Approach the Holidays with Body Positive Confidence
The holidays can be stressful for everyone. With family coming to town, everyone checking out what you are wearing, how much you have changed, or rather, how your one family member will always talk about weight. Holidays can be particularly stressful for those suffering with poor body image. With food everywhere, it can be uncomfortable to watch for some.
I used to be this person, shriveled up on the side of the table, controlling all the food that went onto my plate, and constantly going to a private room with a mirror to examine how I looked. Or even obsessively running miles in the morning and the next day to make sure that I didn't look bloated or put on weight. Fortunately, I had a good support system whenever I went home and eventually got through it with the help of my dietitian and psychologist.
Here are some tips I used to get make it through Thanksgiving and that I still practice to this day to have my most balanced and best life possible:
- Don't stress about going to the gym EVERYDAY
- If you are tired, want to sleep in, and could think of a million other things you would rather that would make you happy or happier (like being with family) then go do it. Take a day off, have coffee with day, make breakfast with mom, and enjoy time with loved ones.
- Wear comfortable clothing you feel your best in
- On days where you will you be feasting I recommend choosing clothing you feel most confident and happiest in. Choosing clothes that you already know fit you well and feel like a super star are always going to take you from 0-100 confidence. One tip would be staying away from super tight midsection clothes, ones you are having trouble zipping up, crop tops, or pants that have continually fuss with. Keep those in the closet for that day.
- Make sure to still eat 3 meals per day
- Try to really have your 3 meals per day, that you don't end up splurging on the feast and feel too full, sick, or even guilty about what you ate. This also coincides with leveled blood sugars. Having consistent amounts of energy throughout the day helps us think more clearly, better about ourselves, and help us make healthier food decisions.
- Be okay with having dessert
- If you see a dessert that you absolutely love and haven't had since last Thanksgiving, go ahead a eat it. Just eat it and move on.
- Help prepare some of the foods with your family
- You know that creamy side dish that you know you love, but want to make healthier (yes I'm talking about the casseroles and sweet potatoes) offer to the host to make it and give it a healthy spin, or also bring your healthy recipe and don't tell anyone whats in it or how you made it. I do this from time to time and like watching the reactions to the food and how good it is.
- Stay at the table to chat when you are done eating
- Instead of puttin away your plate right away or going back for seconds, opt to stay a while, let your food digest and chat with everyone at the table. It will help get your mind off of what you ate, release anxiety around the food, and help you feel connected to others at the table. Another tip would be to chat about how good the food was and it helps you appreciate and really feel good about what you just ate.
- Understand that holidays are once a year
- Don't stress about what you ate for one or two days out of the whole year. Thanksgiving and holidays are once a year and it is even more special when you share it with others. Food, family, and holidays all go together for a reason. They bring people together and its a sign of nurturing. Normally families (especially women) show love through food, so allow your loved ones to show their love. It sometimes is the one time out of the year they get to shower you with it.
I hope these ideas and tips help some of you get through the holidays! I worked on this so much and now look forward to going back home with parents and indulging in all the delicious traditional Mexican food my mom and grandma make. My favorite things ever year are the pumpkin pie with whippped cream, stuffing, buenuelos, and tamales!
What are ways you show confidence and love for your body during the holidays? What are your fave holiday dishes?