There’s a lot of tempting food around this time of year.
Many of the women I work with feel out of control with their eating, or rebellious about holding back on holiday treats, or rationalize that “it’s just once a year.”
So you eat. And eat.
And then you mentally beat yourself up.
We’re not talking about a little, “Oh, I shouldn’t have eaten that.”
What often happens is a full-blown attack.
We’re talking guilt. You say things to yourself like:
- “I am so weak.”
- “I’m so stupid.”
- “I’m ugly.”
- “I’m fat.”
- “I hate my body.”
You say things that are totally and completely UNTRUE! You say things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else.
And it is a painful place to be.
I love the Dan Millman quote:
“You began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning—when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
Let me repeat the key sentence:
“Making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”
This absolutely includes eating what you judge to be “bad” over the holidays. Or not being at what you feel is your optimal weight. Or not looking like a super model.
Beating yourself up is NOT helpful.
And it could very well end up making you feel so bad that you just give-up trying to eat healthy until the New Year.
If you found yourself driving in the wrong direction, would you just keep going for weeks trying to find your destination? Would you tell yourself how horrible you are because you’re not there?
Would you say to yourself, “Oh well. I’m lost. I might as well just keep driving until January 2?”
Think of all the extra miles you would add-on to the trip, and the possible damage that could be done to your car?
You can make a different choice.
And there are lots of options. You can:
- Pull over and ask for directions.
- Turn around right now.
- Start driving in what you know is the right direction, and focus on enjoying the occasional detour.
Often you put off taking care of yourself until Monday, the first of the year, or some deadline that is later.
Then when you get there, you may do well for a couple of days, only to feel overwhelmed and deprived and find yourself back to your old eating and exercise habits.
What if, instead, you committed to eating just a little bit healthier today?
Or moving your body in some way for 10 minutes?
Or celebrated all that you did that was healthy, instead of the few things you didn’t do?
- Would that feel like you were headed in the right direction?
- Would your self-talk be more supportive?
- Would that make it easier to keep going tomorrow? Next week? On January 2?
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
—Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
Don’t just keep driving in the wrong direction by putting off eating healthy and exercising until everything is perfect.
The only perfect time to start taking care of yourself is right now. Even if it’s just one tiny step towards the body—and life—you want.
Together we can do it!