This episode of Weight Loss for Food-Lovers is all about “the season of eating,” a time of year that throws many of us off. Molly walks us through the many sensory inputs that often tip us into mindless consumption and excess. But overindulgence doesn’t have to be an inevitable companion. While it’s very easy to go into default mode, you don’t have to give into unconscious habits and you also don’t have to absorb any of the other yuletide overload:
Feeling spread too thin.
Getting swept up in family drama.
Saying yes to social engagements you’d rather skip.
Giving up all of your healthful habits because … ‘tis the season.
There’s a different way, which Molly is eager to share. Consider flipping the default model on its head and taking control of the season by declaring something completely different: A Season of Me! It’s all about shifting from being mindless and reactive to being mindful and conscious. Molly walks us through five strategies for cultivating intentionality and joy – a very concrete alternative to the long string of holiday indulgences that culminate in feeling lousy come the new year.
Paying attention to yourself is a show of respect for “self.” No emotions are wrong. It’s simply information that you can use to better understand yourself and your life experience. If you’d like kickstart your “Season of Me,” click here to learn more about Molly’s 5-day live boot camp. If you’re interested in the support or accountability a one-on-one coach provides, you can set up a free discovery call with Molly here.
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Molly gets started with a nod to the holiday season and all its food associations.
At a local Halloween party for families Molly watched with great interest as people of all ages responded to the overflow of free, available candy. And it wasn’t just the kids who were excited!
It’s easy to lapse into mindless eating, especially during a holiday season full of such an abundance.
Over-indulging is always the result of mindlessness. It’s easy to skip past or not recognize your internal triggers, but the holidays are fraught with family history, stress, high expectations, social pressure.
Molly proposes an alternative model that has been hugely helpful to her: The Season of Me! In the midst of the frenzy, carve out a space to be mindful and intentional about the holiday experience you’re creating.
This season can offer you a completely different source of joy – joy that comes from being reflective and more deeply at peace within yourself.
We are used to saying “yes, yes, yes” this time of year. But the excess doesn’t feed us and in fact can be depleting. The Season of Me is all about saying “yes” to yourself first.
Too often we fall prey to the holiday merry-go-round, surrendering ourselves only to show up to the new year feeling burned out and disappointed.
What does it look like to create a Season of Me?
Shift your focus to the present moment.
Practice gratitude, if that’s available to you.
Or, if you’re not feeling excited or positive, try accepting yourself and where you are, wherever that might be.
Molly’s tips for shifting into a mindful Season of Me:
#1 Connect to yourself though your feelings. Rather than eating or otherwise numbing feelings, check in with your body and notice what’s there. Acknowledge how you feel and give yourself the space to sit with it. It will help you develop a deeper sense of confidence and connectedness.
#2 Say no to things that you feel obligated to. This alone can make a dramatic difference. It honors how you’re feeling and can release feelings of resentment and obligation. This might require noticing yourself and short-stopping the reflexive impulse to agree to things you don’t wish to do. And you will also have to do some spade work to uncover what you really want in this season, how and with whom you want to spend time.
#3 Reflect on what the season truly means to you and then gravitate toward what matters. It may look like a different picture than what you’ve practiced in the past, but you can create a different scenario. Cultivate joy and integrate things that give you authentic pleasure. (Molly, for example, enjoys connecting with nature, cooking for others, watching her kids celebrate and maintaining her morning swim.)
#4 Choose the foods and beverages you intend to consume and maintain intentionality in eating and drinking. Bring all of your senses to the experience: Molly describes to herself in her mind the first sip or taste of whatever she consumes and it immediately intensifies the pleasure.
#5 Create your own fun. How can you connect with something that was fun when you were little? Try playing with your own children. Maybe sing, dance, paint or do something silly.
Full Circle: Molly returns to the importance of connecting with your feelings – the thing she believes is most central to maintaining a sense of peace and well-being through this fraught season.
“It’s taken me awhile to recognize my own tendency to be mindless around food, especially at the holidays.”
“It’s almost like a foregone conclusion that this is how we’re going to spend the months of November and December: Simply trying to survive; simply trying to get through it. And sometimes using it as one big excuse to over-indulge.”
“What I’ve realized more and more is that if I want the holiday season to be peaceful and joyful and live up to the expectations that I have for what it means to enjoy the holidays, I have to be really intentional about creating that for myself.”
“At the end of the day I think what we all want is: A sense of belonging within ourselves.”
“You can’t feel connected to other people until you first feel a sense of belonging and a sense of being connected to yourself.”
“The Season of You is all about saying ‘yes’ to yourself first. Because otherwise the holidays can turn into a period of time where we are constantly consuming in excess ... and then crashing and burning into the new year”
“The Season of You is about shifting all your focus back into the moment, which is where you have all your power and control.”
“A huge gift you can give yourself this season is checking in with yourself on any given day, being willing to pay attention to yourself.”
“You are able to eat and drink less and still feel satisfied by using your brain and senses to bring awareness to the full pleasure of what you’re experiencing. But you have to be conscious.”
“If you’re willing to be present with your own feelings and take care of how you feel, then there’s nothing that you need to avoid. Turning to food or alcohol becomes irrelevant.”
Links & Resources
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