The Holiday Cycle

holiday-eating-caution-signThursday officially kicked off the holiday season.  It’s also the start of the season of eating and tips, posts, and articles about how to avoid gaining weight or overeating during the holidays.  I’ve even written a few posts like that in the past, but this year I am going to take a different approach.  I’m going to tell you to take a deep breath and just relax.

Believe me, I know just how tough it is to do that this time of year.  It feels like there is food everywhere you look and parties every weekend and it’s almost like you are just eating every single second of the day.  All of these things contribute to an already stressful time.  You feel guilty with every cookie you eat, yet you can’t stop eating those cookies.  You try to eat well in between those parties just to offset the binge that is inevitably going to happen. It’s all a huge, guilty, vicious cycle and no one looks forward to that.

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This is why I am going to take a different approach to the holiday eating season this year.  I am not going to worry about every single piece of food that passes my lips.  I don’t want to be spending the most wonderful time of the year thinking about food I have eaten, or shouldn’t have eaten, or won’t eat.  Adding more stress to my life is not going to help my health in any way, so I am going to do my best to keep calm.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to go hog wild with food.  I’m still going to eat real, whole foods and limit my sugar intake.  My meals won’t look much different than normal.  I’m still going to exercise regularly and go about my days like I normally do, but I am not going to sweat the holiday treats.  After years of punishing myself for being “bad” during the holidays, I have learned that it isn’t one meal or treat that will undo all my hard work.  It is what I do day in and day out that will affect my health.  Worrying over food will also affect my health in a negative way.

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You can do it too.  Maybe you have spent many a family gathering eyeing all the delicious food and forcing yourself to sit miserably on the sidelines eating carrot sticks.  Or maybe you load up your plate and stuff yourself full of your off-limit foods and immediately regret the massive food baby you currently have.  You don’t have to let something like food have so much control over your life.  Go into this holiday season with that mindset; food does not control you.  Know that one meal doesn’t make you unhealthy and one party isn’t going to ruin your progress.  You can still enjoy yourself and not feel guilty about eating.  Like I said before, take a deep breath and just relax.  Focus on all the other things that are going on during this season and trust yourself to do what is best for you.  You’re stronger than you think!

Be as confident as this cat :)

Be as confident as this cat 🙂

I hope you all had a great start to the holidays and that you have an awesome week!

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