Heart-wise Women

Holiday Hints for Heart-wise Women

The holidays are a particular challenge for those of us who know we must be vigilant every day to maintain our health through good eating. Here are some of the challenges, and how to meet them.

The holiday party, with its buffet of delectable treats, many of them high-fat- cheese plates, crackers, cookies made with real butter, rich drinks such as egg nog, -can be faced and handled by using some of the following tricks:

  • Drink a glass of skim milk before attending the party.  It’s nutritious, filling, and will keep you from giving in and wolfing down too many hors d’oeuvres.  And it’s great padding if you decide to have that one alcoholic drink you allow yourself at a party.
  • Bring a bottle of sparkling water with you, in case none are supplied.  Fill your glass with this festive-looking drink, or dilute your one glass of wine with it, making two or more bubbly spritzers.
  • Station yourself as far away from the table as possible, so that you won’t be continually tempted by the sight and smell of food
  • Decide in advance what you will eat, and how much of it. Want to treat yourself to a little bit of cheese?  Pick the harder type of cheese (lower in fat).  Try putting it on a vegetable, such as a celery stalk, rather than a cracker.
  • Avoid automatic eating by keeping your hands occupied by holding a glass (of the above mentioned sparkling water or spritzer) while you are engaged in conversation.
  • Do mindful eating: Savor each bite by leaving each one at the front of your mouth longer than you usually do.  Then slowly let it move through your mouth, noting the point at which that particular food really stimulates your taste buds and enjoying it to the max.
  • If you don’t get a real thrill from a certain food, be willing to discard the rest of it uneaten.  If you’ve looked the tray over and selected one brownie, be willing to get rid of it if  you think it doesn’t taste like the best brownie the world has ever known.

In short, make sure the actual experience of the feast matches your anticipation by making mindful, better choices.  You’ll end up not only healthier, but happier as you realize you savored the experience and maintained your self-image as a heart-wise woman.

Helping Heart-Wise Women

Heart—wise women are women who:

  • Have had a cardiac event of any kind, or
  • Know they have significant risk factors for cardiac disease.or
  • Are intelligent enough to know their stress-filled lives can kill them

Harried women are:

  • Overly-busy women who  can’t seem to find enough time to  exercise, meditate, and do all the things they know are good for them
  • Working women, women entrepreneurs, women with families, women being caretakers……
  • Just about every woman we know!

As a Certified Life Coach and teacher, I work with overly-busy women who are concerned about their hearts and who can’t find the time to relax or meditate because they believe they have “delegated everything they can delegate and let go of everything possible”.  I help them to shift their perspectives, identify hidden time-wasters, change habitual thoughts and actions that rob them of time, energy, and power,   and discover time for life-enhancing activities.

Looking for Time in the All the Wrong Places

Feeling rushed seems to be a by-product of modern life. We work to have a better life, but discover we have to spend time commuting to the home we were able to provide because of the job.  We take up activities to stay healthful and involved in life, then discover we have increased our commitments to the point where we no longer enjoy these “leisure” activities. We want to do a good job in every aspect of life: work, relationships, child-rearing, home care, and we feel buried in joyless responsibility.

Take time to go to a weekend meditation retreat?  You know it would be good for you, but if you can’t even find the time to sleep in a little later on a weekend, how could you possibly set aside two days of doing nothing?

Many of us keep looking for time in all the wrong places.  Such as, “After I’m through with work, and my commute, and my personal banking business, and my food shopping and meal preparation, and my commitment to other people   ….then I’ll have a little time to relax. And it never happens.

Don’t wait until everything else is done. There’ll never be anything left for you.  Do as personal money managers advise:  Pay yourself first. If possible, spend a few quiet moments at the start of the day meditating. You will start your day feeling more clear-headed about what you plan to accomplish.

Other ideas for managing your time better:

  1. Manage your transitions better. Enter every new task and encounter after you’ve spent a few minutes doing some deep breathing and clearing your mind.  Your loved ones, your boss, even your pets will thank you for being more relaxed
  2. Stress makes you stupid. Remember “Ready, Fire, Aim”?.  Slow down deliberately when starting a new task; write out a plan of what you are going to do (writing it forces you to slow down and think), even (heaven forbid!) read directions first.  The time you spend will be more than repaid by the time you save not having to go back and correct mistakes.
  3. Live in the present, not the past or future:  Rushing to an appointment, reviewing in your mind the coming topic, you park your car, slam the door, and walk away.  An hour later you search frantically for your car in the parking lot or on a city street because you can’t remember where you put it.  Stop when you leave your car, note small landmarks that will orient you, then walk to your appointment mindfully noting passersby and scenery.  You’ll arrive more refreshed and clear-headed, and you won’t  waste time searching for something that shouldn’t have been “lost”.
  4. Give up too much caretaking:  Unless you have a very young child or a helpless invalid in your life, you may be doing a lot more caretaking than is good for you…..or for the other person.. Son forgot his homework and wants you to deliver it to the school?  Maybe once, but after that he is responsible for the consequences of his behavior. Give up obsessing about the possible negative outcome of a friend’s behavior if you can do nothing about it.  The rule is: If you don’t have the authority to do something about it, don’t take the responsibility.

Following the above guidelines may not get you immediately to that two-day meditation retreat, but you’ll find you can create “islands of peace” in the middle of your chaotic days, and perhaps this will be the start of a new way to live, and to love your life.

 

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Lynette is a member of MVP Seminars. Visit her at www.MVPSeminars.com

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