“The holidays are coming. They are going to have to roll me out after the New Year!” You’ve either heard something like this or you’ve said it yourself. Every year is the same thing…you see Thanksgiving on the calendar and you start the mental game…how much weight will I gain this year? It’s tough to control your weight during the holiday season.
Since we are still several weeks from the actual kick-off of the holiday season, I thought this would be a good time to address thinking about food. In this post I would like to encourage you to take a long hard look at your thought process when it comes to food.
A lot of us are guilty of defeatist thinking when it comes to food. We just assume that defeat is inevitable and that we are powerless to do anything about it. What’s interesting is that this affliction seems to be no respecter of persons. Defeatist thinking with food seems to affect men and women, rich and poor, the corporate CEO and the normal housewife on Main Street.
Why is it such a struggle to gain control over food? The answer lies in what we think about it. I am convinced that a person can never fully gain control over food until she gains control of her thoughts in regard to food.
Defeatist thinking tells you that you might as well accept weight gain as inevitable because food is irresistible. The problem with this thought pattern is that it becomes an emotional scapegoat. If you approach food with no plan and an expectation that it’s draw is too much for you to handle, then you can definitely expect to gain weight.
We can have the tendency to pass blame, rather than taking personal responsibility for our actions. Actually, when you say the food is just too good to resist, you are actually passing the blame for overeating to the food. In so doing, you view your actions and food choices externally or separate from yourself…the food was so yummy, it made me eat it. I write more of this in Excuses For Being Overweight – I Like The Taste Of Food.
Putting off the consequences of poor food choices typically leads to the situation where one pound quickly piles on to another. Eventually, later is postponed so long that it will take a lot more than a few days at the gym to make up for the extra calories.
No one will deny that tasty food is fun. But, what happens when fun and entertainment becomes the norm instead of the exception?
Problems arise when we grow to expect food to consistently entertain us. It also causes us to consistently gravitate toward foods that appeal to the pleasure centers of my brain. It’s natural to enjoy extra food when we attend a special party or celebration as long as we have eaten sensibly every other day. Things tend to get out of control when our mind tells us that every meal should be a little party for one.
If you are hungry, food can make you feel better, physically. However, food cannot alleviate emotional pain. In fact, a lot of foods, like sugar and fatty foods, can actually cause your mood to spike before it comes crashing down.
Long-term exposure to sugar and processed foods has actually been linked to depression.
Long-term exposure to an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression, according to the findings of a 2014 study in the online journal PLoS One that looked at diet and depression in 3,663 people. What constituted an unhealthy diet, for purposes of the study, was one that was high in sugar and processed foods.
If you tell yourself that you will gain weight over the holiday season, then the chances are very good that you will do exactly that! Gaining weight does not have to be an inevitability. Next week I will celebrate the one-year anniversary of taking control of my weight for good.
I typically don’t like to write posts about weight loss and fitness without offering practical tips. That’s why I am planning to offer support to anyone who is interested throughout the coming holiday season. But, I need to know what you all need.
Could you take a minute to fill out this 3-question survey? This will give me a better idea how to support you all.
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I love this post. I will admit that I have given several of these excuses in the past. This is a perfect post to read going into the holiday season. Thanks for sharing!
You were also the most clicked link at Fitness Friday last week. Hope you will come back and share something else!
Hi Roz, I just linked. Thanks for featuring me!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “every meal has to be a party” mentality. I’ve learned the hard way that every pound I put on has the potential now to stay with me forever so this year, I plan to say no to most of the goodies and indulge at maybe one meal. I will not gain weight!
For me, I do better when I know that a food is forbidden. I have a few special Christmas treats that I space out and eat just a few bites of each evening.
Food as entertainment…I never thought of it that way before, but it’s so true! You provide some great reminders to simply be aware of what we’re doing when it comes to food, especially at this time of year.
Thanks Roxanne. I am glad it helps.
I’m hosting Xmas this year at home for the family – approx 20 people for Xmas Eve, Xmas Day & Boxing Day. I follow a healthy eating diet and so I’m sure the food will be sumptious, plentiful yet low calorie. The trouble I find is not food related but drink related – over Xmas, parties galore – you don’t have to be a big drinker either and wine etc are very calorie laden. Still dancing helps to shed a lot of the excess weight. that’s what I’m hoping anyway! ?
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For me, a lot of it is a give and take. My thing is sweets.So, over the holidays I eat some of a special treat every day, but just a few bites of it. There is something about knowing that it’s not forbidden!