Most of us want to feel safe, maybe even more so at holiday time. If you have food addictions, though, it can be difficult to feel safe during the holiday season.
Everyone knows the holidays bring food temptations. It’s simply accepted that we’ll eat those foods, gain weight, and set the same weight-loss resolution we set last year and the year before.
Making this worse is how constant the temptations are – every day, all day, even more than usual. Seasonal stresses don’t help, either: long lines, crowds everywhere, parties, the financial pressure of holiday gifts, lots more.
These stresses can – and do – lead to emotional eating. And if we feel we’re about give in to emotional cues, the tempting foods are right there.
The Worst Holiday Stress?
Family pressures may be the worst. Who’s the “food pusher” in your family?
A client of mine had food battles with her mother all season long. Mom would make the holiday treats she knew her daughter loved. My client told her mother she didn’t want the treats because she was trying to lose weight. She told mom not to have them, either, because they were unhealthy.
Well, mom never changed her behavior and kept pushing the homemade treats. My client never developed better arguments. It took me a while to realize my client wanted to lose the battle. It was her “victim” excuse to eat the holiday foods.
What Can You Do Instead?
Let’s assume you want to win this holiday season. Here are suggestions to help you feel safer.
• Set your health goals right now – weight loss, health, better moods, more energy. Make December your Health Month.
• Refuse to eat junk that will sabotage those goals.
• Exercise every day. I use effective 10- to 12-minute high-intensity interval (HIIT) workouts that anyone can fit into a busy day.
• Don’t take food home from holiday parties, even if it’s offered repeatedly.
• If you can’t refuse the food, stop at the nearest trash can on the way home and toss it. DON’T take it home and pretend you won’t eat it.
• If you go to a potluck, bring a healthful dish – salad, roasted veggies, fresh fruit and nuts for dessert.
• Focus on family and friends. Make others feel safe for the holidays. Send prayers of healing and love to all you meet.