Enjoyment: All there it to it
Since I began this blog, I’ve made sure from the beginning that I share evidence-based tips and tricks to help active individuals reach their goals. With that, I’ve found it personally difficult to give you all the information I want to share with all of my loyal followers while sticking to evidence based truths. And then recently I realized: It can still be fun and truth. Enjoyment can still be in our lives when we look to research for ways to improve our lifestyles. So today, on Christmas eve, I am going to take a different tone in this post about the word Enjoyment when it comes to our goals.
What does that word mean to you? How does it resonant? Does it even resonant? Does it feel like a far off word that you cannot connect with?
Now how does that work connect with your relationship with food? This might be a little tougher to identify for most of us. “Relationship with food? There can be enjoyment in my food?” The answer is a solid “YES”. And let me tell you why and how.
As athletes, we tend to be type A individuals, always planning, keeping control of every detail to get us to our next goal. And by no means does this mean that being type A is a bad thing. I’ll raise both my hands to being type A and I’m proud of it. But when it comes to our nutrition and food, that type A personality can get ourselves into trouble. When you combine our personality with the fad diet culture that our current world lives in, we can see some dark paths for many athletes. This can lead to negative relationship with food, such as measuring precise amounts of food, to feelings of guilt over eating a cookie, which can manifest itself into daily routines, and ultimately effect our athletic performance. Athlete’s can experience injury, constant fatigue, and lack of confidence on the course or field. So all around, not ideal for a driven athlete.
“Okay, I see what you are saying about fad diets, but how else will I reach my goals? Especially with these holiday temptations.”
With this simple word, “Enjoyment” being introduced in your life. Now I work with some very motivated individuals, who want to lose weight or change their body composition or get faster, and this time of year, I find that they start to get nervous or anxious over time with family and friends. Lots of holiday parties and temptations all around them. And why are they nervous? Well, because like most of us, the holidays have become a time of chucking goals the side and going to town on all the food in front of us, and then it sets in: guilt. So I decided this year, NO MORE GUILT! My clients all have one goal this holiday week:
This means don’t worry about the Christmas cookies or about the caramelized ham because ultimately, a week of enjoyment actually will get you to your goals FASTER than a week of starving or feeling guilty (and get your there more sustainable). It’s a time to learn to love you. Maybe it’s been awhile since enjoyment was part of your eating experience, holidays are a perfect time to bring enjoyment back into your life.
“You said you’re all about evidence based research but this sounds like a bunch of feel-good medicine”
Well, actually this is all evidence-based, from research done on Mindful Eating practices. Research has shown that mindful eating practices, such as enjoyment, actually has a higher level of success in weight loss now and in the future. You gain self-compassion and decrease reward eating habits, among many other habits developed through Mindful Eating, according to a recent article in the Washington Post.
And in a world of type A athletes, learning to have self-compassion and become more in tune with your body, allows you to ultimately become a stronger, smarter athlete in the long haul. This is why I call on you to do one thing this holiday season: Enjoy this time. Don’t train your body to dread the holidays, but enjoy them. And recently, I saw a great Instagram post by Krista, an anti-diet approach coach, that sums up this enjoyment motto.