It is late on Christmas Eve and I wanted to share a few thoughts before Christmas day from a recent great Christmas teleseminar by Geneen Roth, author of the bestseller “Women, Food and God.” Christmas is a time of rich food and emotional triggers, so how can we say no to so many temptations? And maybe we can’t or don’t want to, but here are three questions to consider.
1) Ask yourself how do you feel after eating certain food. Christmas has many sweet foods associated with it so notice how you feel after eating something sweet and how it changes with every bite. Usually the first bite is the best but it can be hard to stop because it tastes so good even though it won’t feel good in your body later. All food is not equal – some will space you out, depress you, zap your energy and some will enliven you. So instead of trying to cut out food not on your diet and feeling deprived, ask yourself how you want to feel afterwards.
2) Come back to yourself. Maybe you don’t have a clue how you feel before or after food. Geneen encourages us to tune in by doing nothing, even for five minutes a day in order to notice your body. Notice how it feels sitting on a chair. Notice your breath. Notice what feels tense. You get the idea. “Come back to yourself,” even if you are in the middle of a binge. Be gentle with yourself. Tune in and remember we always have exquisitely good reasons why we overeat.
3) Ask yourself what you really want. Chances are you don’t really want all the food you are eating, that makes you uncomfortable afterwards. But there is a deep hunger that has nothing to do with food. Geneen says listen to what is going on inside and give yourself something sweet and nourishing besides food. Maybe taking a walk outside when family dynamics at Christmas get too much can be nourishing and helps ‘break the trance’ of zoning out with food.