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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gentle thoughts about holiday indulgences

A few minutes ago, I just read a blog about a woman who's trying to lose weight and felt that by ordering a pizza, she was "sabotaging" her diet.  How sad, I thought.  Pizza's not a bad food at all - especially if you make it yourself with home-made tomato sauce and reasonable amounts of cheese.  Surely there should be a way for this poor soul to have her pizza without guilt. 

And of course, there is. 

Oh, the holidays.  For so many people, the mid-winter holiday season might be more aptly called the hell-idays, so fraught with stress, tight budgets, demanding relatives and cranky kids.  Just as our mammalian bodies are telling us to quiet down and hunker in, just as the world around us is settling in for a long winters' nap, our calendars are telling us it's time to go, go, go. 

No wonder so many of us are tempted to reach for the sweets and the treats. 

After all, don't we deserve them? 

Yes, say the Angels.  You do. 

The key is to understand what you really want and how much of what you really want is food. 

Personally, my Thanksgiving isn't complete without a serving of buttery mashed potatoes slathered with my own fabulous gravy.  I definitely have a roll (or two) and you can bet its smeared with butter - real butter, of course.  And after everything is cleaned up and the guests are gone, I sit down with a slice of apple or pumpkin pie and a hot cup of my favorite coffee or tea.

And no, I don't worry about gaining weight or overeating.  In fact, I've actually learned I can lose weight over the holidays, simply by following the Angel Guidelines and being aware of what I eat and how I feel.  A portion the size of my fist or my palm is most often as much as I need OR want.  I've learned other ways than scarfing down a tray of cookies to cope with the stress and to manage the extra work the holidays bring.  I've learned other ways to nourish and nurture my inner child, but I NEVER deny that child a cookie or a treat.  After a reasonably sized portion, however, if I find myself reaching for more, I've learned to gently put my hand down and consider whether I really want more food, or if I need more nourishment. 

Nourishment comes in many forms.  The Angels urge us to stop when we find ourselves reaching for the second or third helping and think about what it is we're really hungry for.  Chances are, it's not that last piece of pie itself - it's what the pie means to our inner children or how the pie makes us feel. 

The Angels urge us to consider what foods we REALLY enjoy, and which foods we might eat out of stress.  If a slice or two of your favorite pizza is what you need to get you through, by all means, eat the slice or two of pizza.  If Thanksgiving dinner means buttery carbs, eat them in reasonable measure with awareness.  Focus on the enjoyment of the food - don't just shovel it down.  Allow yourself to really wallow in the tastes and the textures of your favorite foods.  Make sure you use the best quality ingredients possible and wherever and whenever possible, make your favorite treats for yourself with love. 

The holidays don't have to be the hell-idays when it comes to eating well.  The holidays don't have to mean instant weight gain or deprivation.  Most of us CAN have a slice of cake and eat it with enjoyment.  The Angels urge us to nourish our inner children with love and understanding...and that includes holiday treats. 

1 comment:

Karen M. Rider said...

I could not agree more!
And, I am glad that other women, including hollywood, is catching on.

While in the dentist's office with my two angels, I read a few quotes from an interview with a woman who left one of those Real Housewives show. I have never watched (for good reason) but this woman said (paraphrasing here): "I am so tired of women feeling badly about their bodies. Eating is not good or bad; NOT eating is not good or bad." If you wake-up hungry for chocolate chip pancakes instead of the egg-white veggie omlet you are told you SHOULD eat, just have the pancakes! She went on to say how after turning 40 her tastes changed and she finds she needs to eat what her body is asking for. There are many meals in the day to each healthy and what is best for you!
Karen