This is the perfect time to look back and glean some very valuable wisdom about yourself and your food-life. Asking good questions is one of the best ways to do this. As you work your way through the questions below, allow yourself to respond honestly, without any harsh judgement or self-condemnation.
Here we go…
How are you feeling about your Thanksgiving eating experience last week?
Was it relaxed and satisfying – an eating experience you want to repeat for Christmas?
If so, why did it work well? What thoughts and behaviors do you want to repeat?
Be specific. Identifying and owning what works for you is empowering.
If you’re not pleased with how you ate, where do you feel things got off course? What gave you the most trouble? Was it all day grazing? Sweets and desserts? Leftovers?
How might you have interacted with that food differently? Think back through and imagine things going the way you wish they had. Be specific about what supports you could put in place next time.
Usually the real obstacles are between our ears – not on our plate. Faulty thinking about food and ourselves (hanging on from our old dieting days) leads to the behaviors we don’t like.
Did all-or-nothing thinking cause you to eat less or more of something than you really wanted?
Did the old Good Food/Bad Food list cause you to feel guilty about enjoying a piece of pie?
Did anxiety lead you to eat too quickly? And too much?
As we look back with clear eyes and see what worked well for us, and what didn’t – our understanding can pave the way for real and lasting change.
As you look ahead to a December full of Christmas goodies and feasts, remember these powerful truths:
- MINDFUL EATING WORKS – Eating in your right mind – staying connected to yourself and your food as you eat – allows you to get a lot of enjoyment out of a reasonable amount of food.
- GUILT DOESN’T WORK – In fact, it makes us act crazy around food. Feeling guilty for our choices keeps us from being satisfied, and often leads to over-eating the very food we can’t relax and enjoy.
- A RELAXED EATING PACE WORKS – The simple act of relaxing and slowing down your eating pace does wonders. People who do this consistently end up naturally eating about 210 fewer calories a day than faster eaters. This translates into about a 20 pound release over a year’s time. No dieting. Just slowing down.
Looking back and learning from past experiences is a powerful practice. Trust yourself to find your way through.
And, if you find you’d like to have an encouraging coach walk through this process with you, I’m all yours!