Hang on to your self-esteem (dove article)
Here are some easy steps to help you keep your cool and cultivate confidence during the holidays, no matter how much fatty fruitcake Aunt Edna puts on your plate!
1. Prepare for pushed buttons. Parents know how to push our buttons best because they installed them. If you're heading home to see your family, odds are Mom and Dad won't treat you as the capable woman you are today - in their eyes, you're still 12. So be prepared for the family label game: Are you the fat one, the baby, the divorcée? Guard yourself against ruffled feathers and hurt feelings by doing some emotional prepping before your visit. And put your best friend's number on speed dial, just in case!
2. Eat! Restriction is a common coping tool during the holidays - and a surefire way to put you in a bad mood. No one likes a starving holiday grump, so don't be one! Make sure to eat frequent, regular-size meals every day. You'll not only feel nourished and energized, but you'll also be happier and more fun to be around.
3. Don't stuff your feelings with food. Is your mother-in-law getting on your nerves? Shoveling mashed potatoes down your throat won't get her to shut up; it'll just give you a stomachache. There are emotional and physical triggers all around us this time of year, and they can cause us to chow down on comfort foods even when we're not hungry. Don't get caught up in the holiday emotional-eating trap. Listen to your hunger and give yourself a resting point when you feel full.
4. No "fat talk" at the table. We've all spoken the "language of fat" at some point or another. Whether it's the number of calories in your holiday soufflé or the size of Aunt Edna's expanding thighs, fat talk is self-defeating and full of guilt, blame and shame. Instead of focusing on fat grams, calories and carbs and debasing your body in front of others, talk about how delicious the spread looks or how great it is to have some downtime with your folks. Face it:
No one wants to hear about how fat you'll be after you polish off the dessert plate.
5. Go on a media diet. This is one extreme diet I actually recommend! The media bombard us with holiday diet angst and mixed messages and make us think our body is inevitably doomed to balloon out and bulk up.
So be careful about the information you consume during this time of year. It has yet to be put to the test, but I have a hunch that prolonged exposure to airbrushed photos of celebrities in bathing suits touting weight loss tips is cause for mass anxiety and depression during the holiday season.
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