It is the day before I fly home for the holidays and I'm feeling super excited! I love this time of year and can't wait to enjoy much needed family and friend time over the next week. Back when I was struggling with dieting and body image issues, I did not look forward to this time of year because it meant lots of gatherings centered around food. When food was in complete control of my life, the holidays brought up so many triggers.
Restricting is not fun in general but it is especially not fun during the holidays. At one point, I was restricting so heavily that I did not let myself enjoy homemade Christmas cookies. It makes me sad to think that food had THAT much control over me.
When I was restricting, I thought I was being "good". I was overwhelmed with dieting rules and beauty standards. When I chose to eat any of the "bad" foods, I would take on tons of guilt and shame. I thought that avoiding the bad foods meant I was being healthy - but it was the complete opposite. My body would go into starvation mode from the restriction and the response would be to binge on everything in sight. This way of life was definitely not healthy for my body.
I was not listening to my body when I was restricting - I was listening to the rules of diet culture. This was not doing my body or my overall life any good. I could not thrive living this way.
I know there are so many women out there struggling with this issue at this very moment and it is my mission to remind you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem out of reach right now but if you continually work at it, you too will have food freedom.
This holiday season, I want you to work on quieting the mindset that diet culture has created in you. Think about why you feel anxiety around Christmas cookies or homemade lasagna. What has diet culture told you about these things that makes you anxious? Think about why you don't eat anything until Christmas dinner. Did diet culture tell you to limit your caloric intake during the day so you can enjoy more food at night? There is a definite why behind all of these thoughts and actions - take the time to read into them.
Maybe you are choosing to listen to diet culture because you want to look a certain way. Maybe you are listening to diet culture because you do not know the first thing about intuitive eating. Whatever your reason, I hope that you can shut it off (at least temporarily) during the holidays. I want you to actually enjoy your time with family and friends instead of worrying about food.
If this is something you cannot face on your own, never hesitate to reach out. Sign up for my FREE monthly newsletter here for more tips on food freedom and body love.
Love and peace,