Navigating Thanksgiving without Food, Weight & Family Drama
Manage episode 246761123 series 1041502
How will I deal with all of the food?
What will my family think of my body?
Can I indulge in the yummy food or will everyone judge me?
What if I eat too much and can never lose the weight?
How can I prevent all the bingeing that I’ve done in the past?
What if I don’t eat anything?
Can you relate to these pre-Thanksgiving fears?
Many people can. Thanksgiving can often be a pure nightmare. 90% of my coaching clients struggle BIG TIME with the restricting/binge eating cycle during this time. The family gatherings, the variety of food, the force conversations and the heightened sense that everyone is looking at your body can make this holiday a day you just want to skip. It can affect your mental health and self-esteem in many ways, especially if you end up “losing control” and feel like you are reverting back to destructive patterns.
One of the worst thing you can do to try to ease the fear of Thanksgiving is this:
Restricting food or restricting emotions will ultimately lead to the one thing you’re trying to avoid: your inner pressure cooker exploding into every direction. The fear of the weight gain, the loss of control, the judgement, the chaos can contribute to you needing an outlet, which often is the one thing you are so terribly scared of.
In order to prevent this inner conflict this year, here’s your guide to have a relaxed Thanksgiving celebration!
Guidepost #1: Stop restricting
As I’ve mentioned above, restricting is the number one mistake why my clients end up bingeing even if they’ve prepared properly for the days ahead.
If you go into the holidays with the intention of eating little or even losing weight, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Restricting backfires. Every single time.
Thinking you can lose weight is a ludicrous idea as food is part of this Holiday. It just is. The sooner you accept it, acknowledge it, you’ll be able to deal with it.
So, in your heart and mind, allow yourself to eat during Thanksgiving (and beyond), to indulge a bit here and there and to enjoy yourself. If you go to your dinner knowing that that’s what you’ll do, the pressure to do the impossible is definitely reduced.
Guidepost #2: Do NOT feely guilty
Eaten what feels like too much? Forgive yourself and move on.
There doesn’t have to be any guilt as there’s nothing to be guilty about. Eating is not a moral act, always remember that. So, even if you’ve eaten way more than your body wanted, you didn’t commit a crime. All you did was put food in your mouth and swallow it.
Guidepost #3: Prioritize self-care
Self-care is key around the holidays. And even more importantly, you have to practice self-compassion. Hold yourself to a standard of love and compassion instead of a standard of perfectionism.
So, start with your self-care practices now in order to be balanced and as relaxed as you can be during Thanksgiving.
See yourself with loving eyes, touch your body, massage your face, take time for yourself, journal, dance, read, go for walks and do whatever it is that fills your self-love cup.
The more practice you have now, the easier it’ll be to tap into your resources when things are stressful and overwhelming.
Guidepost #4: Do NOT apologize
For eating, for having gained weight, for not eating, for not having gained weight, etc.
It can be hard to endure when your family judges your weight, your eating behaviors. It’s like a repeated slap in the face to have relatives comment on your body or hear questions like: Should you really at this?
It’s OK to be hurt, feel disappointed, angry or whatever else comes up for you.
However, it’s not OK to apologize for being YOU.
Remember that when others judge you, all they’re doing is projecting their own fears and insecurities onto you.
If you don’t eat a dessert, they’ll feel threatened because they’ll feel judged.
If you do eat 20 cookies, they’ll feel threatened because you’re not giving a s**t about diets and have mastered to live in tune with your body.
No matter what you do, someone will always feel triggered and might even give a biting comment.
It’s not about you, it’s about them.
So, do NOT apologize and own your choices.
Guidepost #5: De-stress
Sometimes a situation can get overwhelming or the urge to binge can get too big. That’s when you need to excuse yourself and de-stress.
I’ve written extensively about my favorite ways to relax. One of the easiest is to breathe in on 8 counts and breathe out on the count of one. Another easy trick is to go for a short walk sucking in the fresh, cold air. Check out more tips here.
Guidepost #6: Wear an outfit that makes you feel happy
Whatever that means to you.
Don’t squeeze yourself into clothes that don’t fit for whatever reason and instead take some time to choose an outfit that enhances your mood and self-esteem. Yes, you can totally rely on this external tool!
Guidepost #7: Stay in the present
If you tend to catastrophize and go a tad insane after having eaten just one cookie “too many”, then it’s time to come back into the present. You cannot control the future and you cannot change the past, your power lies in the here and now.
Take a deep breath and drop into your body. Notice your feat, your knees, your hips, your belly, your breasts, your arms, your hands, your face. Scan your body as slowly as you can to force your mind back into reality. What you feel right now is real and anything else is made up.
Now that you’re grounded again, you can begin to make decisions from a more peaceful place.
Guidepost #8: Check your mindset
Stop thinking in all black or white, all or nothing, good or bad.
The reality of your eating behaviors falls somewhere in between. Normal eating is totally flexible. The more you can see the greys and the nuances of your choices, the more you can ease into whatever situation you’re in.
Adopt more of a f**k it attitude and see that it really doesn’t matter how much you’ve eaten. Also, you’re the one who determines what a binge is for you. If you loosen your definitions just a little bit, you’re giving your mind and your body a big, much needed break.
Guidepost #9: Connect
Connecting with your loved ones is a great way to not get overwhelmed by the amount of food you’ll deal with during Thanksgiving.
Share your heart with your loved ones instead of obsessing over the buffet and be in the spirit of giving instead of in the spirit of dieting
What if your family situation is, erhm, complex and food is the only distraction you have from THEM?
Use Martha Beck’s 3Bs: Bag it, Barter it, Better it.
If you cannot be around your family unless you binge or are in pain, try to see if you can either not go or add something to your experience to make it less painful.
You’re the one who can make choices for yourself and it’s your attitude that often causes a miracle to occur. So choose what works for YOU.
Guidepost #10: Stay away from other people’s fat talk
If your family is anything like mine, you’ll hear a constant stream of “I ate too much”, “I’ll have to diet now”, “Did you see how much weight XYZ lost/gained?, “I wonder what diet she’s on”, “How many calories do you think I’ve just eaten?”, “Gosh, I just can’t control myself anymore”, “We’ll need to diet now”, etc.
If you hear your family fat talk, you have three choices: you can add to it, change the conversation or you can remove yourself from the situation.
I’ve walked away from many of my family’s attempts to drag me into a fat-talk bitch fest and it’s always saved my soul another attack. What are you going to choose?
Guidepost #11: Commit to Gratitude
Before you eat, take in all the food and practice an attitude of gratitude. This’ll ground you and give you a moment of pause before the act of eating begins.
Guidepost #12: Write yourself a Love Note
Before you go to your Thanksgiving dinner, give yourself some time to express your love for yourself.
You can write about ALL the ways you love yourself or why you are so grateful to be the person you are. You may want to write down a few ways that help you to relax and calm down: mantras, breathing techniques, special words, reminding yourself to get out of the room and ground yourself outside.
Keep this note with you at all times and refer to it when you are feeling freaked out, overwhelmed or “just” need a little reminder of how powerful and resourceful you are.
Have the most beautiful Holiday Season, my love!
As always, I’m here to support you in letting go of suffering and building the life you have always wanted to life: a life without body-shame, without obsessing about every calorie you put into your body, a life of joy, freedom and bold magnificence.
I have an exciting opportunity to work with me 1:1, in the same room for 2 days! I am coming to YOU.
Know that it’s time for major shifts in your life and relationship with food and yourself? Are you ready to commit so deeply to self-love, well-being and a body image based on respect that you can finally go out and claim your perfect life? Then this 2 day VIP experience is just the next step for you.
You don’t have to know how to “get” to body-love and freedom from bingeing and overeating. All you need to know is that you *want* a better life, a more relaxed and joyful daily experience. All you need to know is that you want to change the direction of your future. I’ll take care of the rest.
Is a life of body-love calling you? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive the details.
I only have 2 spaces available until the end of the year and they will sell out.
Ready? Let’s let go of suffering and dive into bliss.
Love and light,
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