As we know, December is primo binge time. We roll off of Thanksgiving into several weeks of parties, gift baskets, bowls full of candy at the office, guests dropping in, egg nog, and those are just the food triggers. Holidays trigger all sorts of emotional crises, like being around family, or not being around family, feeling single and sad, missing friends, relatives, or being forced to spend time with people who feel toxic to you.
So, let’s try to make this December a healthy one both physically and emotionally. Here are a list of things that can help you to maintain peace throughout this month:
1.No diets in December and no “I will lose weight resolutions,” on January 1. This December make a vow to try and be healthy and balanced so that you can be “present” for the holidays.
2. Consider staying away from gift baskets that come to your office. Think of them as just something that is not important to you or good for you and create a loving boundary with yourself that they are off limits. Gift baskets are generally filled with old (stale) processed packaged foods that just won’t feel good in your body.
3. If you get a basket of muffins or flavored coffee or chocolate covered candy canes or whatever, just regift it. Give it away. Bring it into the office, put it in the kitchen and don’t go back in. Give it to a homeless person in your neighborhood. Don’t even deal with it or give yourself the anxiety of choice. It’s not worth if it is a binge trigger.
4. Remember that just because things are “limited” you don’t need to eat them. Just because Starbucks has their limited peppermint mocha christmas latte’s, you don’t need to indulge in them daily. Or at all. You can always get one from Starbucks, any time of the year. Seriously. Just because Sam Adams has come out with their Christmas Ale doesn’t mean that you have to drink them. Christmas binge food is just like any old binge food. But it sneaks up on you because it is “limited.” Don’t let that word pull you into a binge. That’s the same black and white thinking that tells you that you have to eat a box of pasta and a loaf of bread tonight because starting tomorrow you can never have carbs again.
5. When you go to a holiday party, make sure that you’ve eaten beforehand. There is always lots of food (that’s fun for sampling) at parties like that. Arrive without an appetite and stick to one plate of food. Choose what you really want to eat, (survey the buffet before hand), put your food on the plate, and sit down to eat. Click here for more tips on Holiday Parties.
6. If you are heading someplace for the holidays, make a plan for not bingeing at the airport. Airports are infamous for binges. If you look around, you’ll see lots of people indulging in too much alcohol, too much food, or spending money compulsively. It’s really a challenge not to. You are in a confined place, anxious and bored, sometimes for way too long, and there are lots of temptations to help make the time go by. Click here for some tips on not bingeing at the airport.
7. If you are going home, even if your family is loving, supportive, and wonderful, you might find that being home (back in the place where your eating issues were formed) can trigger some binge eating behavior. Plan for it ahead of time. Remember that you are home to be with family and that you want your trip to be calm and loving and fun. Think about how you want to feel while you’re there and how you want to feel when you leave. Think about what you need to do while you are there to make this work for you. Click here for some tips on how to make sure that home is a safe place.
8. Give yourself an everyday in December meditation challenge. Just finding some more inner peace will help to give you balance during the holidays so that you don’t have to turn to food to feel better.
Please share your surviving the holidays tips!