I used to dread holidays or any event that heavily revolved around food. I would feel dread about having to be so disciplined with food. I would be so in my head about trying to hold off and not eat, and then if I did, I'd go completely off the rails because moderation for me was not a thing. I would then feel extreme guilt and not even be able to enjoy the food I was eating. Enjoying myself was nowhere in this equation; either I restricted myself and was miserable, or I'd binge and be miserable. I'm willing to bet far too many of you are able to relate to this.
How can we better approach the holidays when we live in a world with people obsessed with their bodies, their weight, and food? There's people who deprive themselves. There's people who eat, but don't even enjoy it because they're too busy making comments about how they shouldn't be eating as much as they are. What can we do to just enjoy ourselves? What can we do to help others just enjoy themselves?
It's hard to manage your own thoughts and feelings about food let alone deal with it when other people are actively obsessing about it out loud for everyone to hear. Over the years, I've heard so many things during holidays that negatively impacted my relationship with food. Other people could be struggling. Other people might not think twice, but when they constantly hear someone expressing their guilt around food, they might start to feel that way too.
Comments to NOT make at Thanksgiving Dinner:
"You're still hungry?!"
"You're eating more?!"
"The diet starts tomorrow"
"This is the only meal I'm eating today"
"I shouldn't be eating this"
"I will burn it off tomorrow"
"I earned this meal"
The only reason why people might say these things is because they're feeling guilty themselves. They think other people are judging them for what they eat or how much they eat. It's not uncommon to feel these things and it is alright if you do. But also recognize that you can and should get to place where these thoughts don't consume you and rule your life. And if you are feeling guilt, DO NOT display it for other people to see and experience with you. This is not to say that you cannot confide in others if you're struggling. Of course you should talk through these things, but there is a difference between talking about it and making snide comments about your guilt that make others feel guilt too.
REMEMBER. Food is fuel. You need it to live. You do not need to earn your meals. You do not need to burn it off or do anything to prepare for it. Food is a huge part of life.