If you’ve been on track establishing new healthy habits, the holidays can be daunting with all the changes in schedules and tables of treats the season presents. Seasonal celebrations not only illuminate your relationships with friends, but parties can shine the light on your relationship with food and how you treat yourself too.
The holidays are a time to come together and celebrate light, not to fight! Gatherings don’t have to turn into a battle of wills. When you sit down at the table with friends and family, enter a room filled with co-workers and cookies or sit alone in front of the leftovers you might feel like your relationship others is ok, but your relationship with food is the garland covered Grinch in the room. Try as you might to disguise it with ornaments, the holidays can illuminate the beast.
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Life is a Balance -There’s No Need to Be a Grinch Around Goodies!
As you seek to be generous with the forgiveness and caring towards others this holiday season, think outside the gift box and love yourself too. If you’re in the habit of beating yourself up over food choices, ditching the guilt over goodies might sound like it’s easier said than done. But, future healthy you will thank you for doing it!
Accept the fact that a bite of your favorite food, whether it’s peppermint bark or a hunk of a cheese ball, is not going to ruin your healthy lifestyle. The American Council on Exercise recommends practicing moderation, not complete avoidance of all treats. Likewise, Nicole Justice, writing for the Diabetes Council, says it’s more likely you’ll stick to a diet if it isn’t overly strict and encourages “good choices, not flawless ones.” The truth of the matter is, masticated chocolate does not have a homing device that immediately makes it stick to your hips. A bite of fudge is a bite of fudge. It’s neither good, nor bad. However, your reaction to the bite of fudge is what matters.
If you inflate the importance of a bite of food, you’re not doing yourself any favors in the wellness arena. Elevated stress levels increase the chances that stress hormones, like cortisol, can build up and affect your ability to regulate your weight and blood sugar. So, do yourself a favor and lose the grinchiness. Enjoy the food if you choose and the kind intentions behind it. Reduce your stress level by smiling and thanking the person who made it. Expressing gratitude can help reduce stress.
The holidays don’t have to be an all or none time when it comes to eating. If you’re concerned you’ll go overboard, make sure you have a healthy meal before you hit the party circuit. Bring a healthy snack you like to eat to share with your friends. Stay hydrated by drinking water.
And, if there’s a dance floor, get a little exercise and let your Jingle Bell Rock!