Christmas Day is almost upon us. Will you treat yourself to a huge Christmas lunch or dinner with all the trimmings, alcohol, sweets and chocolate that go with the festive season followed by the traditional food coma and afternoon nap? And then later that day, or maybe the next, will you indulge in that other old Christmas tradition?
The tradition of Judgement and Self-Loathing for the choices you’ve made over the Christmas period? Will you Judge yourself for all that you’ve eaten the previous day? Judge yourself for not having more self-control with what you eat and drink? Judge yourself for ‘falling off the wagon’ with your new healthier eating habits? The list goes on.
Sound familiar? Or is it just the old me that used to indulge in this destructive habit?
So why, at what is supposed to be this joyous time of year, am I talking to you about the less than joyous topic of self judgement? Let me share a story with you.
It all started rather innocently a couple of weeks ago. I wanted pizza! Yes, I enjoy pizza as much as the next person – I just choose to eat it only as a sp
ecial treat. The challenge is that I’ve been eating gluten free for the past couple of years and as healthy as possible so that means no wheat and minimal grains. So I decided that I would make my own gluten free pizza base.
Searching through my Paleo cookbook I found the perfect recipe – Almond Meal, Tapioca flour, baking powder, sea salt, eggs, nut milk and coconut oil. The ingredients looked healthy enough so I forged ahead making a simple ham and pineapple pizza (no cheese of course J) And yes, the ham was nitrate free and the pineapple organic. It tasted yummy!
Now here’s the kicker…. We all know that traditional pizzas aren’t usually the healthiest choice and the thicker the pizza base, the less healthy it is, right? So despite the fact that the main ingredient in my pizza base was almond meal, the fact that it tasted pretty much like normal pizza meant that I quickly slipped into my ‘automatic’ guilt-trip, judgement habit and started beating myself up about making poor food choices. No matter how many times I reminded myself over the next couple of days that the pizza base was made of mostly almond meal and that it was healthy, every few hours, the guilt-trip reared its ugly head again and I’d have the same conversation with myself, “Don’t be Stupid it was Almond meal, nuts are ok.” And then I realized that years of beating myself up about eating ‘less-than-healthy’ foods had become automatic – a habit!
So my question is, how many automatically triggered guilt-trip, judgmental habits do you have lurking in that massive super computer of a brain of yours, just waiting to download on you the day after Christmas?
Of course if you can’t relate to this then have a Wonderful Christmas and I’ll chat to you in my next blog.
However, if this does sounds kind of familiar to you, read on…
Still here? Now let me share with you a quote from the movie Eat Pray Love in which Julia Roberts shares the following whilst sitting in a restaurant eating pizza:
I’m so tired of saying no (to food) and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese; I’m just through with the guilt.
Are you over the guilt too?
Well I am, and I have been for quite a while, but like most people, I’m not perfect and I have been known to slip up every now and then. So here’s what I do to cut myself some slack and what you too can do on Christmas Day:
Step 1: Eat
Step 2: Drink and
Step 3: Be Merry!
That’s it! If you’re going to Eat something less than healthy, drink alcohol or indulge in Christmas treats, then do it – Joyfully!
Several years ago, in the movie ‘ What the Bleep Do We Know!?*’, I first heard the concept that the chemicals you release into your body with the hate, self-loathing and judgment are actually more damaging to your health and wellbeing than actually eating or drinking the ‘bad’ food in the first place. So what I’m suggesting is to eat the food, treat yourself, do it Joyfully, and occasionally!
Now I’m not saying go for it open slather, whenever you feel like it. You may have heard me call it the 80/20 rule – do the right thing by your body, make healthy choices 80% of the time and you can reward or indulge yourself the other 20% of the time. A great friend of mine calls it High Days and Holidays – Treat yourself and do it joyfully on High Days (Birthdays, Anniversaries and Special Occasions) and Holidays (Christmas, Easter, Vacations etc.)
And as for the habit of Judging, Self-Loathing and beating yourself up, if you can create a habit, you can break one too. Next time you find yourself straying down the Judgmental path, create a habit of asking yourself these questions:
- What am I really feeling right now?
- Is this really me or someone else? Often the voice of our judgments is the voice of a close relative who may have chastised us for our choices in the past.
- What is this really about? Often we allow ourselves to feel guilty in order to mask some other emotion.
- Is what I am telling myself true?
- What can I do right now to turn the situation around or make a positive step forward?
If it’s about Christmas overindulgences then perhaps go for a walk or do some exercise, resolve to drink more water today, make healthy snacks and meals today and choose to make today an 80% day.
So as Christmas approaches, if you’re prone to playing the Judgment card with yourself, familiarize yourself with the above questions and remember, you do have a choice. You can choose to make Christmas Day a High Day, a Holiday or a 20% day and do it Joyfully, or you can choose to trot out those old destructive habits.