This Holiday Season: Eat Whatever the Hell Makes You Feel Good

This time of year is notoriously toxic with messages about eating and exercising. I cringe when I hear people make jokes about working off their pie/mashed potatoes/tacos or whatever. It makes me really sad to think that this pleasurable experience (the enjoyment of food) has been taken away by all the bullshit we’ve been delivered by diet culture.

For a long time, I’ve had this belief that feelings of shame and guilt around eating subtly poison you. If you’re feeling negativity about the food that you put into your body, isn’t it possible that your cells would meet this food as an enemy rather than as a friend? I know that’s kind of “out there”….but is it really? Our minds are incredibly powerful.

While my fanciful imagery may not actually be true on a cellular level, it most certainly is true on a psychological one. This frame of mind sets us up for a poor relationship with food. It’s detrimental to our mental health and our physical health. So, I just want to remind you of few things as we make our way together through this odd holiday season:

  • You are allowed to enjoy the hell out of food
  • You deserve to eat food you love; you don’t have to “earn” it with exercise
  • Exercise is not punishment for what you eat
  • Working out and eating food can coexist for your enjoyment separately

Tips for when your mouth gets ahead of your stomach

All of that being said, I totally know that uncomfortable feeling when your mouth becomes overly enthusiastic before your stomach can tell you to slow down. Savor your food so that there’s enough time for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Stay hydrated by sipping water which will help flush out excess salt and also help move things along.

And if you do find yourself with that too-full discomfort, by choice or accident (I’ll devour that second slice of pie and deal with the consequences!), consider taking an easy stroll outdoors. This will help with digestion and get you to a more comfortable feeling sooner than just flopping on the couch. It will also help even out blood sugar levels.

Keep your pace leisurely so that you maintain the “rest and digest” state. Take in your surroundings, see what discoveries you make on your walk, and tune into all of your senses. 

Reflect on what a delicious meal you just enjoyed, guilt-free.

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