Sooo, Christmas is coming & there will be food. LOTS & LOTS OF FOOD. All these foods that smell wonderful, that are a part of tradition … and that you tell yourself you “really shouldn’t” eat.
Now, although many people deeply believe that it’s absolutely inevitable to overeat, eat extremely unhealthy & “get fat” in order to enjoy Christmas holidays, I’m gonna suggest this is bullshit.
What is really going on it that women who believe this sort of stuff will take ACTION that confirms their belief, ie. they’re gonna overeat, eat tons of unhealthy foods and, possibly put on some unnecessary weight. These actions & their results will confirm their belief, which will elad to more of similar actions – you can probably see the pattern here.
The thing is, a woman who adopted this set of beliefs & acts accordingly, probably goes through the same pattern every single year (winter). I know I did.
Of course, this is followed by “I’m starting a diet January 1st”, “New year, new me”, “I’ll start going to the gym & eating healthy in the New year” blah blah – you probably know all of these.
Question is; how did this work out for you historically?
Chances are, if you’re not completely happy with yourself, your body & your food choices – not as well as you’ve hoped.
(I mean, if it worked out well, you wouldn’t be in this situation every year, would you?)
Good news is, there are simple, self-loving strategies we can implement during holiday season to make sure it doesn’t ruin your efforts to establish healthy relationship with food.
If your choice this year is to prioritize your wellbeing, self-love, ENJOYING the food and the holidays without dreading January 1st when your new diet is gonna start (or dreading January 3rd when it’s gonna fail – because that’s what diets do), here’s what you can do:
1. Discard the limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck
First step of food freedom during the holiday season is challenging the beliefs that overeating, eating only crap & “getting fat” is a must-do of a holiday season.
A few questions that can help you:
- Is this really true, for everyone, all the time?
- What proof do I have specifically that overeating, tons of unhealthy foods & putting on sunnecessary weight are an obligatory part of Christmas?
- Aside from food, what makes Christmas special? How can I focus more on that?
- Is overeating, too much unhealthy food & putting on unnecessary weight serving me well? Does my body deserve that kind of treatment? Are these habits impossible to reject? What does my body really want?
- Was I born with this belief that overeating, tons of unhealthy foods & putting on unnecessary weight are a must-have part of holiday season OR did I learn that from other people in my life (possibly when I was a child & didn’t know better)?
- Is this belief a part of my identity or is it just a story that I can choose to change?
- Who are some people for whom is this story NOT true? What’s their story? What can I learn from them?
Now, once you’ve gone through these questions, you’re probably aware of the fact that the whole “overeating, unhealthy food + putting on unnecessary weight” is a bullshit story that you’ve learned from other people in your life when you were a child – you can focus on transforming this story into a brand new one that will actually serve your wellbeing.
Some of the positive beliefs you can adopt are:
- Food is just one of many aspects of holiday season & I enjoy it, but I also consciously decide to stay in tune with my body & its needs. Therefore, I eat only as much as I need.
- I refuse to abuse my body with regular overeating during the entire holiday season.
- Holiday season is a season of ____ & I focus on that. Food does NOT have a power over me.
- It’s completely possible for me to enjoy food without overeating. When I do overeat, I don’t feel good. Therefore, I decide to respect my body.
- My body loves me & I love my body. I feed my body in moderation with the food that feels good to me.
- When I feel vibrant & energized, I enjoy more of life. Moderation with food is directly impacts my energy levels.
- Perhaps I don’t care right now, but I will regret overeating in a few minutes. I will feel bad if I overly stuff myself. I choose moderation because it feels amazing.
These are just some of the new beliefs you can choose to repeat as often as possible, until they become a normal story in your head. If needed, you can write them on a little cards & carry the cards with you as a reminder of what’s really important to you.
Of course, you probably cannot expect a huge change in a day or two, especially if you’ve spent your entire life overeating the entire winter. However, no matter how much time you need – you’re worth it, girl. The level of freedom that comes with having a healthy relationship with food is utterly amazing & trust me, it’s so worth it.
2. Don’t go hungry
Whether it’s an office Christmas party or grocery shopping, going out hungry – especially hungry A LOT – is probably not the best idea. When you’re hungry, your body WANTS FOOD. And if you’re super hungry, but surrounded by tons of food you normally wouldn’t even enjoy that much, they are going to look like logical, beautiful choices. Especially if they’re rich in simple carbs & fats – hungry body wants energy, NOW.
Therefore, it’s going to be hard to maintain your healthy relationship with food if you leave the house starving.
If it’s an office party, you will inevitably end up eating more than you actually needed & will probably feel bad about yourself, and overstuffed. Let’s face it, being overstuffed sucks.
If it’s grocery shopping, guess how smart your choices will be if everything in the store looks so delicious & you need it right now.
That’s right – you may end up with tons of food you’re not particularly proud about. Now, while there’s nothing wrong with any food – it’s about quantity here. Not to mention that grocery stores DESIGN everything to make you buy more crap.
The smart strategy in these situations is eating a small snack before leaving; it can be as simple as an apple & a tablespoon of peanut butter, or just a yogurt and a few berries. No need to complicate.
The point is only to avoid starving in the middle of all these foods most of which are probably not serving you.
3. Don’t forget to drink
As you may know, we’re basically cucumbers with feelings. Meaning, we’re mostly water. And water is needed in our bodies for many processes, for oxygen transportation, nutrient transportation, healthy cell functions, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, our brain function etc.
Therefore, it’s clear to say – staying hydrated is one of the greatest things you can do for your wellbeing.
Aside from that, we often missunderstand thirst as hunger; which leads us to eating when we actually just need a bit of water. Luckily, this is super easy to fix – drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry. Perhaps it goes away.
Be mindful of your drinking habits – do it first thing in the morning; a lukewarm to warm glass of water with fresh lemon juice is one of the best ways you can start a day. Drink a lot of tea, water, sparking water, infused water, vegetable juices – options are basically endless.
What I would stay away from are processed sodas, “fruit” juices & similar sugary drinks – they will just mess up your blood sugar, and leave you with a hunger attack. No bueno. If you want something juicy, take freshly squeezed juice & combine it with water.
4. Eat mindfully
As the rest of the strategies, this one also goes for the entire year – not only holiday season. But now it’s especially important, when we’re bombarded with shitload of foods AND aunts that force us to eat it.
When starting a meal, ditch the phone, TV, books or whatever distraction is available at the moment.
What I’d like you to focus on is enjoying the food while eating. Focus on the taste, texture, colors, smells – make it an experience. Be present.
Chew your food well; digestion starts in your mouth.
When you’re eating mindfully, you’ll be able to notice your fullness & respect it. Our fullness feelings kick in 15-20mintutes after starting the meal; meaning, if you’re been stuffing yourself mindlessly, there’s a good chance you ate way more than you needed before your fullness signals started showing up.
A good rule of thumb; if you’re able to take a gentle walk with friends after your meal, you’ve reached a healthy level of fullness.
If you need to lie down & can’t continue with your everyday activities, you’ve probably eaten more than your body needs.
5. Move, move, move
I get it – staying home, drinking tea & watching Netflix sounds much better than getting out in the freezing cold. However, moving our bodies is important through the entire year – winter as well.
Therefore, choose activities you love the best & do them regularly. Go for a walk, whether it’s around the city to watch beautiful decorations, or through the forest. Do some yoga. Dance around the house. Do 10 squats while brushing your teeth.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it feels amazing to you. Your body will definitely thank you; exercise provides loads of health benefits, including, but not limited to; healthy muscles, bones, skin, heart, brain, better mood, better sleep, cognitive function…
6. Most importantly, be kind to yourself
Love yourself. Love yourself unapologetically.
Look, it doesn’t matter how many strategies you or I may have – overeating sometimes happens. It’s completely normal & everyone eats more than needed every now and then. Especially when presented with so many delicious choices.
When overeating happens, it’s crucial to have a healthy mindset about it. If you do happen to overindulge, eating till nothing fits anymore, trying too much of ALL of the foods, it’s okay.
It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
It doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
It doesn’t mean you will never be able to have a healthy relationship with food.
It doesn’t mean you’re weak.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t even try.
It doesn’t mean you’re a stupid cow.
All of these are just bullshit stories your inner mean girl can throw at you. However, you do have a choice to take control & talk back.
You see, YOU are the one who gives meaning to any situation. You can consciously choose to dwell on whatever the mean girl inside your head says OR you can say – thank you very much for your opinion, but I know this is a load of crap and I choose to believe that perfection is not mandatory, that world is NOT black & white, that overeating means NOTHING about me & it’s just a minor step back, every meal is my chance of treating myself well & maintaining my new, healthy relationship with food.
Guess which perception will serve you better. Choose wisely, love.
Also, if you happen to overeat one of these days – you don’t need to go on a juice cleanse, detox diet, starve yourself for the next 3 days or drown in guilt.
Just continue where you left of, like nothing happened.
The same strategy goes BEFORE a big meal – if you know you’re gonna have a family dinner, you DON’T go starve yourself entire day so that you can eat all the foods in the evening. That just signals your body that it’s starving & it will work on holding on to every calorie because it wants to survive.
Eat a normal breakfast, a light lunch & a moderate, lovely dinner with your family – without any guilt or shame or counting calories.
Holiday season should be about love – not about hating yourself because you ate a couple of cookies. Please, remember this at all times.
And don’t forget that every meal is a new chance. One overeating doesn’t mean you should continue overeating till “January 1st when you will start a new diet”.
If, by any chance, you feel anxious about the whole season, now is the time to give yourself a gift of freedom – my private coaching is always there for you, which is absolutely amazing opportunity to show yourself some love & claim your power over food, forever.