As far as I am concerned the holiday season starts October 1. I call this time of year the Holiday Trifecta: Three major holidays in quick succession. In October there is Halloween, in November there is Thanksgiving, and in December there is Christmas; it is the 3 months of over indulgence, letting loose and overeating. It is, also, the time of feeling bad about our bodies, disconnecting from the true meaning of the holidays, as well as it is the time of extreme eating. During this time of year, we can tend to eat (overeat) all the foods we avoid the other times of the year. It is the sanctioned 3 months of allowable overeating.
People, in general, ask me all the time why they overeat.
When they talk about the overeating, they talk about the frustration, anxiety and feeling terrible about themselves. I tell them there is the buildup of not allowing themselves to eat (dieting/restricting), then they overeat, and in the end feeling bad about overeating (guilt). It is a vicious cycle. I speak with people daily who go through this cycle on a regular basis. The holiday time is different because the foods we restrict throughout the year become fair game. As we eat those “special” holiday foods, we can allow ourselves to overeat.
The holidays, individually, are not bad in and of themselves. Halloween Day you can have some candy. Thanksgiving Day you can have some turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes. Christmas Day you can have some cookies and sweets. Those individual holiday days are not the problem. One meal of overeating is not a big deal; the problem is all the other days and meals in between the actual holiday day (the Holiday Trifecta).
Often the answer to all of this overeating is, come January 1 – “I will go on a diet” or “I’ll think about it on January 1 at the New Year.” During the 3 month Holiday Trifecta, There are many days of overeating that you end up feeling bad about yourself and bad about your body (hence leading you to think you need to diet/restrict come January 1).
Let’s be honest with ourselves. What happens when we allow ourselves to overeat at the holiday time?
We tend to:
Become more and more disconnected from our bodies and ourselves. Mindless about how we are really feeling.
Feel bad in our bodies feel bad. Physically we have an upset stomach, bloating and weight gain.
Start disliking ourselves and feel bad about ourselves. People often tell me that after they overeat they hate themselves.
Suffer emotionally, feeling angry, frustrated and overwhelmed.
Think about food more often than not and that bothers us.
The problems and suffering with overeating is REAL. I am here to tell you there is a better way. A way to peace with food.
Here are some simple suggestions.
Take a deep breath. Cam and anxiety cannot exist together. Breathe as you think about eating and as you are eating. It gets you to reconnect with your body.
Notice your bodily signals about hunger and fullness. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” before you eat is a great first step.
Allow more self-care. This is the season of letting our needs go to the wayside, don’t let that happen!
Get support. I am not talking about going on whatever the current diet fad being promoted on Yahoo or Facebook. Find someone who helps you find peace with food and can put you in touch with strategies to put food in its proper place as nourishment.
It is important to know that during the Holiday Trifecta it can be so enjoyable with all of the gatherings, festivities and decorations, but it is also loaded with difficulties.
The difficulties can make the good times less enjoyable, because you are worried and feeling bad. Start by noticing how you are feeling and what you are saying to yourself. If there is negativity or worry, it could be time to get that support to help you feel more peaceful.
During this Holiday Trifecta time period, I there are options to travel down the road towards peace with food. You do not have to feel overwhelmed with food anymore this holiday season! You’ve got this!
Did you know that “Yes” is a complete sentence?We can get stuck wondering what the best avenue is and we enter into the realm of maybe. Should I look for a new job, because I am unhappy where I am? Maybe. Do you want to move to a house that better fits my needs? Maybe. This can be a huge sticking point and we can remain stuck for years.
Kari was an elementary school teacher. She loved her students, but she didn’t find her job fulfilling any longer. As a teenager, she’d always dreamed of traveling around the world and writing novels on her laptop.
She wanted more freedom in her personal and professional life, but she worried. She was afraid of what would happen if she really did start chasing her dreams. She doubted she had the ability to make her dream a reality. She wondered what everyone around her would think if she quit her job and wrote instead.
Kari was stuck in a rut, afraid to say “yes” to her best life. She lived in the “maybe someday” mindset. Possibly you can relate. You spend years daydreaming about what you want your life to look like. Instead of acting, you tuck your dream away quietly and get back to your ordinary world. But before you do that, here are three simple reasons you should lean into your yes…
Reason #1: New Discoveries Are Waiting
Everything you love right now was once an unknown. Your favorite ice cream flavor, your favorite movie, your favorite makeup—all of these things were once unknown to you. But you didn’t let that stop you and tried them anyway.
When you say yes to new discoveries, you learn more about what you like and love. You took a chance and made a bold decision. This doesn’t mean you’ll love the results of every yes you go after. Sometimes, you’ll simply discover what you don’t like. That’s an important discovery, too.
Reason #2: Personal Growth Doesn’t Happen in Your Safety Zone
For some people, saying ‘no’ is an automatic response. You say ‘no’ to that new project even though you know it could lead to a promotion. You say ‘no’ to healthy foods even though you know it could lead to more energy.
Saying maybe, someday, I don’t know is the same as saying no.
Personal growth never happens inside your safety zone. If you really want to make a difference and change your life, then you have to be willing to do things you’ve never done before. You have to be willing to say yes even when the future feels scary and uncertain.
Reason #3: Say Yes to Learning New Things
Besides growing into your best self, saying yes helps you learn new things. You might say yes to the chance to host a party and discover you love being a hostess. You could say yes to a giving a presentation at work and find out you love public speaking.
What you learn won’t be just limited to your personality though. You’ll also learn more about your relationships, your finances, your health, and so many other areas of your life. Maybe a new dance class makes you realize how supportive your partner is. Maybe an unexpected road trip with an aging parent gives insight into how your mom grew up.
Saying yes can be the beginning of a beautiful new adventure. But don’t feel you have to start out by tackling something big like changing your job or moving to a different country. Instead, start with something small like taking a new class or reaching out to form new friendships. The more you say yes to little things the easier it will become to say yes to the big things.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed psychotherapist and a motivational coach who works with people who suffer from emotional eating, body image issues, self-esteem and binge eating. She is passionate about helping people feed their soul and put food in its proper place as nourishment. Kim has been a speaker for many groups and she enjoys sharing the message that you can look at food differently. You can find out more about Kim plus get access to her monthly free calls and her Free Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com
February is the month we look to celebrate our love for another person. Often we focus so much on how we show love to someone else, it makes me wonder how loving we are towards ourselves. One of the most popular blogs on my website is one where I ask the reader to consider whether they are too helpful towards others. I think people click on that blog article because they think they are giving too much and they do not have time or energy to take care of themselves.
Today, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, focus on showing loving kindness to yourself. Put some of the love you intend to give to another back to yourself. How long has it been a long time since you have done something for yourself? If you cannot remember the last time you took care of yourself, take a moment to contemplate it now. Consider this an invitation to nurture yourself. It really is a necessity to take care of you first and foremost.
My motto is, “I am no good for others if I am not good to myself.” Consider this motto a requirement, if not a necessity.
To start, you can ask yourself, “What would I do today if I was really acting in a loving manner towards myself?” What can you do, starting today, to take care of you? If you have no ideas- let me give you some:
Get physical. Go for a hike, a walk at lunch time, bike ride, or go to a yoga class. Being active gets the endorphins going and just makes you feel good.
Play hooky from your normal activity. I love to take the afternoon off to go to the movies. It is so nurturing to break away from our routine.
Spend time alone: Go to a local coffee shop, listen to a podcast, read a book or a special magazine.
Get creative: Go visit a local art gallery or museum to get inspired filled up with beauty.
Be restful: Take a nap, sleep in a little later.
Imagine how it would feel to start caring for yourself now. If you feel overwhelmed even thinking about taking care of yourself, take it slow. If you have no idea what you can do to take care of yourself, I have a simple trick. Think back on a time in the past, when you were younger and you did take care of yourself. What did you do then? Get that image in your head consider how good it felt. If the memory of it makes you feel good- Do That!
In honor of Valentine’s Day spend some time treating yourself with loving kindness. It will instill feelings of joy and happiness in you that you might have been missing for a while.
What is your answer to the question “What would I do today if I was really acting in a loving manner towards myself?” I would love to hear your answer below in the comments.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping people with eating issues and eating disorders. She is a counselor in Roseville and the greater Sacramento CA area. If you are concerned that about overeating, weight or your use of food in general please contact her here.
She is a wonderful photographer, teacher and creative person.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor and Motivational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. Kim is a counselor in Roseville and the greater Sacramento CA area. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling book Discover Your Inspiration.
Kim McLaughlin has been identified as writing one of the Top 50 Blogs about Emotional Eating by the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Emotional Eating here.
There is hope and there is help. Check out this video to help you decide if counseling might help you.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping people with eating issues and eating disorders. She provides counseling services in the Roseville and greater Sacramento CA area. If you are concerned that about overeating, weight or your use of food in general please contact herhere.