This blog about about why you will NOT go on a diet this New Years! Read on if you want to greet 2020 without the guilt and with more light, ease, and grace.
Thanksgiving! The holidays! Who is excited? I am! I am a total holiday nerd! I love the holidays! Thanksgiving is one of my favorites! I have so many precious Thanksgiving memories as a child, adolescent, and adult. They all involve family, shopping, and FOOD.
Click below to watch a video on simple steps to make peace with food this holiday season, or just keep reading below! Repeat after me: “I’M NOT GOING ON A DIET FOR NEW YEARS THIS YEAR!”
(This video is from two years Thanksgiving, but still totally appropriate! Also, this video is not intended to give medical advice or to be used as a substitute for pyschotherapy. I am not a medical doctor. If you have any specific medical dietary needs or restrictions, please check with your doctor before following any of the steps in this video).
Ah yes, food glorious food! I love food! Along with these awesome food holiday memories, I also have some scary food memories. (LOL! I imagine dreaming about being chased by a humungous MAD turkey!) That is not the kind of scary memories about which I am talking. Thanksgiving is one of my first memories, as a child, of feeling like I could NOT stop eating.
It was such a comfy cozy day. It was cold outside, but I was warm inside with my aunt and uncle both whom I loved so much, and who have since passed away. My mom was cooking, and the rest of my family was there. There was so much love. I remember thinking about how this is the best day ever! This is a day for eating and family, and it gave me such a warm feeling inside.
I specifically remember eating dip out of a bread bowl and thinking about how good it tasted. Then it hit me! This was the first time I thought, “Am I going to get fat”? And then, “Am I already fat?” Guess what I did next? I ate more delicious dip to stuff down that thought! Hence, the scary feeling of not being able to stop eating!
This started me down a road of a strange relationship with food, which is way too complicated for one blog. The holidays were a trigger. The pattern was usually something like: diet, restrict, get excited for all the holiday food, overeat, feel super sick, then hate myself and vow to go on a strict diet Continue cycle.
I remember one Thanksgiving getting up early the next day to go shopping with my mom, and being so sick that I could barely even go. I LOVE shopping. That was the point I decided, I was not going to do this anymore.
Food or shopping? Guess what? Don’t be too surprised when I tell you, I want both! I know my husband would not be surprised to hear that! I am here to declare, you can have your pumpkin pie and shop too (without feeling sick)! I am going to tell you how!
Now, I am happy to say, my relationship with food is way different. But the holidays still can be a trigger. They can scare me into thinking I am going back to my old ways until I remind myself, that is never going to happen. I am a different person today. I want to share with you some things I do to make sure I enjoy my food and everything else about the holidays.
Step 1: Check in with your higher power.
Okay stay with me here, because some of this may sound weird. I do not care if you are having three million people over that day, you deserve at least five minutes of silence that morning. Do what Marianne Williamson suggests, and send everyone with whom you are going to be that day love. “Zap them with love.” Marianne says.
Then I am going to ask you to go even one step further. Zap the food you will be eating (or not eating) with love. Send every bit of food you will be around that day love. This will soften the energy between you and food. It will improve the relationship between you and your food. “I love my food, and my food loves me” is a great mantra!
Then before you put anything in your mouth during the day, check in with a higher power. I do not care if this is God, Goddess, Your Higher Self, Angels, The Universe, or whatever you want to call it. Ask if you should have this food now or later. You might be surprised at what you hear.
Sometimes right away, my higher power will tell me to eat the pumpkin pie now! Sometimes it will tell me to not eat the healthy carrot thing now. Usually I ask, “now or later?” Remember your higher power will never be mean to you. It will never say, “Are you crazy? Do not eat that! You’ll be a fat pig!” That is your ego talking! Your higher self will be a calm and comforting voice. It is the voice that tells you everything will be okay. Allow this voice to guide you.
The purpose of checking in with your higher power is to create some space before you eat. It is not going to always be perfect. Sometimes you will say “F@#$ it, I’m eating it NOW!” And that’s okay! Just start cultivating the practice! It’s fun!
NEVER be afraid of what your higher power will say.
Sometimes your small ego self will say, I want this now. And your higher power will say, “WAIT!” In this case, you will want to try to balance the two. Try waiting 10 minutes, and see how you feel. It is okay to compromise. Nothing is all-or-nothing here.
Step 2: Enjoy your food!
Remember that under-eating and overeating are both ways of not enjoying your food. The key here is to make eating enjoyable. Slow down and chew your food. Do not eat anything you do not like. Do not let Aunt Bess guilt you into eating her green jello. If you do not want it, say “No thanks!”
Food tastes so good if you eat it at the right time. Have you ever said, “That hit the spot!”? That is exactly what I am talking about! I remember last Thanksgiving my husband and I were too full for dessert, so we decided to take it home with us. It tasted sooooo delicious later that night! It hit the spot.
This weekend, my husband and I went to a bakery to pre-order some Thanksgiving pies. We had just gone on a three mile nature walk, and we were hungry. The bakery smelled so good. They had cookie samples out. I took one of those cookies, and it was the most delicious thing ever. I could taste all the separate ingredients. It was because I was so hungry. I have had those same types of cookies when I’m not as hungry, and they don’t taste as good.
Try to only eat when things taste absolutely delicious. Go for the “best thing ever” taste and start noticing the difference when food tastes really good or just okay. Slow down, and ALWAYS enjoy your food!
Be grateful. When we are in a state of gratitude, our parasympathetic nervous system is activated, and our digestion works better. What better time for this than Thanksgiving? This is why we never want to feel guilty, rushed, or frantic in any way when eating. I don’t care if you are eating apple pie a la mode, eat it without guilt. Eat it with calm, ease, grace, and gratitude.
Step 3, You can eat anything you want whenever you want!
Do NOT fall into the trap of thinking you are going to go on a diet tomorrow. I used to think, okay tomorrow I’m on a strict diet. Then I would start to think I had to eat anything I could get my hands on today, before it was off limits. This is NOT enjoying your food! That equals misery the day you eat everything in sight, because you feel sick. It also equals misery the next day, because you are depriving yourself.
Tell yourself (in kind of a snotty way if you wish) “I can eat anything I want whenever I want.” (and flip your hair like your sh#$ don’t stink!) You can have apple pie for breakfast if you want! (That sounds awesome!). And you can be thin while doing it! This takes the fear out of food! It also means you might skip the apple pie today, and save it for tomorrow. This attitude gives you control. Take your power back! Be a food snob! And enjoy every minute of it!
By the way, I know the statement “I can eat whatever I want whenever I want” may not be totally accurate if there are certain foods/drinks you really can’t have for medical reasons. For me, I can tell you that even if that is the case, it still has helped me to think that way. When it come down to it, you really DO always have a choice about what foods you are putting into your body. And even if there are foods you cannot eat for medical reasons, you still have a choice. When you think more long term, you will choose the best thing for you.
1. Check in with your higher power.
2. Enjoy your food.
3. You can eat anything you want whenever you want.
This is the recipe for a calm, cool, and collected holiday. You do not have to be threatened be the dessert table anymore. While you still love your food, your true love is inside yourself. You would never eat to the point of being sick, because you love yourself way too much for that. You will go to bed that night giving yourself a big hug. You will congratulate yourself for how awesome you are and dream of your apple pie that you are saving for breakfast.
**(Every BODY is different, so please see a medical doctor if you have specific medical needs. This blog is not intended to give medical advice).
If you would like to be coached through this process this holiday season, please contact me. I would love to work with you! firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are going to rock it and feel great! Nothing beats feeling free of food anxiety around the holidays!
Peace, Love, and Food Freedom,
Elizabeth and Prudence