How to survive Christmas Without Piling The Weight On…
There’s a feeling that we all know, because we’ve all done it at one time or another. I definitely have. And so has everybody else I know.
I definitely hear it from clients all the time.
We intend to be good at Christmas, and not go mad, but something, some little part of us, has different ideas ans somehow manages to derail our best plans for control.
In fact at any time of the year, it’s like we have 2 people inside of us. One who will be the little ANGEL…full of good intentions first thing when we get up in the morning. Ready to start that weight loss way of eating and stick to it.
She will give you the resolve you need when you wake up, with all sorts of positive words:
“Today will be different from yesterday…today I will be good...
I’m going to keep away from the biscuit tin/ chocolate aisle/ out the cupboards”
“And I’m definitely going to resist that sickly pudding when I eat out”
“I won’t even graze on the kid’s and everybody else’s leftovers”
“In fact today I will be the QUEEN of control!”
“I’m going to say ‘no thank you’ at work when the chocolate tin is handed round”
“I will be healthy all day and not blow it the minute I get in the door by suddenly losing all control with my eating”
“I will not graze on the sweets/crisps/stodge all evening, and then feel really disappointed with myself”
She KNOWS that all you have to do is stick to the plan, and the weight will drop off eventually.
If you remembered that kind of resolve at all times you just couldn’t fail. Right?
That sweet ANGEL voice is your little friend and helper, and you love the sound of her. She’s soothing and motivational, and you just have this feeling that if only you could listen to her all day, you would be just fine. You would stay strong in your willpower.
Unfortunately, she also has a habit of fading out, though. Sometimes it’s earlier in the day than others, but all of a sudden, it’s like she was never there!
The trouble is, you see, your little ANGEL has company in your head.
We have another little voice that’s just as powerful. No. Scratch that. More powerful. Much more powerful!
And she has a very different approach to your weight loss plans. She will take control at a moment’s notice.
This little Badass will use words like…
“You deserve this, you’ve worked hard today” Or…
“I’ll just have the one” Or…
“Well, it would be rude not to” Or…
“I’ll just eat everything that’s in the cupboards and then it will all be gone” Or…
“It’s not Monday. I only start a diet on Mondays” Or…
“It’s my only treat/pleasure” Or…
“I just can’t seem to stick to it, so I may as well give up” Or…
“It’s my hormone balance/age/lack of time/self esteem that stops me from feeling good about myself”
My very personal favourite, that would ring in my head quite often –
“Wait till you’ve left the room, love…I’m finishing that chocolate/cake/pack of biscuits”.
She is your little JUSTIFIER. And she is magnificently powerful.
Somehow she always win the battle. No matter how hard we fight, we end up being defeated and tired with all her noise by the evening. Eventually we just give up and give in. And that little ANGEL is nowhere to be found.
In truth, you even forgot she existed for a while. It’s like you ‘forgot yourself’! But somewhere in the back of your mind you know tomorrow will be a better day. When you get up with that wonderful ANGEL voice and start your resolve all over again!
I’ve written before about why this little JUSTIFIER will always win the show. It’s because your brain is hard-wired to let her win.
Your brain is ‘triggered’ to create an urge to eat that seems completely out of our control. This can happen through 3 separate situations. Either one of these on their own is enough. (Imagine if you have all 3 going on!)…
- You don’t eat enough fuel (calories), in the day.
- You have a sugar addiction.
- You’ve eaten lots of processed carbs.
At some point, your nervous system will kick in and create an overwhelming REACHING mechanism that you’re powerless to resist.
Maybe not that same day, but up to around 24 hours later is the norm. These little voices are an echo of whatever state your brain and nervous system are in at any given moment, and they are an immediate, in-the-moment reaction.
Your body has a super strong survival mechanism that really doesn’t care what size you want to be. She’s just concerned with making sure you don’t starve. So if she senses that you have, (by any of the 3 ways above), the JUSTIFIER steps in and whispers in your ear. And she is the agent of doom. You are a done deal when you hear her voice!
What has this got to do with Christmas? I hear you ask!…
The truth is that for most of us, the temptation to go ‘off plan’ is just far too powerful at this time of year!
It will present us with the biggest challenge there is from that little JUSTIFIER. Just for the fact that it’s Christmas!
So how can you stop that little self-saboteur from doing her worst damage then?
Well, first of all, the biggest Insurance Policy that you can take out against against feasting beyond what’s comfortable for you
is give in to the fact that you will go off plan. This will arm you against that feeling of caving in when you intended not to. Otherwise you will land straight into the best thinking your JUSTIFIER ever has…the All-Or-Nothing classic:
“Well I’ve given in now, so I may as well pig out altogether!”
To be really armed and ready against that kind of thinking, here’s a few of the most popular JUSTIFIER thoughts we have at Christmas time, and some simple ways to answer those intrusive thoughts:
- “It’s only once a year.” “Yes, it really is…it’s actually just one day out the year…it really doesn’t have to be a blow-out spread over weeks of parties, gatherings and work do’s if you don’t want it to be. For most of us, we might have a couple of meals out, and family dinner or two and the odd works party. Unless you really are a Kardashian, life isn’t a social whirl of non-stop events. (If this really is you, though, maybe out of endless work obligations, please do get in touch- I can help you deal with the onslaught of that kind of temptation, so you feel more comfortably in control).
- “I’d feel left out if everyone is eating in a different way from me!” There are loads of lovely recipes out there that you can enjoy, without having to splurge out too much on all that stodgy Christmas fayre. Again, accepting that maybe December won’t be the best weight loss month, by allowing some treats, you can plan what they are in advance. This will stop that All-Or-Nothing feeling that arises out of pigging out when were intending to be ‘good’.
- “So and so has gone to all the effort of making this gorgeous cake/pudding, sweeties” She/he won’t be offended (or at least not for long!), if you say “Ah that looks amazing, but I’m full thank you!” Really, people don’t need to hear your reasons for not having the pudding and your latest self-denial diet, so you don’t have to make any justifications at all for turning down the pudding. “I’m full” is a great conversation stopper anyway, and no one is going to challenge you on it!
- “I’ve already pigged out on the Christmas dinner so I may as well carry on now” As above! If you accept that you will eat a little more than normal, you’ll feel much more in control of choosing the best over the worst of the food and treats around that way. How nice to take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the some relief from constantly beating yourself up! This gives you a chance to plan ahead. Say you were going out for a 3 course meal: Find out what’s on the menu before you go, if possible. Then you can decide which bit you really could do without eating (probably the pudding?). Is there a lovely tasty starter that’s going to really help fill you instead? If you plan to eat well before you get to the pudding, you’re much less likely to have room for it by then, and you’ve still enjoyed a nice meal, without feeling that you’re missing out.
- “I’m starting the diet in the new year!” Classic! That’s not great, just because you’re putting off thinking about it. What you could do here is take a minute to imagine that you’re giving yourself a fighting chance in January instead. Taking the pressure off doesn’t have to mean splurging…as I’ve said above, it will help you to actually feel in control, as you can plan in advance what you’re going to enjoy, and what you can really do without pigging on. And what would you little ANGEL voice want to say to you about New Year dieting?
“Give yourself a Christmas pressie you’ll be really happy for. There’s no better pressie than feeling comfortable in your own skin, and in control of your food choices”.
So you can going into January looking forward to getting on with weight loss, if that’s what you’d like to do. But without that horrible feeling that you’ve got a massive mountain to climb, just to take off what you put on over the Festive period.
And your little JUSTIFIER? She isn’t going anywhere in January you know.
In fact she’s brought her sleeping bag and she’s setting up camp right behind your ear. Ready for the battle she knows she’s about to win!
I really want to say this to you right now- You don’t have to put up with that draining, horrible, emotional stress any more.
You can start now by making a very small change every day that will add up to a huge change to the voice in your head.
The small change you can make? you probably guessed it…GET OFF THE DIET!! (That’s my voice, and I know it’s true for you!) Also kick the processed carbs out the door and the sugar along with it.
There is a way of eating that will help you feel like you’re not missing out over Christmas, and will help knock out sugar and processed carb cravings too. If you’d like more help, then my on-line programme, has everything you need and it’s a very special Christmas present for you at half the normal price…at just £17 instead of £37 for a whole month’s help. That’s 2 weeks free, (or less than 50p a day).
Click here for more information.
Just imagine how you might feel differently going into the New Year this year 🙂
At least give yourself a fighting chance by noticing your JUSTIFIER for what she is…nothing but persuasive thinking, and you’ll be in with a fighting chance this Festive season.
You can read more about how to take back control of your eating habits, minus the low cal diet, in this little book that came out last January (how timely!). Enjoy!
Love Bridgette x