One truly wonderful psychological strategy to avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas…
Well Christmas is almost upon us!
It is that time of year where we try to take stock and reflect on what has gone before and what the future will hold. The thought I’d like to share with you, and that I’d very much like you to hold on to, is that you are the one who determines the life you have, the size you are and how good you feel. In a way I think this has been the most important realisation I have made this year. It’s something I’ve probably always known, but it has become very clear to me this year.
Research shows that our external circumstances have some part to play in how we feel, but it is our thoughts, beliefs and how we experience our lives that shapes us inside and out.
I know Christmas can be a very challenging time of year for many many reasons. Food being a big one; the average woman consumes 3 days worth of food on Christmas day! So for anyone who struggles around food and weight, this next couple of days can be a source of stress, anxiety and fear about being ‘bad’. So many of my clients tell me about the dreaded ‘Christmas diet cycle’: Crash dieting for Christmas Day, overeating the entire week and then starting some ridiculously strict diet on January 1st.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The one thing I encourage you to do over the next few days is a simple, lovely and actually very easy act.
By doing this one magical thing, you will:
FEEL GOOD AROUND FOOD
STRUGGLE TO OVERINDULGE
BE PRESENT AND TREASURE THE FOOD RELATED CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
NOT PILE ON THE POUNDS OVER THE HOLIDAY
LOSE THE SENSE OF ‘GOOD’ AND ‘BAD’
Ok so there are A LOT of benefits to something incredibly simple. But you know, it’s always the simple things that are the most effective and powerful.
Over the next few days I want you to promise yourself that you will ENJOY YOUR FOOD.
Make this commitment to yourself:
YOU WILL CONSCIOUSLY AND PURPOSELY ENJOY EVERY SINGLE THING YOU PUT INTO YOUR MOUTH.
What do I mean by this?
You will ONLY eat things you know you’ll enjoy.
You will chew each mouthful, tasting it, savouring it, enjoying it.
When you are offered food ( as you will in abundance over the Christmas period) stick to this rule, ask yourself- ‘will I really enjoy this store bought mince pie?… Mass produced piece of chocolate?’ If you feel you will, then go ahead and savour it, if not, politely pass, knowing and trusting that there is something truly delicious coming along later for you to eat!
Remember that the flavour of anything is always in the first few bites, so they are the ones you will enjoy the most. As soon as you stop consciously and purposely enjoying what you’re eating, STOP! Because you have had enough!
When you are in a position of consciously and purposely enjoying every single thing you eat, wonderful things will happen. You will feel good and more relaxed around food. You will confidently say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t truly take your fancy ( and so eat less, as so much of our food issues are around eating too much of that which we don’t need, don’t enjoy and actually don’t even register. How often do you catch yourself realising ‘I ate how many biscuits??”! )
This is not an over simplification of a very complex problem, this is a wonderful, magical tool I want you to utilise over the holidays.
It may make you feel a bit anxious to have permission to eat whatever you like. But understand, the permission is to eat only what you will ENJOY. We can’t actually enjoy food when we have had our fill, so this one simple strategy will eliminate the ability to over indulge!
Try it and see, I know you’ll find this a fantastic way to approach the holidays, and let the sentiment permeate to other areas of your life this Christmas.
Consciously and purposely enjoy this magical time. Make enjoyment a priority. Don’t feel the need to ‘try’ at it, just feel it. Like I did this morning when I woke up to the wonderful smell from my Christmas tree…it brought me such joy, because I took the time to savour it.
I wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday season, filled with love, peace and enjoyment!!
If you would like to find our more about how to shift what you focus on in your mind so that you can change how you experience food and your body, then check out my free training: Break up with Bad Eating Habits.
Melvin, K. (2016). One truly wonderful psychological strategy to avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas…. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/artful-eating/2016/12/one-truly-wonderful-psychological-strategy-to-avoid-piling-on-the-pounds-this-christmas/