The holidays are here and you know what that means.
It's time for the food and weight-gain fear-mongering cycle to begin.
Here's what I'm talking about:
- the barrage of daily social media posts about the dreaded 10-lb holiday weight gain and how to avoid it
- the conversations with friends and family about how they've “over indulged" and what they need to do to “work it off”
- the offers for programs, challenges, and detoxes to help you get a better body before year's end
This week, I guarantee your social media feed will be jam-packed with memes and articles warning you about the number of burpees you have to do to burn off all those Christmas cookies and cups of eggnog.
On the surface, this may seem like motivation. But in reality this nonsense keeps you distracted, in a state of panic and fear, and NOT fully enjoying and thriving this holiday season.
This is no way to live your life. I know this because I spent YEARS obsessing about food, overeating, and then doing damage control to burn off all the excess calories.
Back in the day, this was my specialty during the holiday season. For me, the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year was all about trying to be "good", when all the food around me was "bad".
Then January would roll around and I'd dive head-first into a new crazy, restrictive diet or meal plan.
December was the month of sinning, and January was the month of repenting.
THIS IS DIET CULTURE AT WORK.
Even though we're surrounded by messages that suggest weight loss is a required year-round endeavor (it's not), we can choose something different.
The most important thing I’ve done is to trust myself and give myself permission to have what I want...every day. It wasn’t easy, and it took some work, but it’s the only thing that has given me the FREEDOM I’ve always thought was possible.
Now, food has NO POWER over me…I’m running the show.
If you want to start taking back your power, to experience more freedom, fun, and pleasure this season, here are some things you can do:
Connect: spend more time connecting with friends and family, and less time focused on what you’re going to eat or not going to eat
Unfollow: if seeing your friends’ talk about weight gain/weight loss on Facebook causes you anxiety and stress, unfollow their posts
Move: exercise in a way that feels good, not punishing. Trying to burn off every bite of food is exhausting and ineffective.
Get support: surround yourself with people who also want to escape the madness. Join us in the Break The Rules Facebook group if you want to have some peace and sanity this holiday season.
So, I ask you: how do you want to spend YOUR holiday season? Do you want food to have power over YOU, or do you get control back?
Here’s some perspective for you: If holiday weight gain is the WORST thing that can happen to you right now, you’re living a pretty awesome life.