The holidays can pose as an especially tough time emotionally for those of us struggling with Binge Eating, emotional eating, depression, and/or food addiction.
The food (why does every social event revolve around food?)
The people (some great, some not so great)
The loud atmosphere.
It can all be so. freaking. overwhelming.
You can’t concentrate on having a good time when all you’re thinking about is avoiding the large plate of ooey gooey decadent chocolate brownies sitting itself so coincidentally behind Lucy–and she’s blabbering on about God-knows-what but you just want her to SHUT UP SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON:
- stuffing your face with all the food in the world or
- resisting and talking yourself out of bingeing.
The thing is, all these thoughts are perpetuating so much energy out of the present moment you could be enjoying. You’re not enjoying yourself at the party, nevermind concentrate on what she’s is saying.
People have told you in the past, oh just ONE PIECE won’t hurt. You’re taking it too seriously.
But it’s them that don’t understand. They take you too loosely. They take you UNseriously. You’re after something (be it a lifestyle change, be it beating an addiction, etc), and it’s important to you to stick it through. Don’t let anyone shame you for that. Don’t let yourself feel bad for wanting something good for yourself.
People don’t tell an alcoholic or a pregnant woman oh it’s just 1 drink. So why is it okay to freely coerce someone with food? Both are forms of self-detriment.
And it’s all so frustrating, It’s all so frustrating because at the end of the day you know you don’t want to go down that path of self destruction.
Why do you have to be a victim of that circumstance? Do you feel powerless over these food situations? (Let me tell you–you don’t have to. Keep reading.)
And sometimes, it all just becomes so much, you just don’t care.
Gobble gobble gobble.
Then energy crash.
And stomachache. And ShameandGuiltandHopelessness that you’ll always be this way forever.
Sound like your story too? Yeah. I’ve been there.
Trigger environments can make it hard for us to make good choices for ourselves; did you know that you become the 5 people closest to you? So who do you want to become? What kind of person would you like to be? What, or who would you need to surround yourself with?
Exactly. It’s the same with food. Or any malaptive behavior, or anything surrounding your environment, for that matter. People with convenient access to gyms in their homes are more likely to go. And just as likely to eat a cupcake sitting in front of them compared to if the cupcake was half a block down the street.
The holidays was a tough time.
The holidays made me lose my balls.
The holidays made me overeat. And overeating makes you SAD, and SAD makes you overeat–it’s a vicious cycle.
So whether or not you struggle hugely with bingeing, or just want to keep on track with your diet during the holidays, I have some tips for you:
Journaling thoughts and moods related to the stress and anxiety around the holidays displays thought patterns and reveals sides of yourself you aren’t even aware of–things hidden in the unconscious. When it comes to mastering your mind and moods (which ultimately dictate behavior), journaling is absolutely critical.
And in addition to journaling, sometimes I utilize the life planner to keep track of days I’ve been successful, days I’ve binged, foods I ate, and mood ratings. Take a look below:
2. GET A LIGHT BOX!
Remember that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression, and depression often results from a lack of ability to cope with an extreme emotional low spurred by lack of stimulation. When the days are shorter and the nights are longer, this tends to be the case, so having a light lamp in your home when it gets dark in the early afternoon keeps you brighter (haha, get it?) for longer. I’m not whipping this out of my
a**, it’s been scientifically proven to treat SAD; known as phototherapy. A light box produces natural light (not that artificial yellow or white tinge from CFLs or incandescent) that mimics daylight; so it’s like having a little sun in your room.
3. GRAB A BUDDY
When you go to a party, go with a friend. Explain your situation.
I got scorned by others if I said no to a plate of cookies that I know would make me feel like crap, so there was peer pressure to conform and accept. As if saying no was a crime! It can be hard to say no without drawing attention, getting defensive, or feeling guilty because you “offended someone”, but if you’re backed up by a peer, it helps you not seem like the odd one out.
However, it can be hard to find a buddy that sheds no judgement towards you. It can be hard to find a buddy to understand your feelings and commitment without judgement. Do they have the emotional capacity to emphasize? Are they reliable enough to take you seriously, to keep and eye out for you at the event? And finally, how comfortable are you disclosing your situation to them? These are things to consider.
Like I mentioned, finding “that friend” can be hard to do, and perhaps there isn’t one person you can think of available to you. This is when it’s best to invest in an expert who’s gone through the process. They know what it’s like to be in your shoes. They know how to help. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get accountability. Here’s what coaching can do for you: (quoted from Forbes!)
- create a safe space to foster change
- identify gaps between where you are and where you want to be
- ask for more intentional thought, action, and behavior changes than you could have asked yourself
- guide the building of structure, accountability, clarity and support necessary to ensure sustained commitment
Coaching gets you to achieve an optimal level that would not have been possible if left to your own terms.
Give yourself the gift of sanity this season. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about choosing a better you.
Ask yourself, will you be ultimately be happy with the choice you make during this season, or will you be beating yourself up over it? Will you always be a victim to the circumstances? Do you feel filled with anxiety and dread because you worry you can’t control your thoughts or actions? Do you have to skip the gym because you can’t seem to muster up the will to put on your coat and just go?
Do circumstances have to dictate your actions?
Why do you have to succumb to the negative thoughts towards outside situations that you cannot control?
You can’t change your circumstances, but what if you could change your thoughts about them? Then the possibilities are endless–you can dictate the actions you take or don’t take (like bingeing!), dictate the results you get!
Give yourself that gift of coaching. Stop the madness. Give yourself that sanity and peace this season and invest in a coach. You will get that working with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll get an initial breakthrough session to give you tools to not just survive, but thrive through the holidays.
What would your ideal holiday be like? How do you want to feel?