A series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her journey to overcome binge eating. Follow her every other Thursday as she blogs about the victories and challenges of recovery.
My Thanksgiving was a bit non-traditional, but nevertheless, there was turkey, stuffing, and there was pie. Oh, and I seem to have forgotten to mention a green bean casserole with crispy onions browned on top, multiple variations of cookies, scrumptious sweet potatoes, and flawlessly full fat ice cream.
Did I exhibit perfect behavior with all of those choices available to me at an arm’s length? Nope. Am I okay with my imperfect, but self-made, sometimes indulgent, decisions? Yes, yes I am.
For me, the moments after holiday meals have been the most difficult; in the past, they were usually swollen with reflection, criticism, frustration.
I’ve learned that these moments are also the most critical for having self-compassion. After all, a refrigerator full of leftovers calls to us, offering a way to numb out the hurtful feelings of negative self talk.
Time is a friend to no food lover or binger, and as we wait for the referee, our internal cues, to tell us whether or not we should step away from the refrigerator or play the second half. Trying to make the transition from “I want more because it tastes too damn good” to “I need more because I’m not full” may sound indiscernible to someone without food issues… but to me, the difference is huge. It’s so worth experiencing the rewards of mindful eating – which usually mean no bloating, no regret, just satisfaction.
One thing I am struggling with at the moment is not hating myself when I do overeat “because it tastes too damn good,” but also not letting myself get away with food murder. As I sit on the fence between acceptance and distaste after many holiday meals, I look to two things to help me figure it all out: My current satiety level and emotional state. How do my body and my mind really feel after I eat? From there, I try to make a better plan for next time, holiday or not.
What’s your plan for if/when you overeat during the holidays?