So the time is near where we will all have family dinners, a million Christmas parties with cookies and cider, and the national average of weight gain is 5-7lbs every season. So, how do you fight that off? Honestly, I just don't think that it matters and I want to share why.
My body is a beautiful thing, and so is yours. We all have a spot that we are comfortable and feel like ourselves and most of the time after the holidays, we aren't at that place. We enjoy all of the times with friends, but with cookies staring at us in the face, it's always a constant battle of "Uh do I care or do I not care?" I was talking with a friend last night, and she was sharing some thoughts of this nature, and I realized that it's something I would have never thought she would be concerned about but that it tends to creep into the minds of all women and sometimes men, so it's more of a mental battle than a physical.
First, it took me YEARS to get through a holiday without just basically being more upset about my body changing vs being happy to be around family. Disgusting right? Yea, I know. I've shared my story many times and I can remember specifically the first time I had a mentally healthy Christmas and being like PRAISE YA JESUS! I didn't binge. I did not track anything. I did not watch what I ate. I just simply listened to my body, ate when I was hungry what was provided, stopped when I was full and all was totally fine. So, all of the tips that I share with you are going to be things that I myself have gone through at some point.
WHAT IS THE REASON BEHIND THE CONCERN?
Do you think that you are going to gain weight? If you do gain weight, what is the worst case scenario? Will you not fit in some of your clothes or feel uncomfortable in them? Does that make you feel not pretty because chances are, you are still JUST AS BEAUTIFUL. Dispersing anxiety comes down to figuring out why you are feeling anxious about something and realizing that the worst case scenario is not quite as awful as you had imagined. So, you gain weight? Does that mean you won't still get time with family with love and laughter? Are you still the same aunt, cousin, mom that you were before? We all know the answer is a resounding YES.
What does the anxiety do for you? The things that you feel about it are very real but that is not going to change anything. Dispersing anxiety doesn't just happen though. You have to actively pursue it. You have to think about all of these things, and then take a deep breath and force yourself to think of other things.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
I said this a minute ago about the holiday that it finally "clicked". I just ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I think that getting on the scale during the holidays is a BAD idea. Sure, I probably gained some weight because the foods that I was eating were more calorically dense than the ones that I normally eat. But in all honesty, what does that mean at the end of the day? If you live a healthy life, then you are going to bounce right back after the holidays and you know that. By weighing and obsessing over the weight gain, you will never be able to truly enjoy yourself. You'll either go to one party and be able to contain yourself only to turn around at the next and eat every cookie in sight or maybe you don't enjoy any of the goods, and you think you have "control" but what kind of fun is that? Life is life, and there are going to be these times. You say no because you ACTUALLY don't want it. You know that if you were to eat it, it would make you feel horrible (not mentally but physically) because you've maybe already had 2. You don't go through the mental battle in your mind. It's a simple question that you ask yourself. Do you want it or do you not? Because sometimes the answer is actually no and we torture ourselves thinking "we can't" when really we don't like oatmeal raisin and would rather have chocolate chip.
BRING HEALTHY TREATS TO PARTIES
Okay, this is something that I put as a tip but I hate the headline for it. I'm not saying that you need to bring separate food. I just simply think that sometimes parties are a little too gluttonous and they could use a little veggie tray in it's lineup. There is nothing wrong with encouraging others to eat well. I think it's so awesome to show your family that holidays don't have to be one extreme or the other, and that you can enjoy cake and cookies but also broccoli with some ranch dip.
RECOGNIZING THAT IT'S HAPPENING TO EVERY SINGLE WOMAN
The funniest part (actually not funny at all-more like ironic) is that while you are worried about the way that you feel after a holiday meal and feeling as if you've gained weight, no one cares about it but you because they are thinking about themselves. That sounds awful, but we all know it's the truth. So, what really is the point? To torture yourself when you know that you've been through holidays before and you ALWAYS bounce back. Use the holiday before and think about the anxiety that you gave yourself only to end up two weeks after forgetting that it ever happened! Think through things and know that it's NORMAL to have a full stomach, it's NORMAL to eat a lot more than usual during the holidays. There is no reason to be upset about this or feel that you have to do something drastic.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed but after 2-3 years of working with women in the fitness industry, the holidays present more anxiety than fun. The holidays present weight gain and frustrating/anger/anxiety/desperation over weight gain and then a week later, all is back to normal.
I do want to leave you with the lyrics of a new song that I'm sure you've all heard.
She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving
You know, "Covergirls eat nothing."
She says, "Beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything."
"What's a little bit of hunger?"
"I could go a little while longer," she fades away
She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Ah oh, ah ah oh,
So to all the girls that's hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within
I love how powerful this song is. Oh so much!
NOW GO ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS IN PEACE!!! <3 You deserve it girlfriend. It makes me emotional because I want it so much for you while listening to this song!
For a website that helps with mental health topics and anxiety that might be helpful for this topic, please see: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/anxiety/