INDULGING DURING THE HOLIDAYS?
It’s Christmas cookie season! And you can bet that this weekend I had way too many cookies (and pizza and pasta and wine) 😉 and none of it was healthy – everything was made with flour, sugar, sprinkles, food coloring, and allllll that good stuff. So, of course, I woke up feeling less than 100%… but that’s the holidays! It’s worth it for me because me to enjoy myself and indulge! Why? Because I don’t do this all the time. The holidays only come once a year, and my mom only makes Christmas cookies one a year, so when I get to eat them, I’m going to enjoy them!
BUT IT’S NOT HEALTHY!
You officially have my permission to indulge and not feel guilty for it during the holidays. Believe me, I don’t like feeling yucky for going overboard on sugar and wine, but I would feel so much worse living in a world of restriction! The holidays are a time of celebrating the abundance, being thankful for your friends and family, and living in the blissful moment of the warmth and twinkle of the holidays.
So, after indulging yesterday…
- Did I hate myself for it?
- Did I restrict my food today to “make up” for it?
- Did I carry guilt around with me all day long?
HECK NO! 🙂
I lived my life today, doing daily life stuff that I would normally have done if I didn’t indulge. I didn’t stress, I didn’t punish myself for enjoying a few too many cookies, and I feel so much better now that it’s been 24 hours. But I know it’s difficult to forgive yourself when you’re to living with food guilt and restriction.
Trust me, this is the first Christmas in a very long time that I’ve been able to prioritize my happiness around the holidays. It’s been years since I’ve been able to spend the time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s focusing on being happy, instead of channeling all of my attention into restriction and healthy eating. Instead of punishing myself for wanting to do “unhealthy things” that make me happy (like eat Christmas cookies and drink wine), I allow myself and trust myself to balance my happiness with healthy eating. And we’ll discuss that below.
HOW TO PRIORITIZE YOUR HAPPINESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
STEP 1: REALIZE THAT MENTAL HEALTH IS PART OF BEING HEALTHY
Mental health IS health, don’t ever forget that. I used to think that being healthy meant eating healthy foods and following a fitness routine. But after becoming a holistic health coach, I’ve learned being healthy is SO much more than physical health.
Being healthy truly goes beyond your food and fitness. Being healthy includes the health of your relationships, career, education, social life, spirituality, family life, mindset, home environment, finances, and so on. It goes way beyond anything physical. The all-encompassing “holistic health” idea is that we need to focus on our ENTIRE life to be truly healthy. Which, for many of us, means that we need to stop sacrificing our happiness and mental health in order to be physically healthy.
The biggest message is: you need to prioritize your happiness. You MUST do what makes you happy – and yes, during the holidays that probably means indulging! Our biggest fear is weight gain and sabotaging our physical health, but why do we have to sabotage our mental health in order to find happiness? Exactly, we DON’T have to do that! YOU have a choice.
To prioritize your happiness, think about this during the holidays:
- Do you want to be super duper healthy at all costs, no matter the sacrifice?
- And sacrifice special memories, moments and traditions?
- And live in fear and anxiety?
- Do you want to completely immerse yourself in the holiday festivities?
- And just be happy?
- And go with the flow?
- And live without restriction?
It’s not an easy thing to switch from restriction to Food Freedom, but you have to start thinking about the choices your making. When you do, you start getting into the mindset of putting your happiness first… and that is so incredibly blissful and freeing.
STEP 2: HEAL YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
Before you stress about loosening your restrictions, it’s okay to feel like it’s the biggest struggle in your life right now. Our relationship with food is pretty rocky around the holidays, especially if you’ve been struggling with disordered eating habits. Personally, I’ve been battling orthorexia and binge eating, and feeling like it’s hard during the holidays is the biggest understatement of the year! But, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to realize that YOUR happiness has a REALLY big place in your health. Because happiness is mental health – and it’s a really big part of who you are!
So it’s okay to struggle, but if you’re struggling you need to prioritize working on that relationship with food so that you can really find a balance of being happy and healthy (which I call Food Freedom) because it’s all a part of health! And if you want to start working on your relationship with food, then I know just where to start…
You can download my intro food freedom workbook right here:
Let’s work together to make simple + sustainable changes that ALSO make you happy!
STEP 3: REMEMBER WHAT THE HOLIDAYS ARE ALL ABOUT
The holidays can be super stressful, and I totally know that. We’re trying to put on a perfect show for our families and friends with expensive gifts, splurging on entertainment, and extravagant partying… and it can absolutely feel overwhelming. So in those times, remember what the holidays really mean to you.
- What’s the single most important thing to you during the holiday season?
- Are you doing that thing that’s most important to you?
- Why is this so important to you and how can you prioritize that during the holidays?
- What’s a way you can remind yourself of what’s important when you feel overwhelmed?
Our only job during the holidays is to take care of ourselves. It’s not to focus on healthy eating and restriction! From the point of view of holistic health, we need to be happy in order to truly be healthy.
TAKEAWAY: PRIORITIZE YOUR HAPPINESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
A friend on Instagram summed it up perfectly. She said, “I felt crappy physically after eating so many Christmas cookies, but I would have felt even worse mentally by depriving myself!” And yup, that’s exactly the point! Learning to recover, love yourself, and eat mindfully is a process that takes PRACTICE. It takes practice to find that balance of healthiness and happiness that works best for you. So let yourself practice 🙂
I hope you have a great holiday season and remember that happiness has a really big place in your health… so don’t forget to prioritize your happiness (not healthy eating) during the holidays!