Are you ready for the holidays? It’s the time of year! We’re surrounded by sweets, treats and drinks. Family, friends and festivities! It’s the best time of the year, right? Riiiiiiiight.
This is also the time of year when we’re surrounded by comments about food, each other’s bodies and weight. We tend to meet up with family and friends and encounter so many body-focused and fat-phobic remarks. It can be toxic. Ugh. How will you take care of yourself through this joyous time that can…let’s face it… be oh-so-stressful!?
Here are some tips to confront, dodge-and-weave and redirect your focus as you navigate the celebrations and get-togethers:
- Refuse to get swept up in body talk
Instead of the often-used “you look great!” remarks, opt for more personal remarks like “it’s good to see you!” or “what’s new with you?” If you’re part of a conversation that turns toward body talk e.g. “did she lose weight?”, “did he go on a diet?”, Stop, Drop, and Roll.
Stop: stop the body talk directly if you can. This one is hardest, but if you’re among those who will receive it with respect, it may be worth saying “hey, can we talk about something else? I don’t really want to focus on other people’s body size.” Or “you know how we’re not supposed to talk about politics or religion? Maybe we should add comments about other people’s bodies to that list, huh?”
Drop: If being direct in conversation won’t be respected or if it feels too confrontational, you can also drop out of the conversation and walk away and get out. That sh*t is not for you.
Roll: maybe you want to stay in the conversation, but it’s time to roll out some jokes? Roll out a story? Use your voice to redirect. Change the subject.
- Avoid the food police
Are family members talking about their latest food habits? Did someone lose weight and they’re telling everyone just to collect the kudos? Did someone go gluten-free because “they say” it’s healthier? Is someone vegan and they’re sure you should be too…. Don’t let the way others approach food influence how you think about it. This is a time to get away from your usual routine and have some fun not play a game of “who gets a gold star for how they eat?” Instead of comparing food choices or getting competitive about who knows most about what’s “healthy” maybe it’s time to pull out a favorite card game and just have some laughs.
- Press Pause: take care of YOU
How do you pause for a moment and think about what brings joy to YOU. What is important to take care of yourself through the hustle and bustle, the food comments and such? Most of us need to pause. Take a moment to feel normal: listen to your favorite music, read your favorite blog, or just be alone for a moment. Step away from the festivities and call a friend or text them a funny story. Be real. The holidays bring a lot of “fake your way through” behavior. What can you do where you can take a pause and be real?
Happy Holidays everyone! I wish you peace, happiness and a touch of sanity. xo