have time to read my Bible, and I’m just going to eat whatever I want and skip my workouts for the next two months and then really go for it in 2023. Next year will be the year I do it. I’ll get healthy, I’ll start reading my Bible more.
We’ve all lived this. But let's remember how far it sets us back. Ignorance is not bliss, because we reap what we sow.
My email is flooded with people asking for coaching sessions, meal plans, and workout plans, and while the plans help, what makes them successful or unsuccessful is their mindset. if you don’t think differently, you will stay the same. You’ve probably heard me say, You can have the best diet plan and workout plan in the world, and you can even have a live-in chef, but if your mindset doesn’t change, nothing will change.
Here are 9 things we can do to stay healthy, happy, and whole this holiday season:
1. Prepare Your Mindset Plan for self-care. You can’t take care of anyone or enjoy the holiday season if you’re sick, tired, or stressed, So commit to Time with God, meditate on His Word, and schedule your workouts in stone. They don’t have to be perfect but plan on moving your body 5-6 days a week.
2. Ask God to help prepare your heart and mind for the hard times and the difficult family members or friendships you know you will have to face. Family dynamics can be tough, but they’re family, and they’re here to stay! So instead of dreading and running away from these challenging moments, shift your mindset and pray for God to help heal old hurts and help you grow.
3. Protect and prioritize your time. Let me let you in on a big healthy tip; It is okay to say no! Do not say yes to everything; margin is your friend, and your mental and spiritual health is vital to your physical health. Overcommitting, Overscheduling, and overdoing it are unhealthy.
When I mention spending time with God and working out, I know someone is thinking I don’t have time. I want us to be honest and look at our days and think, could I get up 30 minutes earlier to read my Bible, could I turn off the tv and open my Bible, could I get off my phone, social media, games, shopping, etc., for a half hour and workout? The answer is it’s all your choice, and this is why your mindset is so important. Instead of saying, I don’t have time, get very honest with yourself about how you spend your time. Consider this example, if you’re a person who wakes up and the first thing you do is turn on your phone and start scrolling – prayerfully consider giving some of that time to God and your health.
4. Say goodbye to negative self-talk.
Did you know our minds have a negative bias?
In Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts,” author Jennie Allen writes,
We have anywhere from nine thousand to sixty thousand thoughts in a day. Of those thoughts, 85 percent, for most humans, are negative. And about 95 percent of our thoughts are repetitive from the day before. So that means that we’re thinking the same negative thoughts over and over and over again.
Our brains naturally filter out the good and search for the bad…this is why we take things badly; we ruminate over hurtful comments or the past.
So we have to work to intentionally renew our minds to the truth of the Word of God. Catch yourself when you’re thinking negative thoughts and ask yourself... is this God’s truth? And remember this scripture.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
5. Choose indulgences Choose what and when you will enjoy and skip the foods you can eat anytime. Picture yourself at thanksgiving dinner or at a Christmas party. What are the things that you can eat anytime? For example, do you really need that bread roll you could get any time of year? If it’s homemade by your mom, that’s another story, or like the pie, your mom only makes on Thanksgiving or Christmas, of course, you should enjoy a slice. Take Slow bites, set your fork down between them, and choose to fully enjoy food from a grateful heart with joy and peace.
6. Decide to maintain, not stress yourself out, trying to lose weight. This time of year already has its share of stress, so don’t add to it by beating yourself up or being overly hard on yourself. Aim to maintain.
7. Spend time with those you love,
And I don’t just mean time. I mean quality time: turn off phones, turn off screens, get down on the floor with the kids and play, take a walk through the neighborhoods that have Christmas lights, and create family traditions, like reading Luke. I love how Christine Timpe puts it…
Beginning December 1st, read one chapter of Luke each day through December 24th. There are 24 chapters. By Christmas Eve, you will have read all 24 chapters – an entire account of the birth, ministry, sacrifice on the cross, and resurrection of Jesus. You will wake up on Christmas day knowing WHO and WHY we celebrate!
Doing this with your family is a beautiful experience to keep first things first.
8. Give back and give thanks. A giving and grateful mindset is one set on God’s ways, and I promise you this, this mindset will bring you more joy than you can imagine. Think of ways to give back, adopt a family, pack a gift box for a kids charity, or if you love to bake, get those beautiful Hobby Lobby gift boxes and spread the love and joy, volunteer at a homeless shelter, try to text one person a day, a friend, family member or co-worker how grateful you are for them and tell them how they make a difference in this world.. Think about that elderly or lonely neighbor, this is the time to share Jesus!
Years ago, I started a gratitude journal have you done this? I highly recommend it. There’s nothing like looking back at all God has done and how He has blessed you.
9. Worship God, and a good playlist is exactly what you need to turn worry into worship, combat a stressful drive, stop negative thinking, and put some Jesus lovin’ pep back in your Holiday step. And guess what? I made you one, The Ultimate Christian Christmas Playlist
Put it on while baking, driving, walking, or cleaning your house. The love Jesus has for us is the well we need to run to. When we seek His presence and praise him for who He is and not what He can do for us, we are filled with every good thing we need.
Our overarching goal is to choose a mindset and heart motivation of thanksgiving for the one who gave it all, Jesus. Don’t let your mind and heart get overwhelmed with details, and let perfection destroy the true meaning of the holiday –choose His peace.
Let me share a pro tip on this kind of peace and how we get it.
I love how Joyce Meyer says, Resist the devil at his onset.
This peace is something we practice; it happens at the moment when you feel yourself sliding into perfection, panic, negative self-talk, catch yourself, pray, put on a Christian playlist, or put a go-to scripture on your phone like,
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Out of my distress, I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Be on the lookout for the second episode in this series, where I dive into God-made baking swaps and God-made holiday recipes and learn how, to detox your body God’s way because let’s just be real, we are all going to eat some pie and a cookie, you will hear all of this and so much more.
Remember and say it with me, less hustle, more Jesus. Less busy, more fruitful.
Happy Holiday Season, Sister I’m going to pray for us,
Dear God, We bring our mindsets to you, and we ask that you take away anything that is not of you. Help us keep our thoughts and heart motives godly and not worldly. When the traps of pressure and perfectionism steal our joy, guide us back to you to the true meaning of the season.
I pray for my sisters and their families to be safe and healthy this holiday season. Father, Keep them in your perfect peace.
In Jesus' name, amen.
Remember You are Strong. Confident. His.