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December is the month notorious for celebration. Holidays and the end of another work year set the stage for parties and family get-togethers. Food, booze and sweets are plentiful. It’s tough to stay in the healthy-living mode with so much temptation everywhere you look.

What can you do to stick to your exercise routine and resist over-indulging? Try a new approach this holiday season; mindful indulgence.

You can eat the treats you crave and toast with friends and family when making the party circuit. You only need to plan in advance and you’ll remain in control of what goes into your body.

1.    Your kitchen needs to be well stocked with anti-foods. Think baby carrots vs. iced butter cookies.

2.    Don’t let the party come home with you. Fattening leftovers and anything sweet that can be wrapped in a napkin or shoved in a baggie is not welcome.

3.    When you’re doing the entertaining, have plenty of tin-foil on hand. Your mission is to enjoy your own cooking at mealtime only, and give away doggie bags (yes all of it!) to your guests.

4.    Dress in festive workout gear and show up to your exercise class. Share some seasonal good cheer with the folks you sweat alongside of all year.

By giving yourself permission to eat small portions of the food and drink you love and not allowing mindless eating, you set your own limits of indulgence. As with all of life’s challenges, it makes good sense to find a partner who can help you through it. Mindful indulgence stems from decisions made and action taken. You need the strength and willpower to stick with your plan of moderation.

Prayer can be the difference between success and failure. Pray mindfully at the beginning, middle and end of your day. Call upon prayer when you feel tempted to stray from your plan. Begin your prayers by re-stating your vow to end over-indulgence and practice God-centered mindful indulgence.

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