Moderate Eating During the Holidays: It Is Possible
Like everyone else in the U.S., we wrapped up Thanksgiving over here, and I have to say, I’ve come a long way in the moderate eating department.
Holidays used to be a time when I’d eat lots and lots (and lots) and end up feeling gross. The next day I’d tell myself I wasn’t going to do the same thing, but usually would (because leftovers!).
I’ve been trying to figure out what’s changed that’s allowed me to be a moderate eater at the holidays, even when there are tons of sweets around, and I’ve come up with a few things.
I’m always allowed to eat whatever I want, so I don’t have to go crazy over the holidays.
This is a huge one for me. I used to get into a mindset of thinking the holidays were the only time of the year I was allowed to eat in an indulgent way, so of course when this time of year rolled around I ate everything I could. Now I know that I can make a batch of sugar cookies or mashed potatoes no matter what the season, so there’s no reason to eat all of the food at the holiday party.
I’m not dieting anymore.
I used to be pretty obsessed with losing weight, which meant I was always dieting. Always dieting meant I was always worried about gaining weight, or trying to eat the “right” way. When I didn’t eat the right way, I’d end up overeating even more because I felt guilty, which obviously happened a lot around the holidays. Now if I eat more than I need, I remember that I’m not on a diet and I can just eat better the next day. There’s no guilt or rebound eating!
I know eating too much junk makes me feel physically bad, and I really don’t want that.
You know how the older you get, the less you want to stay up all night or drink too much? It’s like your body just has had enough? I feel that way about eating too much now, too. I just really, really don’t want to feel awful, and if that means only eating one piece of pie on Thanksgiving Day, then so be it.
Eating a balanced diet makes me feel good, and I do want that.
The flip side of not wanting to feel bad is that I do like feeling good. And I normally achieve that by eating a variety of foods, some of which are sweets or carbs, but many of which are veggies and protein. This year on Thanksgiving I certainly ate the breadcrumb-topped cheesy mashed potatoes that I’d brought, but I also ate a big scoop of steamed veggies. I like variety and I like feeling good, both physically and mentally.
If I had to pick the one thing that’s helped me the most, it’s been getting out of the diet mentality. Lifting food restrictions and understanding that all foods can have a place in my life, no matter what month it is, has made an immense difference in my overall well-being.
This or That
Currently, what mental health challenge are you dealing with more?
Do you have a family history of diabetes?