A few inspiring blog posts came my way today that inspired some reflection and that I wanted to share with you all. Not only is today the winter solstice, but this is the last weekend before Christmas and many of us our madly preparing (both mentally and otherwise) to re-connect with those we love. The first post I wanted to share is about Winter Solstice and a lovely way to stop and take stock of this special time of year. The other post is by a passionate plant-based foodie on her tips for staying lean over the holidays. Both caused me to do a bit of an inner check-in about this time of year.
This time of eating, drinking, and “making merry” is lovely. It is can also be challenging emotionally and with our food. Many of us write-off the holidays as one big “binge” — our black and white thinking might surface again and rather than the all or nothing that we might attach to a bag of cookies, we might apply our all or nothing rule to days of “bad” eating (i.e., I ate like crap yesterday, so I’m just going to write today off too and eat myself into a catatonic stupor). We might do this with alcohol too –and often the two go hand in hand.
So does Christmas have to be this kind of a resignation? Do we survive the season in a numbed out state and feel badly about ourselves during and after the fact? We can treat the holidays like a free-for-all, a reason to abandon our bodies, or, we can allow ourselves a little indulgence but keep checking in with ourselves. While I enjoy a little indulgence this time of year, I can’t bring myself to completely “jump ship” in the name of the season! Staying grounded, centered, and continuing to connect to my body and internal state, despite whatever stressors or pressures I am faced with, gets me through. That might mean a smoothie for breakfast after a big rich meal. Or maybe it’s a morning yoga set with some deep breathing, or a walk out in the fresh air away from the crowd of people. There are certain things I do not compromise that keep me connected to me. We can be true to ourselves AND allow ourselves to partake in some of the indulgences. So what does this look like for you? How will you stay connected to you through this time?
Enjoy the holidays –and through it all, be gentle with yourself.
Are you tip-toeing around with your eating disorder not wanting to wake anyone up? Depending on where you are at in your recovery, you may have already told the people that are close to you that you are struggling with your food. But what happens when we progress down the recovery road and still have struggles despite everyone around us thinking we kicked this thing?
As I have mentioned in past posts, this food thing may always be with you to some degree, in some manifestation—and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Over time we learn to listen to what it is actually trying to tell us so we can feed ourselves that which we are really hungry for. The most important thing about relapse is that we keep going, we move on fast. And, we tell someone.
If we’ve been in recovery for a while, it can be humbling and extra hard for our perfectionistic selves to admit to another person that we aren’t perfect, that we don’t have it all together—that we fell and it’s hard right now. Not everyone is going to understand your eating disorder—in fact, it’s likely most people won’t. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet about it. Find a compassionate friend or two that you can let in on what’s going on. It may even turn into a conversation that takes you into what’s behind the food. The important thing is to drop the shame around it and reach out by breaking your silence. That is how we keep on healing.
With so much going on in my life right now, sitting down to write a blog post feels like pure shameless self-indulgence! For some people it’s chocolate, for me it’s this (with a little chocolate on the side, perhaps!). You might think this recipe is a bit of a cop-out since it’s so simple (simple has become my diet these days) but I assure you, you will quickly uphold this as your new favourite snack or dessert.
It’s “A Date” Bite!
1 plump mejdool date
1 tsp almond butter
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
4-5 chocolate chips
Spread the date apart with your fingers and remove the pit. Fill the open crevice with almond butter, sprinkle your salt, and line up your chocolate chips. Consume in one or two bites. Done deal!