CHRISTUS Wellness Coach Shares Advice to Encourage Others During the Holidays

Leaha (pronounced Lee-ah) at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System has one of those cool jobs. She’s able to help those she works with transform right before her eyes.  Like two years ago, when she helped an anxious patient get started in a new gym in her town of Tyler, Texas. She also helped a patient lose enough weight, to achieve a reduced BMI in order to reach the ultimate goal of becoming pregnant.

“It is rewarding to help someone I work with, fight their fears, break their undesirable habits and get started down a healthier path,” explained Leaha.

Leaha is a Wellness Coach at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances and a mom of a three-year old.  She knows how hectic life can be and how difficult it can be to make time for yourself.  But with the holidays here, Leaha  has some important health advice for all of us.

  • Give yourself permission to enjoy the special holiday foods but also decide to be mindful of your eating. Try to remember what the holidays are really about. Yes, food is a part of it, but also enjoy time with your family and friends.
  • Don’t skip meals to “save room for later.” This can cause you to consume more calories throughout the rest of the day.
  • If you are regularly active, try to stay that way during the holidays. This will help keep your personal goals on track and  minimize the caloric impact of your special meal(s). If you’re not regularly active, there’s never a bad time to start. Check with your physician first if you have health concerns.
  • Be active during your celebrations if possible. Take a walk after a meal or get busy cleaning up after. Exercise can also improve your mood and blood pressure.
  • Avoid lingering around the food if possible. Just being able to see food makes you more likely to serve up multiple portions even if you are already full. If you can’t get away from the food, you can place your napkin over your plate or remove your plate from the table.
  • Beware of extra calories in your beverages! Wine, spirits, soda and sweet tea are all commonly served during the holidays. Don’t forget that these beverages have calories and sugar, which can contribute to weight gain.
  • Bring a nutritious dish of your own to ensure that you have options. If this is not possible, serve small portions of the high calorie foods and fill the rest of your plate up with fruits and vegetables.
  • If you feel guilty about not cleaning your plate put less food on your plate to start with.

Leaha says most importantly during the holidays, make time for self-care. Don’t neglect your health or wellness in the name of the holidays. Weight gain is just one of the many things that can happen with neglected self-care. You can also have increased blood sugar or blood pressure due to stress, lack of activity or poor eating habits.

“Taking time for you is really tough for everyone, me included.  But, you are worth it!”

Leaha Large MS, RCEP Wellness Coach,  pictured here on the campus of CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances