It is a time of year for family. While that should mean love and gratefulness to be with loved ones during the holidays, family time can often bring about a lot of stress. Along with the stress come plates, upon platters, upon trays of traditional holiday foods that are served. Between these two things, it can make the mindful eater want to hop a ride to the North Pole and wait out the food and stress storm until New Year’s Day.
First I want to address the food traditions that come with the holidays. You made it through Thanksgiving with flying colors, and you are still here working on moving forward on your intuitive eating journey. Please take a moment to take pride in that and tell yourself “good job”.
I know you don’t want to fear the holidays and the “once a year” foods it may bring. Remember to exercise your ability to enjoy the flavors you wait for all year, and savor each bite. Most of the foods surrounding you during the holidays can be associated with a memory. Let that memory have its moment as you practice your mindful eating techniques. It will both warm your heart and tingle your taste buds.
We all know that family, on a normal day, can be a difficult roadblock on your healthy eating path, but during the holidays, the number of family members critiquing your body and your food choices seem to multiply. You don’t want to let that stress get the better of you and lead you into making choices that you don’t want to make. I’ve mentioned before, while support is a wonderful thing, this is your journey, not anyone else’s. Perhaps take this opportunity to educate them on how this lifestyle has helped you. Who knows, they might want to know more about it so they can begin their own journey!
An obstacle you might face is a family member or host making you feel bad if you don’t partake in enough of the food they made. This might be your grandmother who worked hours cooking and baking and doesn’t understand why you don’t want a bigger slice of her famous pie. Or, another family member telling you to, “Eat more! It’s the holidays!”
Remember, how much food you eat and what you choose to eat does not equate to the love you feel for your family or the person who prepared the food. Explain to them that you love them, and you love their food, but that is all you want to eat. Having this confidence and ability to stay true to your decisions about food empowers you and will be another victory on your road to a body you love.
This is a great time of year and it does not have to throw you off because of the stress that family can bring. At the end of the day, your family truly wants to see you happy. If you are confident in yourself and what you have accomplished so far, you are sure to have an awesome 2014.
Your turn to take action: What is a family food stress you typically encounter during the holiday season?