hi hi hi!
Oh, how I’ve missed you.
I haven’t written to you in so long – but now I’m back! I took a bit of a hiatus as I ran the Master Your Life program over the past 10 weeks. Never have I worked so hard and been so engrossed in what I’m doing, and to be honest, it took a lot out of me and I needed to hibernate a bit after such a big push this year. I hope you understand.
But now, I’m back. And bursting with new ideas and things to write to you about! One of which is…
Holiday Weight Gain.
Yikes. Every year around this time, I gain a few pounds.
So much pie!
So many holiday dinners!
So many fun restaurant meals!
So. Much. Food!
Plus, it’s getting colder, and I don’t know about you, but my body just wants to hunker down, move less, and eat more. Ya know?
Even as a coach who specializes in helping women feel great in their skin no matter what, any weight gain inevitably triggers my little ego. I spent so many years shackled by the number on the scale, defining my self worth by my weight, and revolving my life around that number going down, and never up. So of course, any sort of weight gain will send off some alarm bells.
Like I tell my clients all the time, that “ego” /inner critic voice will never go away, you just have to start to understand yourself better and know how to manage that voice.
I’m sure many of you opened this email because you too have felt a little uncomfortable in your skin these past few weeks. Maybe you feel like maintaining your weight is a fruitless battle during the holidays and you’re just throwing your hands up and giving up. Maybe you’re already scheming about what diet you’re going to start Jan 1 in order to make yourself feel better.
I get it. I’ve been there. I know how scary it can feel to gain weight.
Will I just keep gaining and gaining?
I look horrible. People must notice.
I feel so gross in my skin. Ugh.
I’m so much less attractive than I was _____ (fill in the blank to a skinnier time). I need to get back to that place.
Whenever we gain any weight, even if it’s just a pound, the deepest parts of us freak out. They’re scared. Gaining weight feels bad, wrong, scary. At a deep level, we feel vulnerable. Out of control. Like we may lose some sort of love or safety in our lives because of it.
So I want to offer you a calm way to handle any holiday weight gain. To combat this ego / inner critic voice that can often times freak out and make you frantically plan out your next diet (please don’t do this), it’s important to have an alternative.
Here are some steps that I use to deal with my extra weight with love and acceptance that I want to offer you:
Step One: Understand the voice in your head that is freaking the heck out.
Weight gain –> Freakout! That is usually how this goes, right? However, take a breath, pause, and think about why. This voice in your head is freaking out because for many many years, it has been convinced that weight gain makes you less lovable. So of course, as you gain weight, this voice will frantically try to find a way to remedy the situation — aka diet, talk negatively to you about your weight, find a workout plan, restrict foods. None of it’s methods to fixing the situation are loving. They all come from a place of fear and inevitably, fail.
Instead, recognize that the voice that’s freaking out is just scared. It thinks you will no longer be loved. But is this really true? Actually think about it. Are you less lovable because you gained a few pounds? Because your curves are a little more vibrant this time of year? Chances are, people don’t even notice, and they love you regardless.
Think about if you saw a relative or a friend who gained a few pounds. Do you love her/ him any less? Do you think less of them? Maybe you even think they look more attractive this way!
Remember that inherently, your lovability has nothing to do with your weight. So as your ego voice rages in your head, take a few breaths, and remember this. Come back to your truth. Calm that voice down and reassure that part of you that you’re okay. You’re safe and loved with the exact body you’re in today.
Step Two: Allow your body to change, always.
One of the traps we get into as women is always wanting our body to stay in one particular shape, at one particular size. We feel great at a certain weight, and we fight fight fight to stay at that weight. We resist change.
However, there are SO many factors that will always influence our weight: hormones, time of year, seasons, time of the month, holidays, how busy we are, if we’re in a relationship, how happy we are, major life changes, moods, pregnancy, kids, emotions, exercise, etc.
When we hold on to our weight needing to be at X, we are setting ourselves up for a lifetime of fighting the natural rhythm of life and our bodies.
What if you were to just let your body freely change sometimes?
Of course you’re probably going to pack on a few pounds during the holidays – there is endless food, less time to workout, tons of dessert everywhere you turn, massive cheese boards that you would be crazy to miss out on, and more.
You are HUMAN. You are not superwoman. Doesn’t it make sense that your weight may fluctuate during this time of year? Let yourself off the hook.
And, know that it won’t always be this way. When the holidays calm down, when the cheese boards clear out, when there is less sugar around, your weight will probably naturally change again. Allow it. Let it ebb and flow, just like anything else, instead of holding on to a certain weight and size for dear life.
Step Three: Show the body you’re in that she’s welcome.
The more you fight your body, at any point, the more you’re going to feel crazy around food, and probably end up gaining even more weight as a result.
The more you can relax into your body, even with those extra pounds, the more you’re going to naturally want to care for her instead of the holidays turning into a time when you throw in the towel and eat everything that’s not nailed down.
Let your body know that she’s okay, that you still love her, even if she’s new and different.
Touch your new curves and thank them for taking one for the team.
Those curves represent that extra piece of amazing pumpkin pie you savored.
They represent staying up way too late with your friends drinking wine, playing Catch Phrase (obsessed, anyone else?) and eating cookies.
They represent doing Thanksgiving at your moms, then your dads, then your in-laws, all in one day, and eating three Thanksgiving meals because you wanted everyone to be happy.
They represent that time you curled up with a cup of tea for the third day in a row instead of forcing yourself to go to the gym because you were freaking tired and just needed to rest.
They represent all those holiday parties you said yes to and had so much fun at.
They represent all those days you’ve been eating all the treats at the office simply because they look delicious and you’re human and wanted to try everything.
Whatever extra weight you have right now represents the fact that you’ve been LIVING. That you’ve been doing your best. That you’ve enjoyed life.
The more you can love and accept your body, wherever she is today, the more you’ll find a loving way to care for her. Not another diet. Not a grand plan that starts on Jan 1st and then fails…again. Trust yourself. You won’t always want massive amounts of sugar. You won’t always want to choose the couch over the gym. You won’t always want to eat cheese (promise).
But if that’s what you’re up to these days, let it be. You’re not any less lovable. You’re living your life and doing your best, and that’s what truly matters.
There will be a time for less sugar, less wine, and more movement. Maybe it’s tomorrow, maybe its next month, maybe it’s in three months. Trust that you’ll naturally get there from a place of love.
And for now, enjoy yourself. Let yourself off the hook. Those extra pounds look great on you.
P.S. The IE Challenge runs year round. Sign up anytime to learn how to feel light and free around food and fiercely confident in your body.