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Note From Carolyn: For those of you who love our herbal detox drink, you’ll want to check out our Cyber-Monday Sale with discounts and freebies. If you haven’t tried it yet, the week after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to help you get past Thanksgiving overindulging, as well as feeling your best for December. CLICK HERE!
Do you remember that awful old song from Brittney Spears, “Oops, I Did it Again?!”
I learned the hard way over the Thanksgiving weekend that sugar and I in any kind of excessive amount are not a good combo. I’m not talking about the weight gain or how your pants fit — I’m talking about how your spirit and your moods fit! Yes, Brittney, I did it again. Though I’ve learned time and again that sugar binges lead to feelings of both sadness and being overwhelmed, I went back to an old pattern of eating 24-7 whatever tasted good for Thanksgiving and the day after. Why? Because “it’s the holidays.”
There’s something in me, a resistant little spirit, that says you should be able to eat and enjoy these holiday foods in an unlimited way without a price. And for many, I am sure that is true. If this is you, aren’t you fortunate?!? I confess, I’m envious! It’s so very frustrating to deal with this personal reality.
This year I added the encouragement of overeating in an email from a weight loss coach I admire. She said to eat without reservation starting at Thanksgiving and throughout December, and to take on the battle come January. Now that I think about it, encouraging all the overeating in December will prime her target audience for weight gain and a big turn-out for her January weight loss boot camp that she charges top dollar for. What clever marketing!
Here’s her letter:
Hey there, Carolyn. It’s Thanksgiving!
I want you to eat as much as you want of everything tomorrow and into the holidays. That’s right. Eat your face off. Toss the guilt. Wear loose pants. Go wild. Why? Because, for those who live in the United States, today is about celebrating the harvest, reveling in our abundance and showing our gratitude.
So really celebrate.
Over the next month, I want you to overeat at Thanksgiving, go to a ton of Christmas parties, bake cookies and eat more than one, and buy a bunch of red dresses you’re never going to wear again.
Because, here’s the way I see it. You have two options, you can eat a lot and feel guilty.
OR You can eat a lot and be happy.
Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, we’re going to overeat over the holidays anyway, so it’s your choice. Either way you’re going to be full. It’s ok. Dig in.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Julia Child
And don’t worry, if you struggle with being in body jail and feel crazy around food, we’re going to spend the month of January really diving deep into how to move beyond these feelings.
I hope you will cut yourself a little slack over the holidays and focus on the moments, not your waistline.
Now to be really honest, I love this gal. She has personally learned and teaches that health and weight management come from being happy from the inside out FIRST, and not until that is in place are we ready to take on the challenges of food and healthy eating. There’s a great big beautiful place for this principle.
So with her encouragement to just eat and be happy, I did!
The only problem is that it’s not that happy for me. My moods have not been my own since starting to nibble at noon on Thanksgiving day after reading her e-mail. Cookie dough, soft white rolls, chocolate pecan pie, jello, and more. In not small amounts. No need to elaborate.
And why can’t I just politely say no thank you? Or eat just a bit or two to be polite and be done?
Because they taste good. For me, one little taste dictates more and more.
The biggest problems are not the food itself, after all they are inanimate and don’t care. it’s that when I eat this way, 1) I can’t stop and 2) I’m NOT happy, even though that email and the rationale behind it says I should be.
These foods bring on moods that affect not just me, but my loved ones as I interact with them. They compromise my ability to function at my full mental capacity. They zap my sense of humor. It takes days to shake it all off, kick the cravings, and return to normal eating and steady emotions.
As I ponder it all, three life-changing gifts become readily apparent: While the Gift of the Savior and his birth at Christmas is truly the greatest gift, the older I get the more I realize that the Gift of Free Agency is the next most important gift.
At this time, the Monday after Thanksgiving, with the official kick-off for the holiday season launched, I have received a third gift of almost equal magnitude, if not in the eternal scheme of things, at least for December!
My third gift is the Gift of Personal Understanding: It is a gift to acknowledge and accept that sugar colors my world and my reactions. More than just a taste of it turns molehills into mountains in a matter of a few hours or less. Existing, legitimate mountains become much more difficult to climb.
With these Three Gifts I ask myself and ask you to ask yourself: “How do I want to spend December, the most wonderful time of the year? Beholden to negative emotions in the name of ‘It’s the holidays! Indulge! I’ll start again in January!’ Or in a mental and spiritual place where I can be influenced by the spirit of my Heavenly Father, His Son, and the true reason for the season?”
As the page of the calendar turns from November to December tomorrow, my reading material for December is also a gift: Yes, it’s Luke and 3 Nephi, but the foundation for appreciating and absorbing the joy of it all will be found in spending some time first with the LDS Addiction Recovery Handbook, with it’s profound perspectives and messages from the Lord and his Prophets and Apostles that make the Savior’s life and example infinitely and personally powerful. I’ll be spending some time at Jane Birch’s website, www.DiscoveringTheWordofWisomdom, along with making the most of the yummy cookbooks and recipes at whole food plant based sites such as www.forksoverknives.com
How fortunate you are if sugar doesn’t affect you this way, but as for me and my December, the pathway to follow is clear. I’m humbly and gratefully looking forward to the sweetest Christmas ever! Won’t you join me?
Jane Birch: www.discoveringthewordofwisdom.com
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life, available HERE.
She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband Bob are the parents of five children and grandparents of ten. They are now happy empty nesters in Jackson Tennessee, close to Memphis where they center their online business and enjoy the beautiful sunsets from their back porch.