Food! Glorious food… It is Christmas and it is time to eat. Obviously. And drink, for those of you who drink. So drink and eat and be merry.
Why is it that with all that drinking and eating and merrymaking, there is that rather annoying gremlin, called ego, nagging at the back of your mind going “if you eat all that you’ll put on x pounds/kilos and look terrible.” Yes if I eat all that I may well put on x pounds, but why does ego have to add on the “look terrible” part? And moreover, how do I shut it up?
It makes me wonder what is worse. Not eating all the lovely stuff and feeling miserable about missing out, because let’s face it M&S feasts are for the tummy not just the eyes! Or do I eat it all and then feel miserable about eating it all? Both options also affect those around me, being virtuous might make others feel guilty and being gluttonous makes me a miserable cow afterwards as I bemoan how hideous I’ll look as a result. Happy bloody Christmas!
There is an alternative. Eat and enjoy the food, accept that it may well impact my current weight, and be happy. Because I can deal with it in the New Year if I choose to. I can also do whatever I need to do in order maintain my body confidence.
So here are some of my tips for being body confident, body happy, body beautiful and enjoying Christmas in a bodyfantastic manner:
Stop the negative talk – we are our own worst enemies when it comes to self-criticising. Think about what you are saying to yourself. Would you say it your partner, family-member or a friend? Be kind to yourself. This is harder than it sounds, as our thoughts tend to run away with themselves and we willingly engage them and go along for the ride. The best way I have found to stop the train wreck that is negative self-talk is to simply acknowledge it for what it is rather than trying to stop it. When we acknowledge and accept that our thoughts are outside of us, they lose their power and eventually the negative self-talk stops all by itself. I’ll write more about this in a separate post in the new year.
Compliment yourself – as important as it is to compliment other people (without commenting on weight loss – see here), it is also important to compliment ourselves. A simple you look great in the mirror can work wonders.
Take a selfie! – Ok so many people think taking selfies is self-indulgent, vain, etc. and they are! But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If, like me, you hate your photograph being taken, try taking a selfie instead (or just before any planned group xmas photos), that way you can see the right position you need to be in to take a flattering photo and if the group shot is not quite to your liking, give yourself a boost with a cool selfie instead! It’s good to flatter yourself!
Accept you are only human – this is a big one! We seem to think we are super human and can block emotional responses to everything, multi-task, be everything to everyone. We can’t. Sometimes it is good to give our bodies a hug with some well-deserved yummy treats, especially at Christmas along with everyone else.
ENJOY the food/drink/merry-making. It only happens once a year. And if you have a bit of excess, embrace it and enjoy it, unless you feel sick, then it’s a bit weird to enjoy that! Next time stop before the sick-making part!
RELAX! This is the one time of the year when we have the opportunity to relax about everything and yet stress about it all. If you have Christmas gatherings to attend, give yourself a break and relax. Eat whatever is on offer (your host will be so grateful for no fussy eaters!) and enjoy yourself. If you are hosting a gathering enjoy the host’s role of picking at everything in the kitchen. It’s a rule that is not meant to be broken! And have a secret stash of your favourite tipple somewhere so you can escape and breathe among all the merrymaking. Forget about the carpet, it can be hoovered tomorrow.
Have TWO outfits you love to hand. One that you feel like you look a million dollars in and wear to any social events you have, with different accessories to mix it up a bit. The other outfit should be the most comfortable you have for slouching and relaxing in at any possible moment. Mine are my pyjamas, if I can I spend all day in them. Lush.
Have some healthy snacks available, and plan in the odd healthy meal. Last night I had turkey tacos, with avocado smash on corn tortillas – super quick to make, super delicious and super healthy. I’ll post the recipe in the next couple of days, so watch out for it! Having healthy snacks instead of chocolate can help to alleviate the cravings and make you feel better about yourself. Also for every healthy snack you have a Christmas fairy gets its wings… honest.
Get inspired. Look into what you might want to do in the New Year to get yourself back on track to body confident and body happy. These are not New Year resolutions, just commitments to yourself. It could be clean eating, cutting back on sugar, eating more avocados and less tiramisu (have you guessed mine?), taking up a new fitness plan like yoga, HIITs, Pilates, running, swimming, finding a good personal trainer (I know one I can highly recommend), join a gym. It might be that all you will do in the New Year is go back to your normal eating routine, because who can eat mince pies every day? I can, me, pick me… ok so not everyone is like me…
Keep active. It is so easy to eat all that food, drink all that drink and merry all the merry-making all from the comfort of the sofa. It is also such a treat to be able to take a well-earned rest. So apart from the day itself (and maybe Boxing Day), keep some kind of movement in your everyday routine during the Christmas and New Year period. Walk instead of taking the bus/tube, or get off one stop further from your destination. Throw a few squats into your day, this might be TMI but every time I walk into the bathroom I do 10 squats, I’ve made it into a habit, start the day with a sun salutation (it’s a yoga thing for those not in the know).
LOVE yourself. You are wonderful. Your body is an amazing thing. It carries you around, it gets you from place to place, it can reproduce, it can heal itself. It doesn’t have to look a certain way to deserve love. It does deserve that mince pie.
I’m joining the body confidence revolution. Join me.