Holiday festivities are upon us with sugary delights whirling all around at every turn.
What to do?
Okay, so now Thanksgiving has come and gone—and perhaps you indulged in foods more than you had intended.
It’s not all lost. We’re still at the halfway mark.
Today is a new day, a new meal, and a new beginning. All the hoopla starts with the ghosts and goblins luring us in to eat this and that, from Halloween to now.
But…we have a choice. No matter what you’ve eaten or what path you’ve taken it’s all a learning curve, a new opportunity to pave the way to something amazing.
It’s not about what you did but about what you’re doing now, in the present. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here—all you have is this very moment.
Strolling down the aisles of Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club at the end of summertime, seeing Christmas decorations outshining Halloween and Thanksgiving decor is not uncommon these days. Why not? Let’s get the hype out there and remind everyone the promise of sparkle and ecstasy soon to be upon us.
Side by side, ghost and goblin outfits, lit reindeer bobbing up and down, tins of cookies and candies, and everything bright, all folded into one big festivity blending Halloween and Christmas, all while outside it’s blazing hot in my neighborhood, as summer still unwinds. This setup invites imaginings of what will be, kids and out-of-control adults running wild, chasing the promise of rapture with cheat days folded in.
Holiday time is glamorized and commercialized to the hilt, making people feel that if they’re not a part of these exciting times, they’re missing out.
And research shows depression is at its height during the weeks upon weeks of holiday time. I’m thinking the cause must be those darn Publix commercials (name your own grocery chain) showing the festivities with the perfectly groomed family—a table set as if for the queen of England, making us “regular” people feel less than…
This illusion opens up the mind-valve, imparting the message that the food and festivities are about to begin. The Cheat Day—Food Fest Frenzy in all its glory is knocking on the emotional door, saying, “Come on in…it’s cozy inside—all the goodies of the season are here…and if you don’t eat and partake, then you don’t celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, the two major religious holidays, celebrated by Jews and Christians in the United States, and of course, in places around the world.
With the holiday frenzy come houses lit with colorful lights, fancy wreaths on the doors, trees for some in their living rooms—all dolled up with glitter and gold and twinkle and bows. This is a time when we embrace family and friends—giving and attending holiday parties filled with sugar and spice and everything nice.
Family and religious traditions inspire many of these celebrations, but more and more the Yuletide has been commercialized into a buying and eating frenzy, completely missing the point of the celebration in the first place.
The goal of Release Your Obsession with Cheat DAZE: Heal from the Inside Out is for readers to break away from the belief that food is going to make us happy, regardless of the time of year or festivities in place. The message I want to send is that you don’t have to be a Food Fester, gobbling up everything in sight, just in case you miss out.
Yes, food is a good thing—filled with nutrients, and definitely we should enjoy partaking in many of the holidays’ delights. The problem is when the foods become our only focus and eating is out of our control to the point of misery, shame, and worse—continuing guilt. The problem is when we give in to the “treats” afforded by the standard American diet (remember SAD?), which consists of processed, unhealthy foods—often the primary offering during holiday time.
Perhaps we’re missing the spiritual food that fills us with love and light. Perhaps the promise of gifts and holiday cheer is steering us from the assurance of a Higher Source’s love, a gift that isn’t costly and covered in glitter and gold, but natural and ever-present for ALL for the taking, regardless of color, nationality, riches or not.
This is not to say gathering with family is wrong, for certainly it is not—strength in loving numbers is a good thing as family gathers to connect. And food is a part of that gathering, which is also not wrong.
Food often is part of a celebration with others, including friends, co-workers, and family. We long for the association with others. We long for family connection, but somehow the idea and its reality have merged into the image of food fueling our happiness and food becoming the happiness. No, that’s not what we want to do, because then we make the food our God—our everything, a step from the path, which only brings physical and spiritual ills and confusion.
The representation is that if you don’t eat the “celebratory” foods, then you’re missing out on the holiday season. Your merriment won’t be quite on target with everyone else’s. So you eat. And eat. And eat some more, until the food fog takes over, and you zombie walk your way through the holiday period, packing on weight, guilt, and the jitters that the food fog brings, starting with the handouts at ghost and goblin time.
Do you struggle with holiday eating? What are your thoughts about cheat days? Do you factor a cheat day into your schedule? If you find cheat days work fabulous for you I’d love to hear about it.
You can leave a comment by scrolling down to the section that says leave a reply. I look forward to hearing from you!
Stay tuned, you never know where my mind will wander.
Hugs to you, I care!
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Release Your Obsession with Cheat DAZE: Heal from the Inside Out
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.