I Pigged Out!!! Now What?!?

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

4 Powerful Ways To Handle Halloween Candy This Year

October 31st kicks off our holiday season in just a few days. Let’s look at four ways we liberated eaters can navigate it with cool-headed finesse:

1) KEEP YOUR MINDSET ON “LIBERATED SETTING” – Mindset matters most of all. If the old food-anxiety begins to rear its compulsive head just remind yourself that you and food are friends now. You have a peaceful relationship, and you are growing more mindful and intuitive every day.

2) DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME – Pre-determine how you want things to go, before the candy is in the bowl.

Think it through. It may not look the same every year. This year you may want to:

  • HAVE SOME: You might choose to savor some of your favorite candy, enjoying it fully. Decide on the amount, the place and a time that feels safe and positive for you to enjoy this intentional treat.
  • HAVE NONE: You might feel more peaceful about not having any at all this year. Perhaps you feel that one piece will lead to the whole bowl. Trust yourself to know what’s best for you right now. What will bring you the most peace? Take good care of yourself by eating other foods you enjoy.

3) MAKE A DECISION ABOUT LEFTOVER CANDY NOW – This one is critical and easy to overlook. We can do the intentional work of being mindful during the holiday and then find ourselves caught off-guard by leftovers. Go ahead and decide what you want to do the day after Halloween. Would you rather give it away or toss it in the garbage disposal? What will happen if you do neither?

Give yourself full permission to throw it all away – guilt free. It’s served its holiday purpose.

4) GIVE GRACE – No one walks this journey perfectly. If you happen to fall back into old patterns: acknowledge it, treat yourself kindly and see what you can learn from the experience. What safeguard, tool or thought might have given you a different outcome? Don’t be discouraged because relapses normal and are our very best school!

As we move toward this special time of year, decide to have a journey mindset. Be curious. Anticipate good things. Be open to discovery. Picture yourself getting stronger, wiser, freer and more peaceful with food with each passing holiday.

Each one is a part of your story.

Each one is an opportunity to know yourself better than you ever have before.

2 Strategies for Handling Constant Christmas Goodies

Don't Complicate Things This ChristmasHoliday food is everywhere!!!   It’s inescapable…chocolate bark, bacon wraps, cheesy dip and chips, sugar cookies – in the office, from the neighbors, in the grocery store – and it’s just getting started…

So how are we gonna get through this next month without constant food-preoccupation, goodie-anxiety and fear of gaining weight?

Is it even possible?

Yes. It is. And – it will take changing how you relate to food everyday, not just this time of year.

Here are 2 STRATEGIES to consider:

  1. There is no food I have to overeat in order to enjoy it fully.

This means stepping into permission and away from your old diet-shame. It’s never worked – in fact, it’s made us act crazy. Making certain foods “forbidden” causes anxiety and leads to all-or-nothing thinking. This leads us to eating none of it (and wanting it badly) or a TON of it (and feeling guilty and fat). This is a lose/lose mindset.

So let’s make this paradigm shift: There are no illegal foods – and – I am capable of enjoying a reasonable amount.

  • BEST BITES: You can decide to eat 3 best-bites. After 3 or 4 bites the taste diminishes anyway.
  • ONE “PERFECT” SERVING A YEAR: You can decide to eat one reasonable helping of your favorites this year. One delicious slice of coconut cake with boiled custard – savored fully. Once you’ve had it you don’t have to eat again until next year. This is one way to “have your cake and eat it too”.

2. There is no food I have to eat at all.

You are free. If you feel you cannot eat a reasonable amount of a certain food without overdoing it (right now), then you can step into your own power to choose not to interact with that food this year. You can always reevaluate things for next year.

  • FIND NEW FAVES: When you take something out, be sure to find a satisfying alternative to put in its place. Don’t leave a vacuum. Leaving a void invites feelings of deprivation and intense cravings. If you just can’t handle sugar cookies peacefully this year, be sure to find a spicy fruit compote or tea recipe to enjoy instead. Find new ways to treat yourself.

These 2 STRATEGIES can help you take the sting out of holiday eating anxiety. And, if you’d like to change how you relate to food permanently, let’s talk. There’s no need to spend another year feeling crazy around food!