With fall knocking on our door, you better believe that the holiday season is coming up quicker than you think. And if there’s anything worse than trying to explain your healthy lifestyle to friends and family on a regular basis, it’s facing that battle during the holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, or Thanksgiving—that one meal of the year where it seems almost sacrilegious not to eat out-of-the box stuffing, Campbell’s cream of mushroom green bean casserole, and home style gravy—there’s no doubt about it: fall and winter are the seasons of baking! Now that I’ve made you all good and hungry, here are a few strategies for facing the holidays and keeping up those healthy promises…
MAKE IT YOURSELF:
Going to Grandma’s for those holiday dinners is probably one of the biggest stress items on your list, because it means potentially offending those who think you should be having two helpings of their famous candied yams. By abstaining, you’re never going to fully please everyone. Bringing along an item to share that’s absolutely in line with your healthy eating, on the other hand, will not only give you something to munch on, but may help quiet the objections being voiced around you.
PLAY THE HOST:
If celebrations tend to float around, consider volunteering to put on this year’s feast. Not only can you provide a table full of healthy foods, but you can show your family and friends how easy it is (with a few alterations) to make a meal that’s delicious and well as healthy. And when your favorite Aunt Sue asks for the recipe on your famous “healthy” Potatoes, well… chances are, next time dinner’s at her place, those babies might just make it on the menu.
TAKE IT IN STRIDE:
We all know at least one food-pusher in the family, whether it’s your mother-in-law, your sister, or that one crazy uncle. But the truth about food pushers is that it’s not usually about you – it’s about them. They could be A.) Wanting to feel better about themselves – they see you looking and feeling good and they want a piece of the pie; B.) Worried about you – without knowing how a balanced diet actually works, they may fret about your limited diet; or C.) Trying to make sure you appreciate them – part of your mom’s feeling of value may come from seeing others enjoy her cooking (namely, those yummy strudel bites.) The major point to remember in these situations, is that it’s okay to say, “No thank you.” You don’t have to explain your diet or your reasons. But if you can detect why is person is being a food pusher, you may be able to get to the heart of the matter and reassure them in a way that fixes the problem beneath the dumplings.
If you do give in, don’t punish yourself! Allow yourself a “treat” meal, just don’t let the leftovers come home with you! That may be the line you need to draw. Leftovers go with Uncle Ted!
Breakthrough Personal Coaching & Wellness