Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


I’m dreaming of a non-diet obsessed Christmas..

Holidays are emotional times for many people for many reasons, but for someone battling an eating disorder, holidays are terrifying.

I’ve been lucky enough to be in recovery from my eating disorder for several years now, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel my anxiety level go up along with every Christmas treat display at every grocery store starting as early as November. Fortunately, I’ve come far enough in my recovery to see that anxiety disappear fairly quickly; but for people still struggling, the fear around festivities and food is intense.

The holiday season is FILLED with mixed messages..for every magazine article offering tips on baking the best Christmas cookies there’s an equal number of articles offering tips on achieving the Best Post-Christmas physique. This is the time of year when we’re inundated with recipes AND diet tips. For every delicious looking dessert I’m being encouraged to bake, is a diet program I’m being encouraged to follow after eating it. I haven’t even eaten anything yet and I’m already feeling guilty!

Here’s the thing, the reason people tend to gain weight during the holidays isn’t because they don’t repent for it by dieting afterwards, it’s actually because they DO!

We are constantly being told that we WILL gain weight during the time between Christmas and New Year and so we expect it and allow ourselves to OVERindulge, telling ourselves that we’ll go on a STRICT diet and exercise plan starting January 2. Sadly, THIS is a recipe for disaster.

Once we decide that we’re going to go on a diet, our bodies go into a sort of panic mode and we instantly fear starvation. This fear actually encourages us to overeat! Subconsciously, we feel the need to eat as MUCH as we can, while we can, before the dreaded diet phase begins, and THIS, my friends, is how the weight gain occurs.

IF WE STRESS LESS ABOUT OUR WEIGHT, WE GAIN LESS WEIGHT.

If we stop threatening ourselves with ridiculous weightloss plans following the holidays, we will be able to ENJOY ourselves without guilt. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in seasonal treats, it’s the constant overindulging that causes issues. Let’s face it, it’s hard not to find ourselves surrounded by decadence during this time, but if we stick to the stuff that we REALLY like in reasonable proportions, we’ll have nothing to worry about once the decorations have been taken down and the lights are put away.

Research tells us, that the most effective way to lose extra holiday weight is not by dieting, but simply by returning to a regular, balanced diet. Our bodies know where they want to be and where they’re comfortable, the last  thing we want to do is SHOCK them by yo-yo dieting.

It’s all about BALANCE.

Remember what the holidays are about: family, friends and yes, food…but it comes down to choices. We know what feels good and what doesn’t. A slice of cake feels good..3 slices of cake usually doesn’t; a little time relaxing on the couch feels good, too long on the couch without physical activity usually doesn’t.

We’re supposed to be good to our friends, family and neighbors during the holidays..let’s not forget to be good to ourselves too!

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