The Only Detox You Need this Holiday Season
Happy Thanksgiving week, whether or not you’re celebrating, gathering with family, or doing something else altogether, you’re probably starting to feel the holiday food anxiety creep up.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have shared with you all the 4 Questions to Ask Yourself before the Holidays Kick into High Gear, and The #1 Mistake Keeping You in the Holiday Anxiety Cycle. This week, we’re digging deeper into the action steps you can take to work through the struggle.
It’s only natural that we fall into these same patterns because we haven’t quite learned how to work our way out of them, and quite frankly, these thought patterns are ones that we’ve had for a long time. So my advice right off the bat is go easy on yourself – this isn’t entirely about removing the thoughts altogether, but rather recognizing them, calling them out, and then working through them so that you don’t fall into the same pattern year after year.
If we know, intellectually, that the answer isn’t to be more rigid, but rather to be more fluid and flexible with ourselves around food. How do we step into owning and acting on this new way of being?
Most people that hear this think to themselves, well, if I do that, I’ll go crazy pants and eat everything in sight and feel terrible about myself, physically feel awful, and so on.
But the truth is – that’s not entirely true. For some, yes. This might happen and you know what – that’s OK. It’s ok. You will rebound. Life will continue. And it doesn’t mean that you need to restrict or go on a diet. All it means is that you might need to spend a little more time learning and cultivating a more mindful approach to eating.
Step #1: Be a Mindful Eater
When we’re more present, it allows us to savor and enjoy the festivities that we’re attending. This can go from a macro and micro level too.
On a macro level, this goes to being selective and even a bit choosey with what holiday festivities we elect to attend. This could look like saying no to one event and saying yes to others. It could look like saying yes to everything. This is entirely up to you, but I do urge you to consider while being more mindful on a macro level to think about if you say yes to too many events, are you actually enjoying yourself? Are you actually able to sit back and have conversations with the family and friends that you’d like to, but haven’t had the chance to slow down enough in the past to do so? This is what being mindful is. This is what being more present is. Saying yes is totally fine, but I urge you to consider how saying yes impacts your ability to enjoy yourself.
On a micro level, being a more mindful and present eater may look like physically slowing down while you’re eating. Chewing your food, relaxing before meals, doing a breathing exercise so you’re not sitting down to your meals with an anxious knot in your stomach.
A lot of times the biggest complaint that my clients have around holiday foods is that they feel bloated after they eat. The assumption is to think that those foods don’t settle well for you and you should remove them from your diet. But in actuality – that’s not always the case, in many cases, it’s not even the food itself that is the problem, but rather the mind space and speed in which we’re eating that causes the bloating.
Bloating can be a normal result of eating.
The stress and anxiety of eating those foods can set your body up from moving away from the rest and digestion function of the body to fight or flight state. When we remove the stress and anxiety, we feel better on a base level.
We can’t be in both states. We can’t be in a stressed/anxious state and be in rest/digest at the same time. My thought is, let’s remove the stress. Allow the foods that you’re craving, that look good to you, and you want to enjoy onto your plate and take the anxiety out of it.
The next step is the manner in which we’re eating them plays a huge role in our digestion as well. When we’re eating in a hurried state we’re not chewing our foods well, we’re swallowing big chunks, and we’re eating super fast – we’re not setting our body up for optimal digestion either. When we do that, it’s natural that our body responds with less than optimal digestion (i.e. bloating, indigestion, irregular bowels, etc.).
The moral of the story is to work towards becoming a more mindful eater. For some of us (like me with Celiac disease), that means not eating certain foods. It also means bringing a dish of your own foods to the gathering. And you know what – that’s ok too. That’s also being mindful and thoughtful. But it’s not rooted in restriction, but rather in self-care.
Step #2: Get Support
Step one is tough. It’s hard to do this alone. It’s especially hard to do this when the people around you are still stuck in the exact cycle you want to break free from. You don’t have to go at it alone. We’ve created a special FREE community of other like-minded folx working really hard at breaking up with the holiday anxiety and we want you to join us.
What if you didn’t have to struggle with these same things, year after year? What if you could get through the holidays while feeling more at ease about your routine, food, and exercise? What if, instead of having all your time and brain space taken up by worry about what food you’re “supposed” to be eating or not eating, how much exercise you’re supposed to be doing, family comments around weight and bodies and diets galore…
What if you could create more space for JOY and LESS anxiety around the holidays (that you can carry with you well beyond the holiday season too!)? Imagine how that might feel.
Join our 5 Day FREE Diet Detox Holiday Challenge where we’re going to share with you how to feel better and actually enjoy the holidays AND avoid making the exact same, diet and exercise fueled New Year’s Resolutions every year (that never last past January)
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Why we all feel so frantic during the holidays (it’s not the parties or travel)
- Why you feel a little crazy or out of control around holiday food
- Why you feel like you’re counting down the days until the end of the holidays
- Why we’re comforted in the thought of starting a shiny new diet with a new set of rules in January that promises to un-do all the damage we did during the holiday season.
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Daily emails with common anxiety-provoking scenarios around the holidays (and what you can do about it to maintain your sanity)
- How to respond to frequent comments about food, dieting and weight by your relatives (aka the family food-and-diet-pushers)
- Access to our private challenge Facebook group to connect with other like-minded challenge participants
- Daily LIVE troubleshooting sessions: “how do I deal with this without falling into the same spiral I do every year?!”
Sign up for The Diet Detox Holiday Challenge. If you’re just learning about this, this post is Part III in a three-part series. If you missed the first and second parts, 4 Questions to Ask Yourself before the Holidays Kick into High Gear and The #1 Mistake Keeping You in the Holiday Anxiety Cycle, you can check them out here.
This 100% free coaching begins on December 9th, and you can save your spot by registering here. It’s a ton of fun, and you can connect with other like-minded people so that this holiday season is the year you really relax, stay present, and resist the January hype. I’d love to have you join us. Sign up here!