Seeing “guilt free” next to food usually means you’re looking at a diet food or “healthier” (read: low cal, fake ingredients, paleo, sugar free etc) option.
But that’s not what we’re talking about today!
In fact, in order to enjoy your holidays without any food guilt or anxiety, I actually don’t want you to focus on those classic “guilt free” foods. Those are only making matters worse.
The holidays can be a difficult and triggering time for many people who struggle with food and body image. There may be an abundance of food or not enough. There may be family members making comments about your body or maybe you’re flying solo. There may be lots of desserts or only “healthy guilt free” options.
No matter your situation this year, know that you’re not alone. Also know that the holidays do not have to be associated with guilt, bingeing, anxiety, or feeling out of control! You can take back your power and rewrite the story - make the holidays what you WANT them to be.
So - how do you actually have a guilt free holiday season? Read below for 3 tips to making this holiday season as peaceful, nourishing, and easy as possible.
Remove food labels. Language plays such a critical role in how we think, behave, and feel. If you believe that X food is “bad”, you will likely feel guilty for wanting it and then extra guilty for actually eating it. However, if someone tells you that Y food is the most nourishing superfood on the planet, you’ll probably feel super good about yourself after eating it! It doesn’t actually matter what X or Y is. What matters is what you choose to believe about that food. The truth is that ALL foods can be incorporated into a well balanced, nourishing life - yep, including sugar and carbs! In all of my programs, I encourage my clients to rewrite their definitions of “health”, “healthy”, and “nourishing” because we are holistic, unique beings! There will never be one cookie cutter way to eat or move, and labeling foods or ways of being will only perpetuate the feeling of being out of control or guilty and ashamed that you may be experiencing now.
Set clear boundaries. Feeling guilty for food choices can absolutely stem from judgment from others (whether the judgment is spoken or implied). At the end of the day, you are responsible for setting protective boundaries for yourself - no one else is going to do that for you! This might mean spending less time with people who feel judgmental, communicating boundaries with loved ones, or setting energetic boundaries to protect your energy on an individual level. You get to decide how you relate to food. You get to decide what you eat and how much. You get to decide what you wear. You get to decide how you move. YOU! Not anyone else! Take your power back by setting firm but loving boundaries to set yourself up for success this holiday season.
Focus on the joy. What you focus on will grow, and what you resist will persist! If you do feel guilt or shame creeping in, acknowledge that this is a work in progress and then gently redirect your focus onto what is going well! It’s crucial to train your brain to focus on the positives, which is why subconscious reprogramming is key in all of my programs. Focusing on genuine gratitude and finding the good in all situations are beautiful practices to help you redirect your focus away from guilt and embody the joy in your holiday experiences. Not only will this help you to actually enjoy this magical time, but it is also the positive reinforcement that your brain needs in order to get used to associating the holidays with positivity. For so many people, guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety are natural default states. CHOOSE love and joy this holiday season and watch as your perspective and experiences shift for the better.
I hope these 3 tips help you to have a wonderful, healthy, guilt free holiday season! If healing your relationship with food for good and unlocking food freedom is a goal on your 2021 bucket list, then book a complimentary Intuitive Eating Session now to kick start your healing journey! Spots are limited and will fill up. Happy holidays!