We’re diving in by tackling one of the main causes of Holiday weight gain: emotional eating! Don’t let it claim you as a victim, just take a few steps to be prepared
What’s Your Relationship Status?
No, I’m not trying to pry into your personal life! The status I wonder about is your relationship with food. For some, this relationship is more sensitive than any other. Just as children learn how to treat members of the opposite sex from their parents, studies show that childrens’ relationship to food is also derived from parents. What does all this mean? Well, how you perceive food is more than likely a product of how you were raised. If you are raising children, you’re passing that relationship on as well. I hear a lot of people complain about the fact that they can’t get their food under control because their mom, dad, grandma, aunt, etc. always used food as a crutch. In their household food was used as a reward and at times also a punishment: “No desert if you don’t clean your room!” Getting the picture? Well, although this is very common in most families (especially those of the past 2 generations); it’s still just another excuse. And as you have heard me say time and time again, where excuses end progress begins.
You may be sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute. You have no idea how I was raised and what a toll that had on me”, and you’re right: I don’t. I do however know how I was raised. Food was the center of our house. It was used to celebrate everything, but it was also used as a punishment and as a cure all for everything from night terrors to skinned knees to broken hearts. Food was always there in a very emotional way. I learned to become attached to it. I learned to need it. I had to have it. I was a bonafide, emotional, closet eater. GASP!
So, maybe I know more than you thought. What happened then? Well, it’s simple really. I’m an adult now. I am in charge of my decisions. I decided a few years ago to dig deeper into the nutrition aspect of my life. Here’s what I found out:
It’s not the food you eat, it’s your relationship to that food!
Food is nothing but calories. Calories are units of energy. Units of energy are what keep you alive. Plain and simple. The truth of the matter is that food has no feelings. Food doesn’t love you, nor does it feel your love (hello, chocolate, sigh…). It has NO feelings for you, about you, blah, blah, blah; it could care less basically.
So how do you break those bonds? First off, stop blaming mom and dad! They did the best they could and you know what? You’re alive now, so they didn’t screw up that bad! Everything you do is all on you now. You have the ability to be awesome lurking deep down, but you have to let go of every single excuse, take responsibility for you, accept your own mistakes and take that first step forward. You are in control now. Suck it up and stop handing me the old, “Well, my mom always….” Seriously? How old are you now? Does mom still have to remind you to wipe and wash your hands? Ok then. Make a commitment to yourself, for yourself and your family to be a healthy, fit person. A cycle is only a cycle if it’s repeated.
Now let’s talk about justification.
We ALL do it…….
Well, I can have this piece of cake because I work out so hard.
I deserve an extra helping.
It was bad, but I only ate a tiny portion.
All justifications. Bottom line, if you have to justify your food to yourself, it’s something you really shouldn’t be eating. That’s the part of your brain that’s trying to facilitate change. It’s really trying to help you.
If you feel stuck in a rut, get real! Just because you tell yourself you’re watching it doesn’t mean you’re not justifying several slip ups a week. And several slip ups equals a habit: one that must be changed.
Without a change in behavior there can be no permanent change of body. You have to be fully present in each moment that you fuel. If you start to throw out a justification (“I’ll work it off in class”), then pass it by, it’s not worth your time.
With the Holidays moving to a halt and the new year picking up steam, make a conscious decision to MOVE MORE! All it takes is a few 10 minute sessions 3 times per day top reap major results and benefits. These benefits start with your energy. Fuel all this movement with the pumpkin French toast recipe below and get ready for a new, energetic you by the time January 1st rolls around!