candleIs it just me or do you also feel that the holidays have hit the marketplace sooner than ever this year?

In our neighbourhood, the lights are already up decorating the outside of homes and trees.

In the dark of these late afternoons, they are a great ornament on our walks.

However, it’s also a reminder of the parties and food that are forthcoming. How easy it is to give in to overindulging. Holidays are such an easy excuse.

They only come along once a year. And naturally, people expect you to eat what they prepare, and more of it.

Besides, you tell yourself, how can you turn down your mother, aunt’s, friend’s food when they slaved all day?

When the holiday meal and visit drag along with some family members and friends you love but frankly find hard to take, what options are there?


1. Prepare Yourself 

The ostrich or turtle dance won’t work here. You really do need to think about the upcoming scenario so you won’t be surprised or blindsided.

When you know that there’s an emotional or stressful time coming up, this is where it is helpful to reconnect with your Big Why, your bigger purpose.

Think about what makes it important to wake up after each holiday meal and feel good about yourself. Get clear on those reasons before every event.

There are bigger reasons for staying clear of what doesn’t work for you. Not just for the negative repercussions. No – on behalf of the ideal. The hope. The dream.

What are your health and well-being meant for? 

I hated the feeling of disappointment and discouragement that greeted me the day after when I wasn’t true to my word.

I wanted to trust myself to create a better life.

It wasn’t about the one piece of this or that. It’s that the one piece became many, and then I couldn’t stop. It was never worth it. Not once.

To keep your word to yourself, make up a food plan ahead of time that you can stick to well enough. I mean it. Well enough, good enough, and maybe completely. In the meantime, make it doable and good enough so as not to disappoint or break your heart.

Perhaps your food plan can focus on more protein, vegetables and fruit than on carbs. Minimize your carb selection. Let’s face it, you’ve tasted everything at least once this lifetime. 

Bring soda water with lemon or your favourite tea so that you can hold a glass or cup while appetizers or chocolates sit on the coffee table. 

Keep reconnecting with how you will feel making right decisions and their impact on your sense of worth and self-talk.

In your body, experience success now.

Feel also how letting yourself down won’t work for you, your self-esteem or your purpose, in the long run. This is the importance of getting real in the present and not hiding in that turtle shell deceiving yourself.

Be your own champion and advocate. Don’t forget that you can always call on your Inner Wise One or Inner Self to guide you and support you.

And if you don’t have one, bring your Super Hero along. Imagination is a powerful tool. 

Connections2. Focus on Connection, Not Food

The people who show up for these events are probably going through the same issues. They want to enjoy the party and yet they may not have been successful either in the past. 

They too may dread the nosy aunt and overly inebriated brother-in-law.

Or wish that their clothes would fit the next day. 

There may be a few introverts among them, and you will spot them retiring to themselves. These are probably the people who need you most.

If you come with the intention of being there with and for people rather than food, how do you imagine that will change the experience?

If you set an intention before arriving, to connect heart-to-heart with people rather than food, you are likely giving the best present there is to give – your attention. 

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You can think about topics that are meaningful to you in advance and use them to engage guests one on one. You probably know some of these people and can find common ground.

You can focus on what you appreciate about them and tell them. Let that kindness overflow and see what happens.

If you come ready to be the oasis at the party, ready to engage people in meaningful conversations, that will shift everything for them and for you. 

[Tweet “Be the oasis at the party ready to engage people in meaningful conversations.”]

And who knows, there may be some people there that you can buddy up with and together hold each other accountable for making good decisions throughout the event.

 3. Celebrate

No matter what you do, small or big, the fact that you do your best and aim for better living is cause for thanking yourself greatly.

So notice what you do right and let go of the other stuff that you will continue to work on.

The effort you put into making holiday events better for yourself and others is worth recognition.

Over To You

What really, really, fiercely matters to you that makes it so important to make wise choices and place people before food and body-image?

What will it mean to you, the day after, to wake up to the memory of good connections and to a body that feels light and well?

If you write, I will respond. If you are stuck and need help, I will write to you.

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© Miriam Linderman 2014

All photos are CC0 Public Domain

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