Holiday Reset: Cherishing Non-Food Related Joys

Article By: Gianna Soussan

Gianna is a seasoned Bariatric Patient & Peer Coach who has lost and maintained 120+ lbs on her journey to better health. She is an advocate within the bariatric community and has made it her life’s mission to share what she’s learned to be successful along the way! Follow her journey on Instagram (@vsgianna_).

As most of us know, the holiday season is often synonymous with feasts, treats, and indulgence, making it a challenging time for those who have undergone bariatric surgery. As post-op bariatric patients, refocusing our mindset away from food-centric celebrations can be a transformative journey. But don’t fret — with some adjustments and the right mindset, by embracing a more purposeful and intentional approach, we can discover joy in non-food-related activities, making the holiday season not only healthier — but also more fulfilling!

1) Solidify your mindset & set your intentions. Begin by solidifying your mindset before the holidays by grounding yourself in your purpose. Remind yourself of the journey you've undertaken towards a healthier life and use/view food as fuel that propels you closer to your goals. Establishing this mental foundation can serve as a powerful anchor, steering you away from the food-centric focus of the season and allowing you to enjoy the other, more fulfilling aspects.

2) Quality time with loved ones. Shift the spotlight from the dining table to the living room by prioritizing quality time with loved ones. Engaging in meaningful conversations, playing games, or even embarking on a festive movie marathon or a trip to see the local holiday lights can create lasting memories that aren't centered around food and will be sure to fill your heart in new, meaningful ways.

3) Embrace the gift of time off. Celebrate the holiday break by cherishing the gift of extra time to focus on YOU. Use this opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it's pursuing a hobby, reading a book, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll.

4) Thoughtful gift-giving. Redirect some of the focus of the season towards thoughtful gift-giving. There is no better feeling than giving the perfect, well-thought-out gift to someone you care about. Consider even selecting gifts that promote well-being, such as self-care items, fitness gear, or experiences that contribute to a healthier lifestyle for the people that you love — or even for yourself! The act of giving and/or receiving itself can bring immense joy.

5) Intentional movement. Explore the joy of intentional movement by incorporating physical activities that align with your post-op journey. Whether it's a nature hike, a gentle yoga session, or trying something new this holiday season, movement can be a true source of celebration for your body's newfound capabilities.

6) Festive decorations & outfits. Channel your creative energy into decorating your living space and experimenting with new holiday outfits. The visual transformation of your environment and yourself can bring a sense of accomplishment and joy without the need for food-centric festivities.

7) Volunteer opportunities. Tap into the spirit of giving by exploring volunteer opportunities in your community. Contributing your time and skills to those in need not only makes a positive impact but also fosters a sense of purpose, gratitude, and fullness that food just can’t offer.

As the holiday season approaches, ask yourself, "How will I find joy and balance in my new healthy life?"... The answer lies in embracing the abundance of non-food joys that surround us! By consciously choosing activities that align with our well-being and our personal values, we can redefine the holiday season, making it a time of holistic celebration and fulfillment with memories that last a lifetime.

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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