The holiday season is in full swing. Here in New York, the lights have been lit on the tree in Rockefeller Center, Santas are ringing their bells for the needy, invitations are in the mail and cyberspace for the annual holiday parties, and we are making our lists and checking them twice. We have a lot on our plates, metaphorically speaking.
According to a recent New York times article, Americans will gain an average of 2 lbs during this season of joy. For many, this is not so joyous – neither are the overwhelming triggers that the abundance of food, family and shopping can bring up. The experts are telling us we need to make better food choices; eat this, not that. The fitness gurus tell us how long we need to run on the treadmill to burn off that champagne cocktail or piece of pecan pie.
If you are challenged by and perhaps struggling with a confusing and fear based relationship with food, the holidays can bring high levels of anxiety and enormous guilt.
Can you relate?
What follows is a more positive and empowering approach; no punishing exercise, restricting nor deprivation required. You can defy the odds and continue to feel great throughout the holidays.
- Slow down and breathe.Breath grounds us – it creates a relaxation response, which allows us to be present in an inner world of calm. When present, we can take the time to check in, appreciate the abundance and at the same time, let go of the clutter that is no longer useful. Less stress will bring you more joy….
- Be mindful of what you are eating.This doesn’t mean think about every morsel you are putting into your mouth or obsess over the calories and fat content. Mindfulness at the table refers to being present so that you experience the food in a way that includes both mind and body. Your mind will pick up on the sensual complexities of the food; the smell, taste and texture while your body sends the message of fullness and satiety. Take the time to feel the brilliance of the body. When we make food choices based on the thoughts in our heads, we miss the input from our bodies….
- When you eat – EAT.Allow for the indulgence. One of the reasons so many of us overeat during the holidays is that we don’t allow for such pleasure in the first place. If we don’t get the pleasure we seek from food, partly because we are feeling guilty or simply not present, the pleasure seeking urges of our brains compel us to eat more. Reward yourself with the PLEASURE of food and your body will reward you with complete nourishment. However, honor where you are in your relationship with food….
- Have a plan and ask for support. If you find yourself feeling anxious about food that may be served, it helps to ask about it in advance and even offer to bring a dish you’ll feel comfortable with.
With your support tools in place, aim to….
- Bring your best self to the table of life. Devour the ones you love, listen to how the universe is calling you to give, and honor the sacred and serene space within yourself that you can always go home to.
As we are in the spirit of giving thanks, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for allowing me to share your private journey. I am honored to walk beside you into the light of your fully nourished life. If you are new to The Freedom Promise community, welcome. I look forward to sharing insight and inspiring you to be the change you want to see.