This is an especially pertinent column right before Christmas, no? It's the next one in our overcoming emotional eating series (which will continue in 2014). What I want to talk about today is how easy it is to overeat in social situations and how this leads to a whole load of pressure, stress and guilt we could well do without. Great food is a part of every Christmas celebration, and every family has certain food traditions that are uniquely special for that family (I cook the world's best roast potatoes FYI!).
Sharing meals together is part of the fabric of your life and your family, so we want to be able to participate with enjoyment.
So, here's the thing. It doesn't matter what your calorific intake is on Christmas Day.
Your weight and body are determined by what you eat and how you move on the other 364 days of the year. Please don't get hung up on the one day. It's just one day. Your body can't tell the difference between the day Santa arrives and any other.
So don't sweat it. Eat what you want. Enjoy every bite. Get the full joy out of the experience. Drop the guilt. Listen to your body - listen for satisfied, not stuffed.
Connect with your friends and family as you break bread together. Let your body, not your mind, dictate what you eat.
"I must have second helpings of pav, I don't want to offend Aunty Petunia" is your mind talking. Your mind has no idea how much food you need to eat, only your stomach can tell you that.
"Mmmmm ... delicious ... but I'm feeling physically satisfied now" is your body talking. Your body is truth. It's saying "That's enough now, put the spoon down".
Honouring the messages from your body is more important than pleasing Aunty Petunia with an extra slice of pav. Tell Aunty Petunia what an awesome cook she is. Use words. You don't have to show appreciation by eating past your limits.
Wouldn't it be great to enjoy every bite you take on Christmas Day, guilt-free? Well, you can. Just let your body set the pace, not your mind.
My book The Busy Woman's Guide to High Energy Happiness hits the bookstores on January 3. I hope it will give you a wealth of inspiration to kick-start your best year yet. You can grab a pre-ordered and signed copy of the book on positivebalance.co.nz.