Body: “Just STOP IT! STOP!! NO MORE SUGAR!! In the name of all that is holy, if you put one more cookie in our mouth we will punch you in the FACE!!”
Me: *shoving a cookie in my mouth, sliding into sugar coma* “Mrghm, what did you say?? That doesn’t even make sense!” *back to eating enormous amounts of Christmas cookies* NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM”
Needless to say, the last few weeks have been challenging in regards to mindful eating. Let’s just say there have been lots of “I-don’t-care-what-it-is-I”ll-eat-it-oh-man-I-am-so-tired-and-busy-potato-chips-and-deep-fried-candy-bars-together?-sure-why-not-feed-me-feed-me-feed-me” kind of eating. I took some time this morning to reevaluate what the heck was going on—-after making progress, why am I suddenly going backwards? I know, I know—the Christmas season always means way too many cookies, candy, pies, etc. placed in front of you, I get it. And I also get that extreme exhaustion due to too many holiday parties, get-togethers with friends, etc. leads to poor decision-making (3 nights last week where I only got 4 hours of sleep? I’m insane!) And both of those factors shouldn’t be minimized—they definitely lead to my being disconnected from what my body is actually wanting.
However, upon further reflection, I realized what was really going on in those moments of “nomnomnomnom”—-anxiety, fear, grief and anger over family drama. In other words, welcome to the holidays, everyone!
So, instead of stuffing myself with yet another piece of fudge, Christmas cookie, etc., I decided to come up with four ways I will be re-connecting with my body over the Christmas holidays. And now, in the spirit of the season, I willingly share these ideas with you, dear reader! :
- Do a mindful check-in. Take a moment and sit still quietly. Relax and become aware of your breathing. After a few breaths, ask yourself: what sensations are you feeling in your body right now? Become aware of how you are feeling physically—are you tired? Do your feet hurt? How is your neck feeling? To end, take a few moments to be thankful for the gift of your wonderful body. I will be doing this myself before sitting down in front of a cozy fire to make fun of the Carrie Underwood version of The Sound of Music. Cue Christmas candy, cookies. etc.—-a potentially dangerous minefield that I will be skillfully avoiding by doing my mindful check-in.
- Explore the wonder of domestic tasks. The sacredness of my body being part of creating order through cleaning up, picking up stuff, etc. can’t be emphasized enough. Volunteering to help wash the dishes after Christmas dinner, or wiping down the bathroom before guests arrive, or even taking a few moments to rake some leaves while everyone else is taking a nap can be a surprisingly grounding and centering way for you to re-connect with your body.
- Journal. After all of my loved ones fall asleep, I will be taking a few minutes to journal about whatever I am emotionally feeling. Processing any grief, anger, loneliness, etc. coming up through journaling is a better idea than eating three extra helpings of roast beef and mashed potatoes or 37 Christmas cookies (especially when my body is wanting salad instead).
- Own what you want. I will be planning my eating in accordance with what my body is actually wanting. For example, if I check in with my body and discover I would be satisfied with only 1 cookie, I will eat only 1 cookie, instead of feeling obligated to eat 4.
I would love to hear your own thoughts on how you will be checking in your body and practicing mindful eating over the Christmas holidays. Good luck and God Speed to each of you.