Do you struggle to enjoy food during the festive season? Christmas can be a particularly sensitive time, one that fuels the fear of weight gain concern as many ‘forbidden’ food is on the menu.
Try asking yourself this one question, “Do I really feel like eating this food now?”
It seems really simple because it is, but it may not so simple when you’ve had a lifetime of dieting and have not been given the freedom to eat according to your appetite or to answer this simple question.
So, do you really feel like the food you see in front of you right now?
If you do, eat it. When I say it eat, I mean use all your senses to savour this food.
If you don’t feel like eating it, is there something else on the table that you do feel like eating right now? Is not, then it is really ok to not eat anything. Just remember, you may have another eating opportunity coming up when you will likely feel like eating again.
Christmas, social events or some other occasion in which you find yourself in, that is not usually apart of your daily routine, can distract you from taking good care of yourself with nutrition.
When we find ourselves in these situations, it is hard not to panic or worry about how to interact/proceed with the food in question, because these sorts of foods have a reputation and eating these foods goes against everything we have been told not to eat for ‘health’, ‘weight’ and other reasons. Don’t think you are alone in feeling this way. These sorts of situations happen to many people and it happens because of the influence diet culture has on us.
There is a way out of this unhelpful and often damaging diet cycle – a way out to finally enjoy the food of Christmas, social events and other occasions.
The question, “Do you feel like this food right now?” is a good diet culture disruptor. It is not the answer for everyone, but it can help you to start to question things, question whether what you’ve done with food so far is helpful and really serving you for the purposes of ‘health’, ‘weight’ or XYZ, and therefore question the diet culture we live in.
Just be mindful not to turn this question into a diet principle where you only eat when you feel like the food.
A client of mine last Christmas tried this experiment and found it very useful. She realised that each year and on other occasions when she encountered her mother-in-law’s cooking, she found herself eating the food because it was there, very tasty and to please her mother-in-law. This client became aware that her eating behaviours because she was not feeling well after these types of encounters. What she had always done was no longer serving her, so she kept the simple question at the front of her mind when food presented itself at her mother-in-law’s place and found that she ate the food that actually made her feel good, brought her joy instead of filling up on food that left her feeling unwell and too uncomfortable to enjoy her favourite foods. This client did not feel deprived by asking herself the question, because she knew that she could have the food again another time soon when she actually felt like it. She also realised that the food she got so excited about at this time of year, did not actually taste as good as she imagined because dropping the guilt and slowing down to eat mindfully and intuitively helped her to see that it was the idea of the food that leads to all the excitement, not actually eating it.
Will you ask yourself the simple question this festive season? – “Do I actually feel like this food right now?”
For support, contact me, or if DIY is more your style, grab a copy of ‘30 Days to a Better Relationship With Food and Body’ ebook.