So, with Christmas just days away, I thought I’d share my views about how to handle food, etc. during what can be a testing time for many. Yes, things might be a bit different this year but I still think there can be different types of pressure when it comes to Christmas and other holidays around food. I wonder whether you can relate to any of the following:
I know I’m going to blow my diet
How am I going to avoid all those tasty temptations that I can normally say “no” to?
If I eat one mince pie, I’ll end up eating the whole pack
My family will expect me to eat loads and they won’t let me say “no“
I’m scared to eat and holidays are all about food. I’m dreading this
I’m going to put on so much weight
So, let’s take a look at where pressure comes from:
So, you’re visiting someone who’s served dinner and tells you that you must eat up. They say that they’ll be disappointed if you don’t. They comment about you not eating as much as they think you should. They tell you that they’ve gone to all this trouble and they don’t want to be left with leftovers. My view? I would say that they’re projecting their hopes and expectations on you and perhaps some guilt too but it’s okay to say “no”. Yes, they may make comments but I can’t urge you enough to stick to your guns. At the end of the day, it’s your body and you can still be in control. There are plenty of recipes out there about what to do with leftovers!
What can you say to others?
“That’s really kind of you but eating any more will make me feel uncomfortable“.
“That’s kind of you but no thank you“. (It’s okay to say this over and over until they give up).
And then change the subject. Ask them an open-ended question to take away the focus from you. Saying no can be incredibly hard and, goodness, I used to struggle with this but the more you practise, the easier it does get. Don’t let their issues about you not eating more become yours. It’s YOUR body. You’re in control.
Even if you’re not on a weight loss journey, food and eating can still provoke fear or worry.
What can you say to yourself…which will depend on what’s hard for you?
It’s okay to eat more today. One day isn’t going to undo all the work I’ve done.
To even put on a single pound, I’d need to consume an extra 3,500 calorie which is so unlikely.
If I do put on weight, I’ll get it off again in the next couple of weeks.
I deserve to eat what I want to eat today!
I’m in control of what I’m eating today. Just because there’s more food around, it doesn’t mean I have to eat it.
I will stop when I’m physically comfortable and being honest with myself will help me know when I’ve got to that point.
I know myself best and how today’s eating regime needs to be like any other day.
I can still make good choices today.
Christmas Day is one day. Even if I’m dreading the holidays, this will be over very quickly
I’m going to have that mince pie because I fancy it. But rather than bring the whole pack into the living room, I’ll take just the one and eat it really slowly. I’m going to think about how it tastes. And then I’ll distract myself with an activity….and if I really can’t avoid eating the rest, I’ll throw them into the freezer.
Before the holidays, perhaps take a moment to think about where pressure for you might come from. Sometimes, we need to rehearse the above lines because they can sound different when we say them aloud to when we read them in our heads. Perhaps write down or take a screenshot of what’s the most helpful statement for you (of course, you’re likely to have others that speak to you more).
Please feel free to share this post with anyone who needs a bit of support right now and feel free to share in the comments about your thoughts re food during this coming holiday season.
If you really struggle during these holidays, you’re so welcome to comment below (I will respond) or reach out to other support whether it’s a supportive friend or, if you have an eating disorder, your state/country’s eating disorder charity.
I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in but we’ve got this! We really have!
Love Erika xx