What if you weren't a slave to holiday cravings?
Dear, friend. We are entering into one of the most fervent seasons for diet culture: The Holidays.
I’ve already seen diet culture in the wild—yes, this early in the holiday season—and I’d like to show you what it looks like when casually walking about. (And please know that I report all of this with loving kindness and compassion. My goal is to put diet culture under the microscope and nix it with an awareness axe):
Diet Culture says: What if by Halloween you weren’t slave to those cravings for all the candy!?!?
Counter point: What if, by Halloween, you had freed yourself form the tentacles of the foodtriarchy and felt comfortable eating a piece of candy?
Diet Culture says: (context: This was about a mother and her daughter’s interaction with a gingerbread house) We normally don’t let her eat it, but it’s whatever keeps the peace. They only had a few bites.
Counter point: What if we were all allowed to eat gingerbread houses if we wanted them and didn’t think that doing so was taboo or morally BAD?
Diet Culture says: Sign up for the Turkey Trot so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, guilt free!
Counter point: Sign up for the Turkey Trot so you can enjoy the beautiful fall weather and moving that gorgeous body and time spent with friends and family. Thanksgiving dinner is not part of the equation.
So here’s my list of how you can avoid being a slave to holiday cravings and diet culture:
Allow yourself to want things. So often we tell ourselves we’re bad of wrong or we “shouldn’t” when it comes to holiday treats. Life is short, love. Engage the mantra of food sanity: I can have as much as I want of whatever I want as long as I’m fully present.
Practice compassion for yourself and others when it comes to food and body. This is the time of year when we all start talking about how we’ve gained holiday weight. Depending on where you are in your health journey, you may hear yourself talking about it, too. That’s okay. It takes a while to shift the curse of diet culture. To begin to engage a new voice requires that you have compassion for where you are today.
Practically, you can:
Refuse to start another diet. Instead, decide to enact the mantra of food sanity.
Notice each time you use the word should, and replace it with “could.” Realize that you COULD have made a different choice, but you didn’t. You chose a choice, and now it’s about the future, not the past. Don’t dwell, babe. Decide how you want it to be, and start moving in that direction.
Focus on nutrients. Yes, drink water. Yes, eat greens. Yes, eat whole foods. Yes, eat the food and drink the drinks that give you fuel for your body. (Some people like to call this nutrient dense.) But also remember my definition of nutrient dense, and allow JOY and healthy hedonism to infiltrate your meals.
NUTRIENTS > NUTRITION > NOURISHING > NURTURING
Nutrients are great, but there’s actually science that points to the fact that you won’t get all of the nutrients out of your food if you aren’t enjoying it.
So nutrient dense encompasses my definition of health: Love the food you eat. Live the life you love. Ditch guilt and regret. Feed your body. Fuel your soul. Happiness at the heart of healthfulness.
Be a healthy hedonist this holiday season. Hedonism has a negative connotation, but hedonism simply means prioritizing pleasure. And what brings us pleasure are the things that light our souls on fire and lead us to our path. The answer isn’t in restriction OR gluttony. True health is in discovering what you value, because what you value brings you pleasure. Diet culture values thin. What do you value this holiday season?
Let’s get out there and have the mothertrucking BEST holiday season EVER, eh!?