Have you worked all year on your body and your health? Has your willpower been strong and you have done well, until now? Are you stressed about the eating situation surrounding Christmas? Join the club.
While we are battling chronic illness, holiday food can become a war on every front.
- We have our own negative self-talk about how hard the willpower issue is and how we feel like we are failures (useless self-talk by the way).
- We have family and friends who treasure their sugar and chemical filled Christmas treats that they are not about to part with.
- And the all-around expectations that we “should” indulge for the holidays, regardless of health issues.
It can feel like a battle at every turn. In some ways, it is.
We feel “on-guard” against:
- Judgement of what others expect us to eat
- Judgement of what we expect out of ourselves while we are in the midst of chronic illness
- Media onslaught of marketing for money instead of health
- Consequences from family and friends for the food choices we make
- Consequences from our own bodies for our food choices
I am stressed out just thinking about it. That raises my stress level which lowers my digestion, metabolism, and assimilation. All this stress is not good for any of us, illness or not.
Weighing Our Holiday Options
Sometimes we have to weigh our options; what is worth what?? How much stress is worth the battle of eating healthy during the Holidays? There is no one exact answer for everyone.
- I have been eating healthy for two decades so everyone in my life already expects me to provide healthy nourishing fun holiday food.
- If you are in the midst of chronic illness, you have additional concerns for your well-being that need to be honored – however YOU choose those concerns.
- If you have family and friends who will create more stress than you can handle and you do not feel comfortable working on your boundaries yet, then quietly doing your best can be the answer.
- If you are new to healthy eating and you know the right answer but don’t have the support, you might want to gently test your new-found wisdom and see what happens. Fill your plate with the best choices from what is available and be secure in your choices.
- If you are secure in your healthy holiday food, offer to cook. If you are the guest, offer to take a dish or two that you would be happy eating and hopefully others will try.
Reducing Stress is the Biggest Goal
At some point, looking at the stress level becomes more important than the actual food. You could eat the most perfectly healthy Christmas dinner but if you are completely stressed out by judgment and negative self-talk then your body is not going to accept the nutrients anyway. Our bodies tend to shut down with stress, not allowing proper digestion, metabolism, or assimilation of nutrients.
Having goofy Christmas fun will relax your body and allow it to better process whatever it is that you choose to eat.
Holiday eating stress does not get you any closer to healing from a chronic illness.
You have to decide for yourself which combination of factors will be the least stressful so you can enjoy the food, the company and the joy of Christmas.
Relaxing into the holiday eating situation can contribute to healing from chronic illness.
Relationships are usually more important than the exact food we eat. Enjoy the people and you can work-out later.
This look comes with its own challenges. Simply enjoy the nourishment of relationships!!!
Fast easy super healthy Christmas dessert – Crazy Amazing Chocolate Pudding – top it with a couple of cranberries and a sprig of mint to make it festive!
Speaking of cranberries… Don’t forget to explore Cranberries for Holidays. It has many more holiday tips for healthy eaters. FREE one-click download.
FREE Christmas Coloring Book – for all ages. FREE one-click download.
Merry Christmas and many blessings to all of you,
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC (Certified Mind-Body Eating Coach)