Approaching the Holidays with a Healthy Mindset
Back in the depths of my eating disorder, holidays were stressful. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed wrapping presents and watching It’s a Wonderful Life, but when it came to food choices, I felt anxious and let the fear of food literally rule my holiday experience. I remember days turning down beautiful, home-cooked meals, with cheap replacements that I thought were, healthy. And in my own, sick mindset, I thought I was the healthy one.
As sad as it sounds, the holidays stressed my own, imprisoned self and instead of enjoying family gatherings I either dreaded the food part of the get together or starved myself, so I could allow myself to enjoy x amount of mashed potatoes.
I am so glad that I did not stay there and have since healed, recovered and moved past an eating disorder which promised freedom, yet left me in bondage. Eating disorders, are tricky and they start with the mind. The mind is fed little lies and as we believe these lies, we start acting upon them, and eventually believing the lies as truth and in turn, the truth as lies. Recovering from an eating disorder takes so much work. It takes time to train your brain to detect lies and then, replace the lies with a truth. But, little by little, lie by lie, moment by moment, I promise it does get better.
And with this new found freedom, comes a new free approach to the holidays.
Now, I am not saying or promoting gluttony, BUT I am saying that Thanksgiving and Christmas are special days are many ways memories are made is through food. So, as I approach this magical season, I am excited (not dreading) the cookie baking, and the Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, and the mashed potatoes. I am looking forward to sharing steamy cups of cocoa with Landon and enjoying my grandma’s famous cobbler. Not because they are the ‘healthy’ option, but because those special moments like enjoying a slice of grandma’s cobbler and cocoa with Landon are moments and memories that will last a lifetime. And I want that. I want memories and moments even more than I want a certain pant size, waist size, blah, blah, blah.
So, how do we approach this holiday season?
Simple, enjoy and savor. Savor in the beauty of this Thankful holiday season and think about what you really want your holiday season to look like. I remember it came to a point where I didn’t want to feel miserable at each family gathering, so I decided that in order to do that, I needed to change. And once I began to change my mindset, food became enjoyable and something that I savored, not something I feared or dreaded.
Now, while I do promote and encourage mindful eating and balanced living and while I do carb cycle; I just as passionately encourage others to not freak out about food. Food is fuel and meant to nourish our bodies, while also bringing us pleasure. So, yes, I will not be stuffing myself on Thanksgiving, I will be enjoying the magic of the holiday season. Because there is always room for pie, ala mode please.
My hope for you is that you are able to enjoy this holiday season, guilt free. I hope you are able to live a balanced, vibrant, healthy life, while still being able to truly enjoy warm sugar cookies and hot cocoa. Life is so much better balanced and so much more fulfilling and free.
Happy Thanksgiving, a day early friends. May you enjoy the day, savor the season, and find true freedom in the beauty of balanced living!
- What is one thing that you are looking forward to this Thanksgiving?
- Do you have a favorite holiday food?
- Drawing a blank- give me a tangent!