2012 Hanukkah celebrations are over. Christmas parties are underway… Christmas Day festivities and New Year’s party foods are still to come. Doing any emotional eating or stress eating? Feeling overwhelmed, yet!
Last week, I was interviewed for this Huffington Post article on stress and emotional eating over the holidays. The reporter, Meredith Melnick, knew her stuff. One of the things we spoke about (we covered a great deal) that did not end up in the article was what I call the “Last Hurrah” mentality.
The “Last Hurrah” mentality is that self-defeated shift many people make this time of year. They feel over exposed to food and expectation. When that happens they’re at risk for saying, “Screw it. I feel out of control. This is too hard! I don’t want to feel deprived. So, for the next 14 days I’m going to eat everything I want and then start over again New Year’s Day…or maybe January 2nd because I’m going to a party New Year’s Day and that would just be too hard because there’ll be lots of food there…”
Overeating one’s way through the holidays is a choice…one you can absolutely choose to make. But take a minute. Think that through to the end. How will you feel if you do that this year? If you’ve done that in years past, do you remember how you felt come January 1st (do you remember the holidays at all or was it just one big food haze)? Will you truly enjoy the social events…or will you feel miserable and mindless? Did you taste the foods you ate, after the first bite?
Here’s a simple alternative to the “last hurrah”. Consider trying this experiment, instead. Give yourself permission to eat anything you want, eliminating any feelings of deprivation that are bound to backfire. Choose preferred foods in quantities that feel reasonable, knowing you can go back for more, if you like. Now, here’s the most important part of this experiment. Stay mindful as you eat each bite of the food you put into your mouth. Taste each bite. Enjoy the foods that taste good. Stop eating the foods that don’t. (You can taste and socialize at the same time. I promise.)
No guilt! No expectations here other than to see what happens when you’re present, mindful…
Let us know how it goes…
Happy Holidays, everyone!