What if we told you there just might be ways to make it through the holiday season without having a nervous breakdown? When it comes to saving your body from destructive forces, the most powerful tool at your disposal is your mind.
Hosting a holiday spread is the worst. No, the worst is being a guest at the mercy of demanding and easily offended relatives. Sadly, people have become accustomed to “handling” situations with extra alcohol. Not surprisingly, the method is often less than successful. Is there another way?
How much thought should we expend on gift choices, especially for children? (Hint: a considerable amount.)
What is a food coma, and how do we avoid experiencing one? Without getting all extreme and signing up for a retreat, can the average person achieve a bit of detoxing? Are there other seasonal health hazards to watch for?
Stop believing in the magic of dates. Eliminate the mindset that says, “So what if I go a little nuts over the holidays? January first, I’m back in the gym. Okay, January second.” Today is the only day we ever really have.
How do we show children we love them without ruining their health? How do parents withstand the pressures to abandon all caution and splurge out on treats? How do we restrain kids from accepting every offer of a free cookie or candy cane, without coming across like ogres?
We can pretend that family time is all love and bliss, but what is the point, really? Is there enough armor in the world to protect us from our relatives? Dr. Billi Gordon casts a neuroscientist’s eye on the trauma that comes with the holidays and causes our rational systems and self-preservative instincts to shut down.
Is there any hope for binge eaters, compulsive overeaters, or even moderate eaters who are conditioned by a lifetime of thinking of the holidays as permission slip for imprudence? Can we possibly separate the cycles of destruction from the positive and desirable parts of the holiday experience?
More from Dr. Billi Gordon, whose acute awareness of the perilous season comes from harrowing personal experience. So does his knowledge of obesity. With serious medical problems and needing an MRI, he was at one point 150 pounds too large to fit into the machine.
Yes, this is grim stuff. If people come from dysfunctional home environments — and, around the holidays, a lot of us seem to — no amount of tinsel can cover up the distress, so it might as well be faced.
This post goes even deeper, and compulsive symbolic eating is a very ingrained behavior that we would do well to cure ourselves of, because there is so much wrong with it. Emotional eating of any kind is not just a condition in itself, but a symptom that points to complicated problems elsewhere.
Obese children face ferocious hazards during the holidays. Relatives who are rarely encountered will seldom refrain from remarking on how much bigger a child has grown since last time. Guess what, grownups? Even positive comments are not welcome. Just zip it. Better yet, have another piece of pie. Go ahead, put on a few pounds, and see how it feels to have people making your size a topic of conversation. Just leave the kid alone.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas, and/or any other seasonal holiday of your choice!
Your responses and feedback are welcome!