I’m sure we all know what it’s like to fill our faces with a plate of leftovers or dessert and then immediately wonder why we just did that when we are still full from the last massive meal that we ate! Whether it is from boredom or stress, mindless eating during the holidays is the fast track to making you feel groggy, bloated, and grumpy. And who in the world wants to spend their holidays feeling like that?!?
That is why, before the holidays catch us unprepared, I want us to take a few simple steps to mentally prepare and choose the actions that will bring us joy, a clear mind, and wonderful holiday memories!
Write Down Your Why
If you don’t have a goal for how you want to feel and why, you will have zero motivation for eating intentionally. First, think about how you usually feel after finishing off a platter of cookies while hiding from your great uncle who is on his annual rant against dissolution of the dog-catchers union. You likely feel that sickish churning in your stomach, or that bubbly indigestion that makes you want to curl up in a corner and nap it off. That often leads to you spending the next few hours in a haze as you try to concentrate on Aunt Janis recounting the hilarious adventures she went on as a kid, or getting snappy with your kids when they interrupt your self-protective huddle on the couch.
Am I getting too close? Sorrynotsorry! How do you want to feel though? Maybe you want to feel light and fabulous so you can take a great family picture after lunch. Or perhaps you want to have a clear head to fully absorb those zany escapades that your aunt was famous for getting into back in the day! You might be wanting to have energy to play that annual game of family football! Whatever your reasons, write them down, and once they are written put them somewhere that you will see them regularly leading up to the holidays!
Write Down Your Triggers
Now that you know how you want to feel, dig a little deeper and uncover the situations that are most likely to sabotage your best intentions. Do you get into a regular kerfuffle with your cousin about the stuffing each year? Do your uncles tell those same awkward jokes that want to make you bury your face into the nearest pecan pie? Or is the stress of this year and the fact that you have no idea what the holiday is going to look like already making you dream of all the food? Whatever it is, no matter how small, write it down and brainstorm ways to either avoid those situations, or to cope with them in a healthier way. Rope other family members into this if you need to as well!
Now that you have these two steps completed, review them mentally in the lead up to the big day (or days as the case may be!). Taking just a little time to plan ahead now, can have big rewards for you this holiday season!