Boy, every holiday season, I end up looking like a butterball turkey, lying on my couch in a sugar coma, and every January I tell myself that I’m going to get back on the horse and make a change. But living life with multiple food allergies is already pretty restrictive, and telling myself that I can’t have yet another food group seems altogether overwhelming at times. Do you ever feel this way?

This year, let’s change our focus from what we need to eliminate from our diet, to what we can do to improve or add to our diet. Here’s what I’m working on, join me!

  1. Take Small Steps: Small steps don’t seem as hard to do as huge life changes. Swapping out or adding an ingredient to a recipe we love will improve the overall nutritional value without sacrificing the satisfaction we crave.
    1. Have two packets of sugar in your coffee? Try using one instead.
    2. Craving brownies? Try swapping out the oil and egg yolk for avocado and save about half the calories!
    3. Suck in your stomach or tighten your arm/leg muscles at red lights. Hold until the light changes – this is a small excercise that really works over time.
  2. Find Creative Ways to Meet Both Needs and Wants: Healthy life chance doesn’t have to mean sacrificing good things (like a little bit of sweetness in your diet, or your favorite dressing):
    1. We all get a mid afternoon blood sugar low. Instead of a candy bar, reach for one of these great yogurt snacks instead. They can be made in about 5 minutes on the weekend, taste like dessert, and provide real nutrition.
    2. Love salty food? Make a bunch of kale chips instead.
    3. Walk in place while watching your favorite show, or (if you still watch commercials) do some crunches or squats while you wait for your show to resume.
  3. Be at Peace with Your Body and Your World: Focus on being better rather than being better-than.
    1. Realize that a ‘size’ looks different on everyone, and that a healthy weight means something different at every age and stage of life.
    2. Stop comparing, stop competing, stop commiserating.
    3. Find someone to bless.

This year, I’m not just going to lose weight – I’m going to lose negativity and bad habits. But beyond that – I’m going to add. I’m going to add healthy foods, lifestyle changes, and patterns of thinking.By next January, I may or may not be a thinner person, but I will be a happier one.

How about you? I’d love to hear what you are working on for 2016. Share your ideas in the comments section, and let us know if any of these resonate with you!