Back when I was a dieter, I used to experience heightened disordered eating during the holiday season. Because I was dieting the rest of the year, the holidays gave me an opportunity to let go of all my diet rules and truly feast. Over-eating was the norm for me and it didn’t seem ‘wrong’ because everyone around me seemed to be doing it too.
Another thing I repeatedly struggled with during the holidays was body shame. It felt like as soon as my feet landed on my home turf, somebody immediately had a negative comment to pass about my body. These comments were major body image disruptors that would send me on a mental downward spiral of shame and embarrassment for not living up to other people’s expectations about my body.
I know my story's not unique. So, to spare you from another year of this anguish, I decided to create this challenge. I also just launched my Facebook group, so I thought this would be an exciting way to celebrate!
MY RECOVERY JOURNEY: FROM SHAME TO FREEDOM
When I stopped dieting a few years later, I realised that how I ate during the holidays wasn’t drastically different to how I ate the rest of the year. Sure I maybe ate a few more desserts, but there wasn’t any of the emotional eating and compulsive over-eating that I experienced before. I didn’t feel so controlled by the food and I was more in tune with my body.
I also developed some resilience around my body image, significantly lowering my body shame. I've tried my best these past few years to keep emotional boundaries between myself and what other people have to say about my body. Emphasis on try because sometimes it does affect me. But resilience doesn’t mean you’ll never get put down, it just means that you’ve harnessed the skills to get yourself back up, regardless of the trigger.
THE 3 DAY CHALLENGE: EVERYTHING I'VE LEARNED FROM QUITTING DIETING & TRYING TO CHANGE MY BODY
As you go into the holidays, or festive season as we call it in South Africa, I would like for you to know that you can give yourself permission to enjoy yourself around food and your loved ones without it being something that you have to think too much about. You can also liberate yourself from body shame by creating healthy boundaries with friends and family around your body image.
Okay, so here are some details about the challenge - I'll be hosting a Facebook live every day for the duration of the challenge. Each live will cover one of the three following topics:
Mindful eating tips to enjoy food during the holidays, without restriction or binge-eating.
Healthy body image boundaries to manage body shame.
Gentle nutrition tips to nourish your body without food guilt, shame or anxiety.
To join the challenge, starting on 6 December 2021, sign up here. Even if you catch this blog post after December 2021, you can still get the free PDF download with all the tips that I shared on the Facebook lives.
Make sure you join my Facebook group so you don't miss out on exclusive content and challenges to heal your relationship with food and your body! Also, follow along with me on Instagram for more juicy coaching and educational tips.
#mindfuleating #intuitiveeating #healthyeating #holidayseason #healthyholidays