The holidays! Smorgasbords of sugary, carbohydrate-loaded treats and alcohol beckon to us from all sides. The food is pretty and usually creatively displayed. There is an unreasonable feeling that, if it is put before us, we must partake or be deprived.
There are many reasons for overeating: boredom, self-hatred, being upset, tired or overwhelmed, needing comfort, feeling deprived, bad habits, hypoglycemia, and other issues. But holidays can really bring out the little piggy-wiggy in us all.
Statistics show that, contrary to wishful thinking, we rarely lose those average of 3-10 pounds gained per holiday season. That’s a scary thought in this weight-conscious society, eh?
Although most of us don’t want to completely eschew holiday treats, there are ways to train oneself to show restraint: First of all, remember that, from a primal level, we have lived many lifetimes where food was scarce. Chubby people were the ones who made it through the winter. It is an ancient, primitive reaction to lunge for food when it is displayed. (Notice the natives circling the food table?) However, this is the most overfed, abundant country in the history of the known world. I doubt you have ever truthfully been hungry unless you were on a fast. Repeat a little mantra before going out to holiday gatherings:
“I am safe, and I am satiated.”
- When standing at the food table, think about what you put into your mouth. Try really tasting the food. Is it scrumptious or does it just look scrumptious? I find that certain foods look delicious, but don’t necessarily taste delicious. (For me, that is true even with certain chocolates.) If you put something into your mouth that doesn’t delight you, remove it and discreetly discard it. (No need to hurt the hostess’s feelings.)
- At a party, there is usually so much going on around us that we’re afraid we might miss somebody or something. So we stuff our face while staring around the room, not even noticing the calories sliding down the hatch. However, if we turn our attention to the food, chew slowly and taste it, we are quickly satisfied and really don’t desire as much. Try it.
- Sometimes, we feel anxious at a party. There can be lots of strangers, and we feel a little shy. Or someone will be there with whom we have unfinished business (translation: a quarrel or grudge), and we eat or over-imbibe as a salve for our apprehension. There are a variety of ways to deal with the anxiety. We can do EFT tapping beforehand or we can step back and breath deeply. My favorite is to carry a little bottle of calming, homeopathic Rescue Remedy with me, and take a quick drop under the tongue. Better to take RR than embarrass oneself with too much alcohol (not to mention a hangover the next morning).
- When the hostess says, “Oh, there is so much food left over. Take some of this home,” smile, and shake your head firmly and say “It was delicious, but no thanks. I’m watching my waistline (or blood sugar or whatever.”)
See? With a little mindfulness, you can greatly reduce your caloric intake and still have fun at the party. Be sure to tell me about your successes. Good luck!