Ready for the holidays?
Does it seem as if every TV family gathers at a table loaded with turkey and trimmings, looking happy and getting along wonderfully?
If that's your life, awesome. Lucky you!
If not, you've got lots of company.
Thanksgiving (or “National Binge Day”) is a food-centric holiday. Eat until you're in a stupor! Taste everything!
If you struggle with food, this is tough. Here are some survival tips:
#1 Be a social anthropologist.
When you’re watching and observing, you’re not a participant.
If your mom or dad criticizes your siblings or others, notice how you learned to criticize yourself.
When your mother apologizes for every bite she eats, that's how you learned to feel guilty for every bite you take.
#2 Access your inner Oprah or Ellen.
Ask questions!! Don't defend, explain or justify.
Ask your family to talk about themselves (that’s probably something they love to do). If they’re talking about themselves, they’re not criticizing, judging, and commenting about you, your weight or choices.
Ask yourself questions, too:
- What is the most difficult part of the holidays? Food? Family? Lack of family?
- What do you like about the holiday season?
- What helps during this time?
- What doesn’t help?
- What are the emotional triggers?
#3 Identify the emotional triggers.
If you think you’re triggered by food, maybe you’re actually being triggered by an emotional need. If you find yourself thinking about filling foods such as mashed potatoes or stuffing, perhaps you are lonely and seeking to fill an internal emptiness.
If you are drawn to pumpkin pie and sweets, maybe you need more comfort/sweetness in your life.
If you can’t get enough chips or pretzels, could be that you’re angry.
If you find yourself turning against food, it’s possible that you are denying your needs – not just for food, but your human need for connection, love, and friendship.
Bonus Tip #4: Be grateful.
Think of one thing you appreciate; whether it’s a person or a situation, gratitude sheds light in the darkness and keep you going through the holiday season.
Remember, you're not alone. Together, we will make peace with food.