Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Break from Holiday Stressing to Savor Life’s Blessings

Christmas memories
This is the time of year when the hustle and bustle of the season can take over our lives.  The consumer appeal of the mall and online shopping overshadow the blessings that take place right before our very eyes.  These daily blessings are even more evident during the holidays – all we have to do is open our eyes and truly see what really matters. 

Luckily for me, over the past few years my family and close friends have agreed to forgo material gifts for the gift of time together.  We celebrate the holiday with festive and delicious food, cheerful beverages, fun games, and spending quality time together.  Let’s face it, this time next year when you look back on the holiday season, will you be able to remember each present that you received and from whom you received it?  Or will you remember the conversations, experiences, and love you shared?  As I look back on the Christmases from my childhood through today, what comes to mind are the shared memories, traditions – new and old, laughs, and love.  Growing up, our Christmas season started with the annual trip to our farm to cut down our tree.  My dad and I would put on old jeans, good “work” shoes, and hefty gloves and take a ride out to the farm.  We started looking and would pick out ones we thought were contenders as we made our way through the woods.  We always chose three – one big one for my mom’s house, a medium one for Dad’s house, and a small one for Granny’s house. 

Christmas with Granmommie

Unfortunately, many of the loved ones with whom I shared Christmas experiences have now left this earth, but will never leave my heart.  Some of my favorite Christmas memories involve my Granmommie and Granny.  One of my favorite memories is our annual drive up to Kentucky to see my Granmommie.  We would typically arrive late in the evening and my mom and I always bet on whether Granmommie fell asleep while waiting for us.  Once we arrived, Granmommie had homemade Chex mix, “soup beans”, and banana bread waiting for us.  I adored being able to fall asleep next to Granmommie under an extra blanket she always added just for me.  I can also remember going to Granny’s house for Christmas dinner – complete with dressing in a cast-iron skillet and the best chess pie I’ve ever had.  The next morning started with homemade biscuits in that same skillet topped with homemade plum jelly.  I loved opening presents at Granny’s because I knew each year one of my gifts would be a year-long experience.  My dad got me a season pass to Opryland every year (that ages me, but any native Middle Tennessean will appreciate it).  He usually wrapped it in a large box with a pack of size-D batteries or multiple boxes inside each other.  I loved that he made opening the gift an experience. 

Christmas with Granny & Grandaddy

I cherish those memories.  They are sights, sounds, smells, and love that can never be replaced.  I do not remember details of exactly what I got (or didn’t get) for Christmas – I don’t remember the specifics of what was under the tree, but rather what happened around it each year.  Are the tasks that top your to-do list things that your loved ones will truly cherish?  If not, maybe it’s time to take a step back from the holiday stress and appreciate your true blessings. 

I became a health & weight loss coach because I want people to make memories for as many years as they can.  My goal for clients is not an ideal weight, but rather to give them a better life.  You don’t have to be a size 2 or at your high school weight to be healthy.  You can make small changes now to help you get and stay healthy so you can continue to make memories with your loved ones for many Christmases to come.  I wish I could have my grandparents here to celebrate Christmas this year.  While I can’t have that, I can take care of myself and help keep my loved ones healthy so we can love and laugh through future holidays and cherish holidays gone past. 

If thoughts of gift shopping and wrapping, party planning, and holiday decorating have you stressing, it’s time to take a break and count your blessings.  Make memories that last a lifetime, and do what you can to make sure you are here to make future memories.  If you need help getting started, I am here for you.  I’ve got you covered for the holidays – from fitness to catering.  I can help you squeeze in workouts, develop meal plans, and even cater your entire holiday party.  My catered meals include herb-roasted tenderloin, holiday turkey meatballs with gravy, sweet potato casserole with walnut crumble, green beans with almonds & crispy bacon, baked mac & cheese, cranberry-orange relish, apple spice cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting, dark chocolate brownies, maple bread pudding, mulled wine, cranberry cocktails.  Let me know if you want any of these at your party or family meal?   Book today and we can plan a meal for you!  And go to http://www.coachdconsulting.com/Services.html to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable and that is definitely a blessing!