This is the best time of the year! We are into the full swing of the holiday season. From September to January is holiday packed! Do you have your plans set or do you just wing it? Honestly, I don’t understand how people wing it, but anyways that’s not the point of this post. The holidays can be a trigger for some of you in regards to food fear.
When it comes to our relationship with food it can become triggered by the holidays. Food fear is when the idea of certain foods trigger anxiety, guilt, and so on. This term is something I can up with to capture how I felt. From October and January at least once per month there is either a major meal (like Thanksgiving) or loads of treats (like Halloween). My anxiety is at an all-time high during this time.
For some of you, you can catch my drift as I was excited to try all the treats as I have a mega sweet tooth, but when it came down to eating it I would freak out.
As a kid, my mom had a rule of “two pieces of candy per day.” I am sure we all had that rule, but did we listen? Absolutely not. I mean we used pillow cases as candy bags so we had candy for months. Having all that sugar not only messed my blood sugar but also increased my food fear. Candy and treats are seen as “bad” foods when anything in overindulgence is “bad”. Personally, that categorization of food should be eliminated.
This sense of shame and disrespect for your body can be experienced with the other holidays as well. The most commonly associated with that food fear is the fear of gaining weight. I remember I was at my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving, I would go workout in between meals. I would do the stupid “do these exercises to burn 1,000 calories” so I wouldn’t feel guilty. However, this would backfire as I would overeat because I did so many of those workouts.
You know what we are all missing about the holidays? It isn’t about the food at all!
We all get too focused on the food and weight, then the fact we are seeing family we only see once a year. The holidays are meant for gift giving, catching up, and having loads of laugh. I mean peeing your pants laughing. The dinners and treats are simply apart of it and you have full control over it! The food doesn’t control you.
This holiday season is to not only about engage more with your family but listen to what your body. A thing to keep in mind is that food doesn’t only feed your body, but also your mind and soul. Think of a birthday cake. Having a piece isn’t necessarily feeding your body, but it is feeding your soul as you want to celebrate too. This is no different than any other holiday! It is a matter of not getting carried away or thinking of it as a cheat meal.
So yes have that delicious cookie your grandma makes for Christmas, but don’t eat half a dozen if that makes sense. The main take away of this is to be mindful of the moments you are in. Leave your cell phone at home and focus on being in the moment. I know I took holidays for granted and now I wish I spent more time with relatives that are no longer here. Remember food is just apart of that moment.
I truly hope this helps you to see a different perspective on food and the holidays. I don’t want anyone to not enjoy their holiday due to being scared of food and/or weight gain. Let’s make this the best holiday season yet!