Holidays and (Food) Stress: Why You Should Just Say NO To Dessert

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Holidays and (Food) Stress: Why You Should Just Say NO To Dessert
What do you think your body will tell you once that holiday cupcake sets in? Probably nothing nice!

The amount of "food" nonsense I want to indulge in amazes me. I'm torn between ordering a pound of dark chocolate covered cherries or purchasing a box of Godiva. Either way if it's chocolate, my brain will howl and my tummy will growl until I get the confection past my mouth and into my belly.

Hungry. Always. It's the holidays. I'm to go crazy, and settle the damage later: 1/1/14. I'll then set unreasonable and impractical expectations upon myself that may last for about one month or, more realistically, a few days. Sound familiar? Ever wonder why the gym/pilates/yoga studio is especially packed January and February? Blame it on the garbage, or sweet indulgences that seemed like a good idea for the holidays but are now being cursed at for all the extra, un-fun, tedious work that must be done. Ugh. "Confection, get off my belly!"

All that chocolate...cookies, brownies, cake....are not cool when they show up, physically as rolls of flab. "Oh.em.gee......Whhhhhaaaaattttt is THAT?"

I can only imagine what's going to happen in February when I need to fit into that dress for our Valentine's dinner date, out or in (the privacy of our home...oh la la. Picnic in the living room, with a bottle of bubbly cider). Heck, if it's a stay-at-home date, there's no need to be dressed. That certainly does make things worse. With no dress to hide behind, the pressure is on!

Goodness. Been there, done that, and lesson learned (repeatedly, year in and year out). Sure, the smell of baked goods and sweets offered from friends (with good intentions, of course) are a wee bit more tempting this time of the year, but thinking about the long term effects in overindulging keeps me grounded. There once was a time that two large slices of Mom's meringue pie (or chocolate cake) was the norm. Lemme tell you I could eat. Still can, but now I think before I pounce. I think about my future self: What's best for her? Will she thank me in February?

In any case, before the potential start of yo-yo dieting I observe myself, in that critical moment of should I or shouldn't I. I now take the time to clear my head and remember what matters. I don't let my circumstances, my environment, the company I keep, my mood or my 'tude ruin that romantic future. It's just not worth it. One thing that I ask myself is "What is this stuff I'm about to eat?" So much of what tempts me isn't real food. That is, it won't serve to nourish my body's needs. It's some kind of concocted confection, yes but food? No.

Yeah, it took/takes some work to have to always observe, ask, and have this internal dialogue in making a healthier choice in the item/s about to be consumed. Still, practice makes better. And practice, I did, and still do. So with this NEW season of holiday cheer with a readily available abundance of a lot of nonsense, awareness is my greatest tool. Sure, the two year old in my head will howl, the tummy will growl, and its pain will be felt. And that is not to say that I can never, from here on out, enjoy my favorite holiday goodies, but I'll be better equipped with healthier alternatives planned and strategies to keep me from going way out of line.

Now, I am grateful for the holidays. I look forward to the fun times without guilt. I'm readjusting my attitude (of gratitude) away from the dessert table and towards the family and friends surrounding me. Now that's what I call "suh-weeeet". I am happy to overindulge in the enjoyment of their company. Corny but 'tis true.

Happy Holidays!

From Nutrition Coach, Bethany N. Kondavaty

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
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Dr. Russ L'HommeDieu / Karen Matz, LMSW

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Dr. Russ L'HommeDieu & Karen Matz, LMSW
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