The mere thought of the holidays can sometimes give us chills. It can be difficult to take step back from the hustle, bustle, egg nog guzzling and stay calm amongst the jingling madness. It’s a time we often over-indulge, binge & feel a lot of guilt and shame when we ring in the new year.
With an extra few pounds on us and the stress of coming off the Christmas ‘high’ we sign up for gym memberships and jump on fad diets to try and dull down the guilt. Then, when the novelty wears off we fade back to our old ways and start the cycle all over again. It can be a vicious cycle, one that is tirelessly repeated year after year after year.
What if we learnt to be more aware in our bodies so the Christmas season isn’t as stressful? What if we took a step back, invited mindfulness into the way we think about ourselves and indulged consciously without the backslap of guilt? Mistletoe isn’t the only thing hanging over our heads come Christmas time. Christmas is supposed to be a time to relax, kick back, welcome in gratitude, indulge with love and spend time laughing with loved ones. The unfortunate case is much the opposite – we tend to fill our calendars with engagements, so full we can’t cope, we over-indulge on sweets, treats and alcohol & we throw ourselves into a downward self deprecating spiral.
Let’s reverse this, humour me and let’s try something new this holiday season. Let’s start from the inside out. Focus your attention on how you want to feel this holiday season; take a moment and identify those feelings. Energized? Calm? Relaxed? Whatever it may be for you, hold a space for it in your mind. Body acceptance is an inside-outside job. We must first figure out how we want to feel, and it starts from within. Can it really be that simple? YES is the answer. However, for years and years we’ve been brainwashed by the diet industry that we should be reaching for something external in order to cultivate those inner feelings. The next new diet pill, the next restrictive diet, the next celebrity endorsed obsession – whatever it is, we’ve all been there. What happens next? We hop on these fad diets, maybe lose a few pounds then once we are sick of restricting and realize it’s not a sustainable way to live, we gain it all back plus more (insert vicious diet cycle here!)
Now, let’s assume for a moment we actually listened to our bodies. We didn’t impulsively binge on food we know isn’t going to nurture our body and we know will send us into a ‘binge, guilt, repeat’ cycle. We trust our bodies to perform miraculous tasks, we breathe automatically, we digest without thought, we even have the power to heal and repair after we harm ourselves. So why can’t we trust to just simply listen to our bodies – eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. When food is around we tend to enter ‘Zombie Mode’ we don’t think, we just do. Minutes later we realize we’ve eaten 12 shortbread cookies and are how feeling horrendous.
Learning to love your body in today’s diet crazed world may seem like a ludicrous thought, I know. We tend to operate from a place of fear rather than love, we are told we aren’t ‘enough’ by the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry every day of our lives. So this season, make it jolly, make it beautiful and the only thing hanging over your head should be mistletoe. I invite you to experiment with these 3 simple steps to make your holiday season more relaxed.
Get clear on how you want to feel – an empowering feeling, one that makes you feel powerful. When you are beginning to feel stressed come back to the feeling, focus on it. What you focus on you will feel.
Listen to your body – Ask yourself – ‘Am I actually hungry?’ This little question will be the deciding factor weather you dive head first into the sticky toffee pudding
Bring back the love – shift your body perception from a place of fear to a place of love. Love is an insanely powerful position, it can be transformational. Start your day with appreciating one thing you love about your body.
It all starts with self-love. Avoid the January panic by implementing this practises into your life now. I believe in you, I just need you to believe in yourself.
Ps – If you're ready to take the next step and finally end your battle with food, you're ready for the Society. Click here to apply.