Love yourself this Christmas
Christmas time (or festivities in general) are tightly connected to food. No wonder, because food doesn't just provide us with energy, but also means connection, tradition, belonging... all of which is deeply nourishing and important.
However, it can be a challenging time for people trying to eat healthy, because it's also a time where cookies, chocolate santas, traditional sweets and Glühwein are even more omnipresent - in the shops, in the streets, and even in the office - and of course at home. What usually happens is that people either drop or compromise their good habits for a while, or they use all their will power to stay strong. Some might even escape all social gatherings, just to avoid the food that is involved... In all cases they usually feel bad - either guilty for indulging, or deprived and/or isolated for not participating.
There's a third way however. It's what I like to call the way of love. Love for ALL of you, your body, your mind and your soul.
- If you know you are highly gluten sensitive (or fructose, or dairy, or sulfites, or have/want to eat low carb or avoid refined sugar or alcohol...) LOVE would mean to NOT have the cake/ the Glühwein / the whatever - and to feel good about yourself, because you are taking good care of your body (and thus ultimately of your whole being). You could still satisfy your other needs - your need for belonging, or your need for pleasure - with an alternative treat (home-made or bought from a high quality source) that doesn't contain the ingredients that hurt your body. You can even share that with your family or friends, so they also get inspired with something new.
- Even if you don't have any sensitivity, LOVE could still mean to say NO to any sort of food loaden with sugar, refined flours, alcohol... because of their negative effect on your body. That doesn`t mean you have to say no to the festivities though. If you don`t make a big deal out of it, the others usually also wont bother if you have a tea instead of a Glühwein. What matters after all is the being together, not what`s on your plate or in your glass...
- If you are generally healthy, and you really, really crave that taste of your grandma's Christmas Stollen or that hot Glühwein on the Christmas market, LOVE could mean to go ahead and have a little piece or sip of it. But don't just gulp it down, savor it with all your senses.
- Even if you don't crave it, but your grandma would be SOOOO happy if you just tried your cake, LOVE could also mean to go ahead and have a little piece... (and sometimes it could mean to say no, to practice setting clear boundaries).
In general, if you know you tend to feel deprived, acknowledge that feeling, but don't stop there. Look for what you are REALLY feeling deprived of:
- Is it really the taste of a particular food? OK, try to find the best quality version of that food then OR enjoy a small piece of it - but SLOWLY and MINDFULLY to satisfy that need.
- Is it the feeling of belonging and the fear of sticking out and being the "weirdo"? In this case, you can either separate the need to belong from the food (I have no problems going to a party or a bar and just drinking water - nobody cares what I have in my glass, they care if I am there and fun) OR - if that feels uncomfortable to you, your challenge is probably about strengthening your self esteem and working on your fear of not being loved. The task becomes to dare to actually BE the way you are and to RESPECT your needs (setting your limits) without caring what other people think of you.
However, my wish for you would be that you can learn to change your perspective from "I cannot have that food - I feel deprived - poor me" to "I could have that food, but I CHOOSE to not have it because it actually hurts me - I feel empowered and good about myself, because I take care about my well-being - lucky me".
If that sounds like un-doable for you, I would love to be your coach next year.
For more tips on how to get healthy and joyfully through the holidays, click here: https://www.metabolance.com/healthy-through-the-holidays/