The holidays should be a time of bliss and sentimentality. But you’re an adult. You know that holidays like Christmas are not always this way at all. It can be stressful to travel, suddenly spending lots of hours with people that you rarely otherwise see. This may not be how you plan to spend the holidays, but it’s a rare holiday tradition that doesn’t include lots and lots of food. In a recent poll by MOMA, most UK respondents reported plans to eat between 2,500 and 5,000 calories on Christmas day alone. You may end up doing the same. The question is, how do you feel about that?
People have all kinds of feelings about indulgence and overindulgence. This is especially true when we’re talking about food. There is a lot of guilt that plays into what we do and do not eat. Some people feel judged by what and they eat, and how much they eat of it. There’s nothing like the close quarters of a holiday setting for this feeling to set in something awful. If it’s familiar to you, you’re definitely not alone.
Sometimes feelings like this manifest themselves in difficult dietary requirements we place on ourselves. But in other occasions, disciplined eating habits can be one of the best additions you could make to your life. It’s a constant struggle, how to make smart eating decisions without getting obsessed or beating yourself up over being a human being. So if questions like the one contained in this post’s headline fill your heart with dread, it’s time to decide right now how you are going to deal with them.
Preparing For Food in Advance
You should figure out how you’re going to handle holiday feasting today, before you’re in a pressure situation. If you’re well prepared, you won’t be stressed out or influenced as much by how other people think you should eat.
Start by looking at your motivations for eating or not eating. Do you want to eat to feel full, to enjoy time with people you like, to express appreciation for food thoughtfully prepared? These are all positive reasons to eat. Now let’s look at reasons you might choose to eat less or to abstain: you made a goal to go without X kind of food for 90 days and you are determined to succeed, you like feeling good and heavy food in large quantities doesn’t make you feel good, it’s just what you want to do.
All of these are positive reasons to do something, based on personal conviction. You could make the same decisions out of coercion (grandma twists your arm to eat a pound of ham), but this will only make you feel like you failed. In the end, what you choose to eat or avoid is entirely your choice. You don’t need to explain yourself, though you can choose to if you wish. In any case, try to be confident about your decision days before you have to act on it. Stick to the plan and congratulate yourself later on a job well done!