We Don’t Need to Give Up Power
The holidays are here, which means parties out the wazoo! How do you want to choose to show up? Why is it that once this time of year comes around, we give up our power to food, alcohol, “sleep” over continuing our exercise regimes, and our health in general? We all tend to have a similar process of thinking that, “well it’s the holiday season and I’ll try to be as good as possible.” Then it’s Thanksgiving and the smells, oh the smells, and the colors, and the laughter and the football (for some). I’ll have just one glass of wine or tasty appetizer – dough covered brie cheese with apricot and sliced almonds (that one always does it for me and, in fact, most of what I’ll share is what I love to eat on this day) and I won’t have any dessert or carbs with dinner. Then dinner comes and it’s just a little taste of everything including the stuffing, sweet potato casserole, garlic bread, but just a taste – or so it seems that it’s just a taste. Then comes the desserts and by now you’ve had a few glasses of wine and our thought process goes to that place that has us saying “…well I blew it already so I might as well have dessert…” and you eat a few chocolate caramel brownies and a slice of apple pie. Suddenly, eating healthy during the Holidays is out the window.
The holiday hangover is what you wake up with on Black Friday and feel so sluggish, tired, foggy, and any other remnants from the night before. You choose to sit on the couch because one day won’t make that much of a difference. Then Saturday you wake up feeling a bit of a sore throat and then comes the ensuing cold from being around germs on Thanksgiving you didn’t even realize were there. Now you feel awful and working out is not an option because you are tired, achy and not going to have a productive workout. Then comes the company holiday party and the vicious holiday cycle of indulgence begins. We start with such great intentions, but something seems to take over and we go into our trance-like patterns.
Jay is learning some amazing stuff about himself since my last blog about him making the best choices available to him instead of seeing things as good or bad or right or wrong. In these lessons, Jay fell into this thought process that while consciously he knows he doesn’t want to, he just seems to go for food, this time picking mostly healthy choices, but not stopping his pattern. The interesting thing is, that this didn’t happen on Thanksgiving, it happened a few days later. Here is the coolest discovery we came across that anyone and everyone has the opportunity to recognize in themselves just from reading this post.
Jay had an awesome day of making food choices that work for him towards his goal, even when out at dinner and with those around him ordering dessert. Then, when at home and sitting in front of the television on the couch and those around him dozed off, he had a craving for something sweet. The result was going to the kitchen and grabbing a piece of fruit. Then the cycle happened and he went back a few times, even after the others woke up and went upstairs to bed.
Consciously, Jay knew he didn’t need to eat anything and that he wasn’t really hungry, but he was in his “ritual” that started many years before he was on the Biggest Loser, stopped while on the ranch, and started up again.
What is this ritual? Well if you can’t relate then let me explain.
During the day, Jay, like many of us, is on the go and being stimulated by interacting with people, being creative, working on the life he so desires. Then when he’s at home at the end of the day and crashes on the couch all of the stimulation that helps him focus on what he wants is gone. NOTHING is left while watching television. The mind is completely bored. Consciously we feel we are being stimulated by what we are watching, but subconsciously that little voice in our head is telling us we need something more. Jay’s little voice says to him that food will give him that stimulation he wants and soon he’s consumed with those thoughts. The result – quite a few trips to the fridge, and in the morning feeling disappointed with what happened. Through our conversation, Jay discovered for himself other ways he can create mental stimulation in the evening as opposed to just watching television mindlessly. In addition to seeking other types of stimulation, if he truly desires something to eat, he’s going to try eating standing up and away from the television. I’m sure he’ll share some of the other things he’s going to do to help when the influence of mental boredom starts to appear.
So how can this help you? Do your holiday cravings come because it’s habit? How can you change the stimulus around you that draws you in without realizing it does. Maybe during the holiday parties you stand far away from the bar, or the buffet line. Maybe engage in conversation that you enjoy as opposed to the ones about the food. What does it look like of you create a mantra for yourself this holiday season? One that you remind yourself of how much you love yourself, or that you are worth it, or that you will wake up tomorrow feeling energized, happy, and ready for anything. How can you give yourself all the power instead of giving it away?
If you start with the response in your head to me that it’s easier said than done, then I ask you this last question – Is your want truly a want or are you looking at your healthy lifestyle still as a have to?