Let’s assume you’ve gotten off the exhausting diet/binge roller-coaster and you’re now building a sane relationship with food. You’ve been practicing waiting on hunger, choosing food that satisfies, savoring it fully and stopping when you’ve had enough. What’s not to love?! You’re feeling good in your body and mind and you intend to continue living this way.
Then, the holidays hit.
What’s felt pretty balanced begins to feel messy and confusing again. Food is everywhere – and not just any food. It’s special food…food most of us have a long, tangled, emotionally-charged history with.
So, what do we liberated eaters do when we stumble back into old patterns?
Unlike our old dieting days, overeating doesn’t have to send us tumbling into a shame-filled downward spiral. This time we can actually redeem our stumbles. In fact…
We can learn more from doing it wrong than from doing it right.
Let’s take 3 Logical Lessons from the “Normal” Eater’s Playbook:
I. Relax, everybody overeats sometimes. Normal eaters don’t catastrophize overeating. We don’t have to either. Take a few deep breaths and acknowledge that this is not the end of the world. You’re not “bad” because you’ve overeaten. You just feel bad.
II. Don’t punish yourself. Normal eaters don’t chastise themselves after they’ve overeaten. No extreme diet, exercise or cleanse is required. This foundational difference is one reason normal eaters don’t continually swing between eating too little and eating too much.
III. Go right back to what was working. Normal eaters are in sync with their body, so feeling uncomfortable elicits a natural response – not an emotional knee-jerk reaction. They may take a walk, skip the next meal or not eat till the next day. They may prefer lighter foods after a heavy meal. This isn’t about penance; it’s about listening to your body which is naturally seeking balance and health.
We have plenty of ways to remember to eat mindfully and joyfully this time of year – and – its mighty good to know that an overeating experience doesn’t have to hijack us or our holidays.
Mercy opens the door to wisdom, peace, and balance – three things we’ve been hungry for for a long long time.
*Thanks to TOMKAT Studio for the delicious photo