December hits and the influx of articles about "New Years Resolutions" and "How to avoid temptation" start. I am sitting over here wondering why I would ever say no to seconds and knowing that sparkling water will never replace my spiced rum on Christmas Day.  

While some of the advice in those articles is practical, I think it focuses too much on what not to do. There are so many rules and restrictions and for me the holiday season is about enjoying myself rather than depriving myself. Who else is ready to get rid of the stress, pressure and guilt associated with family dinners and holiday get-togethers and create a NEW empowering narrative so we can feel good about our choices?

On the ninth day of Christmas, here are nine things you can tell yourself this year so you can enjoy family, friends AND food.

 #1

#1

Food is often an important piece when socializing. So, eat your favourite cookie and enjoy every bite! Take a moment to smell your food and chew your food. Taste your food and think about all of the lovely sensations you feel when you mindfully eat. Once you feel full, stop eating until you feel hungry again..

 #2

#2

If you are generally a healthy eater, a couple of days over the holidays is not going to be detrimental. Life is full of moments where you will be celebrating and if you focus on eating healthy, nutrient dense food most of the time, the celebrations and special moments with incredible food will be exactly what you need. Worry less and start enjoying the occasions!

 #3

#3

You are the person who decides what and how much you eat. If your eyes were bigger than your stomach, that is okay. You do not always have to eat everything. If you feel hungry and can finish your food, great! No guilt, either way. Slow down and notice how your stomach is feeling. Eat if you are hungry and stop if you feel full.

 #4

#4

Most hosts will say "GO, grab more, have seconds"! Remember that you don’t need to make someone else happy by overeating or by denying your hunger. Trust yourself and when you make a decision, stick to it.

 #5

#5

Lonely. Bored. Sad. Stressed. So many of these emotions can run wild at this time of year and these can be triggers to turn to the fridge. You will be surprised at how quickly you can change these emotional eating habits if you try. What works is different for everyone but you could call a friend, practice meditation, have a shower or go for a walk.

 #6

#6

Sugarless sugar cookies. Say wha? There is a time and a place for healthy adjustments but sometimes you should just enjoy your favourites JUST as they are.

 #7

#7

Are you human? Last time I checked, yes. Accept it and move on. Don't you dare feel the guilt. You are better than that. If you find any negative self talk creeping in, instantly snap your attention on to something else and let it go!  

 #8

#8

The old saying goes "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". The weight of others, is not your business. You probably wouldn't like it if they made a comment or judged you. Please don't do it to them. Someone made a rude comment to you? Confront them. Tell them how it makes you feel. It isn't nice. 

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This time of year can be very sad for some. Relationships are the key to long term happiness. This year, take time to be present. Spend quality time not just time with the people you love. Embrace the joy of festive meals without the guilt and embrace your time with the people who matter most to you. 

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