We’ve all been there. Inching along the buffet line when our eyes lock into a place somewhere between where the foamy richness meets creamy thickness, and the eggnog you swore off because of its one million calories looks like heaven. Who can resist that, and the honey baked ham, and the mozzarella bread, and the pierogies my mom makes that have so much butter, it would fill the Land O’ Lakes. So now I’m sitting here writing this blog trying to gradually recover from the holidays. But the funny thing is, despite my previous skills that involved, in part, beating myself up over what I consumed the last few weeks, I actually feel strangely reassured about how much guilt I’m going to allow myself to feel. Remember that little video I offered up on my website as my complimentary gift to you? (If you haven’t received it, hit the SEND NOW button on my website) well I didn’t totally follow its protocol and I am living with the consequences. As I talk about in the video and in my coaching practice, eating intuitively was a game changer for me, masked in its simplicity of only eating when you are a little bit hungry and stopping when you are a little full, sounded overly simple, but as I discovered this past month super hard. It takes consistent effort to tune into your own bodies’ cues and super hard when there is an abundance of good food around. So let’s take a look at some of the bright spots and areas for improvement in this holiday season debriefing session.
Bright spot– I went for a four mile run on Christmas day. I find that working out before a large holiday meal, helps me stay true to my health and wellness goals and may help balance out the extra calories consumed. It sort of sets the tone that I am not abandoning all my good efforts, and honoring my commitment to exercise remains important.
Bright spot–I did not have any appetizers before the large meal. I made a decision ahead of time to not load up on appetizers, and I held true to this. I’m reminded of The Simpson’s episode when ahead of a steak eating contest, Marge had to send out a rightful reminder to her husband, “Homer! Don’t fill up on the bread!” Same thing for me. I often go nuts on appetizers that I’m not even hungry for the main meal-which I eat anyways. Staying away from the apps served me well this year.
Dark spot–I engaged in unconscious eating during the Xmas dinner. I did not tune into my bodies cues and ignored my fullness signal, giving way to eating past satiation, leading to a stomach ache and bloating the next day. This was also a breeding ground for that mean inner critic to surface.
Bright spot –For the first time ever I did not give into the urge to beat myself up. The urge did rise and I was having thoughts about how terrible I was and how I must of gained a million pounds and I watched my brain try to go down the road of F it and continue poor eating and give up on exercise because of one bad choice. I became the compassionate observer, noticed it and choose a different more loving way with myself. I reminded myself that beating myself up had no upside and I wasn’t going to tolerate it anymore for myself. Forgive myself and move on has been the new mantra.
Bright spot-I signed up for a workout class with a friend for the day after. I had to be accountable to her and myself, which increased my likelihood that I would attend. We had a killer workout and enjoyed socializing before and afterwards.
So in summary, what I learned is that I needed to utilize the hunger scale during holiday season much more actively than I did. Normally it is a subtle part of my daily routine, but with all the added goodies and parties around, I needed it even more. I hate feeling stuffed, in fact, I haven’t felt this way in some time, so it is a good reminder to stick with the hunger scale to prevent this feeling. Secondly, being kinder and gentler with myself has made a huge difference in my esteem and ability to move forward. It has kept me working out, even when I felt sluggish. Gone are the days that I say F it and continue on with unhealthy choices. Recognizing that it’s a journey helps let go the anger and self-pity that can accommodate perceived setbacks. If you would like to learn more about the hunger scale/intuitive eating or need any coaching around this, or any other issue holding you back from your dreams, please feel free to message me to schedule a complimentary session. Get back on the horse all-stars. Mindyourstrength.com