Many of us struggle during the holiday season. As such, we’re vulnerable to powerful neurological processes that help us manage stress. Over-eating and over-drinking promote a parasympathetic response (hypo-arousal) that makes us hazy and lets us disconnect from unwanted feelings. Or we lean toward deprivation ~ ketosis provides us increased fuel (hyperarousal) for holiday events but leaves us ragged and resentful.
As a New Year begins, resolutions to exercise more, eat less, and somehow be better versions of ourselves make January feel like a never-ending Monday. What a dreadful way to start off a new year. Instead of rules or diets, what if we try something different. Here’s a suggestion ~ think about a friend or two that you love. Or maybe a pet that you adore. You want the best for your friends and critters because they love you and they’re cute.
Now consider holiday disappointments or extra calories as dear friends. I know. Sounds silly, but try it. What are they whispering to you? What could you learn about them if you listen?
Sometimes, a few questions help…you know, to get your friends talking. Try answering the questions below in a journal. See what you find.
In November or December, were you encouraged to eat when you weren’t hungry?
1. Did you eat any food that was disgusting to you? If so, what was it like?
2. Did you avoid your favorite foods? If so, what was that like?
In November or December, did you deprive yourself of food when you were hungry?
In November and December, did you share mealtimes with family? Who cooked? Who was
there? Did you eat together or alone? How often?
5. In November and December, how often did you sneak food and/or binge?
6. In November and December, with increased mealtime rituals, how did you know when you
were hungry? Did you eat to please others? or because you were hungry?
7. What is your favorite holiday food or meal? Could you explain why?
8. Describe three feelings you have about holiday food or mealtimes: (ex: warm, cautious,
(using the three words from #8)
Do these three words fit with your experience of emotional or erotic intimacy? Perhaps this new year holds fresh opportunities for you to love yourself kindly, treat your body tenderly, and connect with people who remind you of your favorite meal.