When I was really struggling to lose weight, I had a love/hate relationship with the holidays because for me, the holidays were ALL ABOUT FOOD!
While I always loved making a jack-o-lantern, and decorating a Christmas tree, as a kid I always looked forward to holiday baking and all the FOOD that suddenly appeared seemingly from out of nowhere.
While I modestly hated the feeling of my clothes getting tighter, I loved the holidays because it was like there was now an allowable reason for me to overeat. All the time.
It’s like as soon as Labor Day was over, and it was officially fall– game on!
If you start to get a gnawing sensation in your gut with the anticipation of the holidays because you’re already seeing the Halloween candy in the stores, then I want to share with you about how to flip this switch, and break out of psychotic lunatic holiday eating for good.
For me, it would all start with the cookies– pumpkin shaped sugar cookies for Halloween, then Halloween candy, then anything baked with pumpkin, then anything with pecans, then anything with chocolate, mint, booze, wine, champagne, and you get it.
By the time New Years Day came around I was hiding from the scale and shamefully shuffling my 10-pound heavier self back to Weight Watchers in my stretchy pants– not just because they were the lightest thing in my closet, but because it was all that fit.
When I really got serious about losing weight, I learned that while it was great to enjoy foods I don’t typically get to have, there was a point where the enjoyment of eating shifted to hating myself and F-it eating, or eating simply because I’d blown it.
There were times when I’d go to a party and because it was “the holidays” I’d use that as a reason to go into a fog. I’d say I was “giving myself the night off”, but the truth was I was just using it as an excuse to disconnect from the discomfort I felt from being a responsible adult who manages her mind.
This is how it would look.
I’d go to a party, tell myself it was “the holidays”, have a glass of wine, a plate or two of appetizers, then another glass of wine.
Then I’d have another glass of wine, pick at more appetizers and have another glass of wine.
By then I had a solid buzz, and even though I was still aware, I’d tell myself that I’d start again tomorrow, and have 10 desserts, and pretty much eat until I was so stuffed that I had to lay on my side to relieve myself of the discomfort.
Eating to this point was never fun, and never made me feel more “in the holiday spirit.”
Instead I’d wake up the next day feeling like a total loser, and eating like a bird for the following week so I could slide back into Weight Watchers the following week without gaining “too much.” Then strategically plan my next weigh in to be the morning of the next holiday party so I’d once again have another reason to recover.
Looking back, I KNOW that using “the holidays” as a reason to overeat was why I always gained weight from September through January. I hated being stuck and feeling like I could never lose weight, but I also loved letting myself off the hook because in the moment it felt good, it felt like relief, and my brain loved it!
You see, our brains love doing what they’ve always done– they are efficient, and when we have been in the habit of doing the same thing for years, making a change takes significant effort. I’ll be honest– it’s hard. But for every part of hard you experience, I can assure you there is 10x the amount of reward on the other side.
So here’s the million dollar question– how do you stop?
First off, you decide what you want more.
What do you want January 1st? We have a whole season, a whole quarter ahead of us. 90 days is all the time it takes for people to make change– even for those of us who are slow 😉
So decide today. Are you going to gain weight, maintain weight, or lose weight?
It’s totally your choice.
Now what will you COMMIT to doing through the holidays to get your result?
(i.e. I will commit to writing down my food every day even if I go over my macros/calories/Points; I will commit to working out 5 times a week; I will commit to eating only one serving of dessert at each holiday event, I will commit to eating only x pieces of holiday candy, etc.)
More importantly what will you COMMIT to NOT DOING during the holidays?
(i.e. I will NOT use a holiday party as a reason to throw in the towel on my whole day; I will NOT use candy at my office as a reason to overeat; I will NOT overeat on any food I can get any other time of the year just because it’s in a seasonal wrapper, etc.)
Now I want to offer a sample intention for you to take with you. You can create your own, but I’m sharing these to get you thinking
I will NEVER quit on my commitment
I am 100% committed to hitting my goal
I am a badass who shows up for every workout
Or my friend, Dave’s saying “F*ck it! I’m going all in!”
I am sharing these with you because we like to let ourselves off the hook with our intentions. We like to say things like “I’ll try to stick to my plan” or “It’s possible to stick to a plan.” While these are good thoughts, there is no accountability. If you are only trying, then some days you may not be trying. Or you could say you tried and it didn’t work.
If you tell yourself I Never quit on my commitment; I AM committed; This is happening; I ONLY work toward results, then you OWN your goal. Create a goal with feeling– something that resonates in your bones, heats your belly, stirs your heart– something that GETS you going.
Honor your commitment, and tell yourself your intention every day, every hour, every minute, or any time you sense your brain wanting to let you off the hook.
Here’s the good news– you can still 100% enjoy every holiday event and lose weight! It’s totally possible. Yes, even holiday parties! Check out my Special Occasion Strategy for more details on how to nail every social occasion from now through New Years!
If you’d love to make progress on your weight goals this holiday season, but want support getting there, book a free 30-minute solution session with me where I can show you exactly what you need to do to get results.