It’s interesting. I think this year, more than any year I can remember, I have heard more women saying something along the lines of “I feel so much pressure to slim down before the holidays”.
Or, “I have so much anxiety about seeing my family over the holidays and how they’ll judge my body / weight.”
So, I want to address this and shed some light, in the hope of calming some of the anxiety and fear that is coming up, and help you instead feel FREEDOM to just enjoy yourself this holiday season.
When we remove the burden of feeling the need to fix, change, or be something else, we remove 10 pounds of heavy stress we’re carrying around, and give ourselves this incredible freedom and permission to just enjoy who we are and the experience and people around us.
I want to start by making one thing super super super clear….
YOU are the one who gives yourself permission (or not) to have the best time this holiday season and be filled with joy, love and connection.
YOUR BODY and how skinny you are is NOT what grants you permission to be able to live like that.
We tend to believe that we are allowed to…
…feel good about ourselves…
..feel joyful and light and lit up and happy…
…IF our pants are a certain size.
…IF we went down in weight since last year, not up.
…IF the scale says a certain number we are okay with.
This is Diet Mentality 101. This is how we are unfortunately conditioned to think about ourselves.
This is the “skinny fantasy” that we have ingrained in our brains.
But I want you to know, this is not true. You can have the best time this holiday season EXACTLY as you are today.
You just need to be the one to decide.
When I started going through my entire transformation around food and my body, it’s not like I lost all this weight and then I became happy and confident. It’s that I realized I was the only one holding myself back from being happy and the person I always wanted to be, and I finally decided to give myself permission to be exactly who I wanted to be at exactly the weight I was at.
I gave myself the mental and emotional freedom to be that lit up, happy, joyful person because I realized there was no reason I couldn’t be.
My ability to fit into smaller jeans should not be the thing that allowed me to be that way, and the fact that I didn’t fit into those smaller jeans should never have the power to take something like my happiness or joy away from me.
I have to admit, I still need to be reminded of this sometimes. It’s natural to have thoughts of not being (fill in the blank) enough, and to therefore retreat into an insecure version of ourselves, but it’s important to be able to take a step back and remember… we are the ones who have the keys to our confidence.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper…
If you are someone who feels anxiety around losing weight for the holidays, here are some tips for you:
1. Remember, people are attracted to your “vibe” more than your appearance. Can you recall a time when someone showed up to a party – someone who maybe didn’t have an “ideal” body – and they had such confident, vibrant energy, and everyone was so attracted to them? Similarly, can you recall a time when someone with an “ideal” body showed up but you could sense their insecurity and anxiety, and people didn’t feel as magnetized to this person? Or maybe you can think about this in terms of yourself, at varying stages of your own life. If you go into the holidays feeling “not good enough” or shame around your body, you will present very different energy than if you show up having given YOURSELF permission to be “enough” and acceptance of where your body is.
2. Take a step back and think through if you’re doing this out of habit. I remember SO clearly the days when I would automatically think “i need to lose weight!” as soon as any holiday or major event landed on my calendar. It was almost an automatic, habitual response that had been so ingrained in me. Big event? Oh boy, let me make a detailed plan for how I can lose weight and “wow” everyone at this event. I invite you today to pause, and think about if this is an automatic response for you and if you actually really want to be going down this path again. Has it worked in the past? Is it worth it? What if you just showed up at the holidays this year in the exact body you are currently in? What are you afraid of? Might that feel less stressful?
3. Get to the root of what you actually desire. You know I’m all about getting to the root of things 🙂 Okay so you feel this deep desire to lose weight for the holidays. The two things I hear most commonly are “I just really want to feel my best” and “I am worried that people will notice I’ve gained weight and will judge me.” ← for this one, look back to tip #1
I want to dig into the “I just really want to feel my best” one:
This is really an interesting idea and I remember thinking along these lines in the past.
I am ALL FOR feeling our best. We should want to feel our best, or close to it, every day of our lives.
But, why is controlling our food and losing weight the only way to feel our best? And does this REALLY make us feel our best? Isn’t it perhaps a false sense of confidence? A confidence attached to the current shape and size of our bodies (which ultimately is almost impossible to control and keep constant)?
When someone says “I want to feel my best, so I want to be skinny”, I believe in a lot of cases, what they are saying is, “I want to be admired, desired, loved, and I want people to think highly of me.”
They believe that they need to be skinny for people to think highly of them. And a lot of times, they’ll go to great lengths to achieve this admiration from others, including doing things that don’t even make them actually “feel their best” (aka strict dieting, criticizing themselves and their bodies, and depriving themselves of enjoyment and fun).
If this is you, I’d encourage you to re-think what “feeling your best” really means to you. Do you really mean that you want others to think highly of you, or do you actually want to physically / mentally / emotionally FEEL your best?
Are you doing this for validation from others, and that validation is what allows you to feel confident about yourself?
If you truly want to feel your best and have confidence that comes from within you, here are some suggestions to holistically “feel your best”:
– Spend your time looking for an amazing outfit to wear to the holiday party that makes you feel beautiful
– Free yourself from the mental jail you’re in caused by thoughts of “I’m not good enough”. Practice the idea of “I am enough today. I am worthy of joy and love and connection exactly as I am.”
– Reduce stress in your life around this time so you have the emotional capacity to feel balanced and joyful. (In my experience, controlling food and losing weight is MAJORLY stressful!)
– Connect more to the body you’re in, every day. Movement that feels joyful, putting delicious lotion or oils on your body after a shower, and/or wearing clothes that feel comfortable.
– Be IN your body when it comes to food. Pause before a meal to get centered, eat the foods you love in a way that feels satisfying and generally physically nourishing (I say generally because it’s also totally okay to eat that second piece of pie sometimes – your body can likely handle it).
– Have FUN and enjoy all of the beauty, love, and fun that likely surrounds you as we speak. Allow yourself to just enjoy.
The point here is that feeling your best actually doesn’t come from being in a specific size pants. It comes from taking exceptional care of yourself, mentally, emotionally, physically and soulfully. It comes from giving yourself the MENTAL permission to feel confident, joyful, and free, exactly as you are.
I hope that these tips help. The bottom line is that you do not need to change in order to feel how you want to feel this holiday season. You DO have immediate access to feelings of confidence, inner joy, and freedom right now, as you read this.
I’d love to hear what you think… do you need some support around this during the holiday season? Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think, and I’m happy to support you.
Sending you lots of love!