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The Day After Holiday Eating

Ah, yes, the day after Thanksgiving, time to be thankful that you have a chance to think, feel and act healthily about yesterday’s eating. If you’re happy with how you ate, great. If you’re unhappy with how you ate, still great. To understand why, read on.

If you’ve been highly critical of yourself over how much and what you ate, this is the part of your problem which isn’t about food, but affects your relationship with it. Overeating and still feeling compassion for yourself is a game changer. Here are some of the things you might be saying to yourself if you’re used to being critical about your eating:
“Typical, all my good intentions went down the drain and I hate how I ate.”
“I wish I could do the day over again and eat the way I said I was going to.”
“I feel so sick and bloated today. I’m never going to be able to change how I eat.”
“I did okay until dessert and I’m so mad at myself for overdoing the sweets.”
“What’s wrong with me that I totally pigged out yesterday?”

This kind of negative self-talk makes you feel worse about yourself and your eating, so why do it? You can’t change what you ate yesterday, but you can always change how you feel and speak to yourself today. So you didn’t eat as you wish you had. You tried your best and used the most effective skills you had. You’re still learning and will do better next year. Think, which skills do you want to practice, starting now?

Here’s what to say to yourself if you’re unhappy with how you ate on Thanksgiving:
“I’m proud that I tried my hardest to eat intuitively.”
“I like how I did a great job until dessert.”
“Many people overeat on Thanksgiving and don’t beat themselves up.”
“After yesterday, I’m more aware of what I need to practice to eat ‘normally’ during the holidays.”
“I’m not happy with how I ate, but I’m proud that I’m not beating myself up over it and am being self-compassionate because that’s a real improvement for me.”

Self-compassion is as important as mindfulness in your relationship with food. Who wants to walk around saying bad things to or about themselves? It’s unkind, unnecessary and self-harming. Being self-compassionate doesn’t mean you don’t want to change. You will, in time. Yesterday is over, but today is another opportunity to be kind to yourself, so have a self-compassionate day after Thanksgiving!

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