3 Powerful Mindsets That Bring Food-Sanity To Holidays

When it comes to food, what’s happening between our ears is much more important than what’s happening on our plates, because what we believe determines our behaviors.

This is never truer than around the holidays.

Let’s take a look at 3 powerful perspectives that’ll help us navigate this time of year well:

I. Choose a connoisseur mindset. It’s OK to be picky. Food is everywhere so it makes sense to be choosy. Thinking like a connoisseur helps you identify what will satisfy you most. Don’t love canned green beans? Don’t eat ‘em. Being intentionally discerning cuts down on eating a lot of food automatically and unnecessarily.

BIG PAY-OFF: As you choose the foods that really jazz you (rather than choosing what you should eat or just eating everything because it’s there) you will naturally enjoy it more and eat less.

And here’s something really cool: Liberated eaters say that as their mindfulness grows so does their  appreciation and awareness of all the other good stuff too – holiday feelings, sounds, smells, sights, and the people they’re with.

That’s a win-win!

II. Choose a journey mindset. Becoming a more mindful, intuitive person (which is what liberated eating is about) is not like flipping on and off a light switch or falling on and off a wagon. It’s a true pilgrimage – a life-changing journey of self-discovery.

BIG PAY-OFF: Having this mindset keeps us focused on our discoveries and progress rather than getting hung up on inevitable mistakes and then harshly condemning ourselves for them. This relieves us of the pressure to eat perfectly, which isn’t possible or even necessary.

It also keeps us from doing that crazy thing I used to do: Trying really hard to “be good.” Eventually “blowing it.” Starting to plan the next Big New Year’s Diet, which led to over-eating my way all the way through November and December.

Sound familiar?

III. Choose to be gracious with yourself. Overeating sweet potato casserole doesn’t make you a bad person; it just makes you feel bad. If it happens, let go of berating yourself.  It. Will. Not. Help.

If self-criticism worked, we would’ve all been thin a long time ago.

BIG PAY-OFF: People who step off the food-shame train and give themselves grace to be human open up fresh, new space to learn and change, permanently. They begin to see what’s happening with a clear head and can begin to build the lifestyle they really want.

Grace also allows us to have a sense of humor – and that makes everything better.

So there you have it.  Savor. Discover. Forgive.

Imagine what these holidays might be like if you decide to walk through them as a gracious connoisseur on a holiday journey…

How Are You FEELING About FOOD?

wowThese days food is a loaded subject, and our feelings toward it can be intense. Whether you’re new to liberated eating or you’ve been on this path for years it’s a helpful practice to check in on your feelings now and then. Is food feeling like a good gift to you – giving you a sense of relaxed well-being? Or does it feel more like the enemy – causing you to feel anxious and out-of-control?

It is certainly easy to see how food might feel like the enemy for those of us who “battled it” for years. We tried to hold it and ourselves at bay—fighting valiantly with our paltry diet weapons only to end up right back where we started. There can be significant PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress from Dieting) leftover from this experience. But, if we allow ourselves to think of food as a dangerous force we will be handicapped in our efforts to make the changes we want to make. This line of thinking gives food false power and undermines our confidence.

Intentionally transforming your feelings toward food is an important part of this journey. Here are some thoughts that can help:

  • Make sure you aren’t subconsciously keeping an “Illegal Food List”. Thinking you “can’t have it” causes anxiety and might even set you up to overeat in response. Remember that you have freedom to eat any food and you have freedom not to. As a liberated eater, if you choose not to eat sugar, for instance, you are not declaring it illegal. You are exercising your freedom to choose. There is a big difference.
  • Remember how powerful your mindfulness and intuition are. People who are keenly connected to themselves and their body have an unstoppable partnership.
  • Think like a relaxed and discerning connoisseur. Peace and confidence grow when you take this position.

As you check-in with your feelings and recalibrate where needed, old defeating and draining feelings will give way to new, strong, healthy ones.

Your pants will get looser, your health will grow stronger, and your mind will be freer. Now that’s a really good feeling!

One Beautiful Bite At A Time

One Beautiful Bite At A Time

Imagine…

What would happen if you thoroughly enjoyed each bite you took? What if no bite went down the hatch mindlessly?

Many of the things we struggle with in our food-lives would practically disappear: overeating, feeling dissatisfied with a meal, carrying extra weight, being sad that a meal is over so quickly.

One powerful tool we have in making this food-nirvana possible is:

Thinking like a connoisseur

Who enjoys food more than a connoisseur? They’re relaxed and present – connected to the eating experience. Fully engaged. Each bite intentionally savored. Every sense employed. The pleasure is so complete that it doesn’t take a lot of food to feel deeply satisfied.

The benefits of thinking like a connoisseur are exactly what we’re looking for:

  • An open, relaxed attitude toward food—no shame or fear
  • Quality brings pleasure, rather than quantity – so weight is managed more easily
  • Food is enjoyed so fully that there is no grieving when a meal is over

As we adopt the mindset of a connoisseur we will gain what we’ve been wanting – not through the strain of white-knuckle-will-power – but through the rich satisfaction that comes through true connection.

As we honor each bite we also come to honor the moment, the meal, the one who prepared it, our meal companions and our own best health.

Now that’s a win-win, one delicious bite at a time.