Holidays are funny. You want to enjoy them, but the pressure to enjoy them can ruin them. In fact, 63% of people report feeling too much pressure during silly season, according to one survey by The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).
This often leads to strange behaviour. Rather than looking forward to your holiday, for instance, some of us stress out in the lead-up, trying to get shredded in a matter of weeks (when to get true results, you need at least three months).
One man, however, has taken to Instagram with an inspiring story – and a lesson – we can all learn from. That man?Eric Champ. Champ is a coach who posts on Instagram under the username @champcityatx. Champ last month shared how he switched up his holiday mindset in a sustainable way, and now has a healthier relationship with his down time.
“For me, vacation used to mean back-to-back days of consuming what I craved, many trips to the bar, and working out while on vacation just to try and not feel guilty about the extra ‘cheat meals,'” Champ shared.
“Now, vacation is precious time spent with the people I love and allowing myself to truly detach from my normal day-to-day. When I come home, I feel fully refreshed and recharged!”Eric Champ
Champ didn’t make the transformation from the first photo to the second in one holiday. But the images represent how he looked when he had an unhealthy relationship with food (and tried to make up for it with fitness) vs. how he looks now that he takes the time to eat right.
Champ sums this up by saying: “Then: always worried about every meal. Worked out on vacation so I could have a cheat meal.” This is compared to “now” where Champ says he takes “time to find delicious food that is locally available.”
Further benefits of this, Champ says, are that, while he used to be drifting and never fully present with his family while on holiday, he is now able to “capture as many smiles and giggles as possible,” tune in to every moment and come home refreshed.
Speaking of which: Judy Ho, Ph.D., a licensed clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, tenured associate professor at Pepperdine University, published author and 2021 Forbes Health Advisory Board member, last year shared some smart advice with Forbes Health which are also worth bearing in mind for the holiday season.
Her top tips? Eat slowly and mindfully, use smaller plates, wait 20 minutes before going back for a second serving (it takes this long before your brain recognises you’re full) and have a healthy snack before going to a party so you’re not tempted to eat everything you see.
Food for thought.