Happy 4th of July! What are your plans today? Our family is looking forward to the annual parade our city puts on in our neighborhood, and then there will be lots of watermelon and pool time happening!
Do you love holidays? I’d describe having more of a love/hate relationship with them in the past. Holidays are a great time to kick back, enjoy family and festivities, but a huge aspect of most holidays is food, which can really mess with you if you’re trying to lose weight or feeling insecure about your post-baby or pregnant body.
When you’re in that mode, food has a really “charged” feeling. Chances are, you have a lot of rules in your head that you’re trying to follow, and going to a holiday gathering can cause you major anxiety over following them. Should I eat my burger with no bun? How do I resist ice cream? What if my mother-in-law brings those magical desserts that I gain ten pounds just looking at?
And summer holidays/vacations add the extra fun layer of water and swimsuits! Double whammy!
Back when my husband and I went on our first beach vacation together, both of us had been on restrictive diets. I was not eating carbs, he was eating nothing but chicken breast and salad.
So when we showed up to our all-inclusive, it was time to break free! I was able to have tortillas! FLOUR TORTILLAS! They tasted so good that I couldn’t stop eating them after months of watching others around me eat them and imagining how they might taste.
But then I couldn’t stop. And I felt sick, and bloated, and guilty. And then we got home from vacation and it felt like my life was over because I had to stop eating carbs again. It was depressing enough to be home from paradise, but my food felt like prison too.
Now, my life on vacation and at holidays looks exactly like my normal daily life. I take care of my body so I feel good and can enjoy the event, but I’m also not depriving myself either.
I trained myself and my clients to approach nutrition and food from a place of PERMISSION and INTENTION, so they don’t get stuck in that overeat/restrict cycle over and over again.
Permission doesn’t mean throw all abandon out the window and eat all the things. That’s not self-care anymore than white-knuckling your way through a party or vacation is.
Eating with permission and intention means getting curious about how food feels and prioritizing nutrition, but not at the expense of enjoyment.
Here are three tips for doing that today or on your next vacation:
- Don’t show up starving. Once your blood sugar dips that low, you will be fighting your own primal survival instincts to find the fastest form of energy: simple carbs and sugar. You can’t make a good decision over food when you’re ravenous, and you’ll pay back that debt with interest by overeating once you start.
- Start with protein. Prioritize protein on your plate, then plants like fruits and veggies, because this will stabilize your blood sugar and help you make decisions about more food rather than be compulsive. Then take samples of anything else you want to taste and enjoy, and stay mindful while you eat.
- Don’t show up on a strict diet. Diets set you up for failure at events like this because it’s like getting a free pass out of prison! If you’ve ever wondered why you always overdo it at parties, social events, and vacations then come home feeling stuffed, bloated, and regretful, these are artifacts of a diet mindset. Keep it flexible!
Try these today at your events, and then let me know how it goes for you!
And of course, these are the exact tools and strategies (but in much more detail) that I’m going to be teaching at my first ever LIVE event, the Strength in Mothers Retreat and Workshop, September 27-29th in Austin, TX.