“Last year, I ate my son’s entire bucket of Halloween candy,” Stacey confessed. I was so embarrassed that I went out at 2 a.m. to buy an assorted mixture to replace it, so that my son wouldn’t find out that his mom is a pig,” she continued. “What did you eat?” I asked, curious about what her favorite candy might be. “I don’t even know. I ate it so quickly that I didn’t even enjoy it,” she said.
Stacey’s story is a common one. Women deprive themselves of little indulgences and, like a bat out of hell, they can gobble up a bag of candy in a matter of minutes. This is what a life lacking pleasure looks like. Yet, we convince ourselves that deprivation and dieting is the way. As I love to ask clients, “How is that working for you?” I know. It’s not.
So, to help you through the next few days (and the rest of your life), when overindulgence can turn into huge regrets, I’ve put together this little guide to help save little Johnnie’s candy collection (and your waist line) while also rebuilding a pleasurable relationship with food. It’s also how part of the formula for how I lost 70 pounds while also eating chocolate and drinking wine.
State Your IntentionImagine how do you desire to feel at the end of the day when you lay your head on the pillow. Stuffed? Sad? Disappointed? Like a failure?
I didn’t think so. So, create a different plan. It really is that simple.
If you want to feel in control, successful, fulfilled, and grateful for a wonderful and fun holiday, state your intention. You get to choose how you feel, so decide on the feeling.
Intentions are like little playbooks for the soul. They help align goals with actions. After creating your intention, focus on how it will feel to live it out. Carry that feeling with you throughout the day. Ask yourself, how does a woman who feels (fill in the blank) act? What decisions does she make around food? And, the answer will not lie within deprivation or binging.
When you have your end game, you can create your plan. The goal is not for you to deprive yourself of treats. The goal is for you to strike a balance between overindulgence and deprivation. In the Slim, Chic and Savvy Immersion program, I call it the sweet spot.
Planning should occur on two levels. First, plan what obstacles you may run into based on your eating history. Maybe you are most likely to “lose control” between the hours of eight and ten at night or that you go unconscious at the neighborhood Halloween party and eat three times more than you normally would. Just having this awareness will help you help yourself. Plan on staying mindful. Have a plan for dealing with your unique challenges (and trust me, we all have them). Have a list of pleasurable things you can do to substitute your temporary candy high.
The second part of planning deals with food itself. You can still partake in the festivities, but your secret weapon to a happy ending is to plan your treat. Don’t mindlessly start tearing open candy wrappers without thinking about what you really want to consume, and most importantly, how you desire to feel.
Choose your favorite candy, and then continue this exercise.
UpgradeI encourage clients to upgrade their foods when possible. Actually, I teach them to become food snobs. An example upgrade is trading in the super sweet milk chocolate for a high quality dark chocolate. Or better yet, you may choose to cook delicious homemade cookies and have just one. If you’re thinking, “I can’t possibly just have one,” it’s because you’ve deprived yourself for so long and you keep telling yourself a lie: I’ll start tomorrow.
However, if you are craving a Reese’s cup, then don’t try to substitute it with a sugar-free, fat free version (if there is such a thing). Eat the real thing.
Your body deserves the best fuel available, so don’t settle for the cheap grade.
Sit down & Put it on a PlateOnce you have chosen your treat, place it on a plate and sit down. Eating is a pleasurable experience, and if you’re eating unconsciously out of the bag, you not only miss out on the pleasure, but you feed your belief that you do not have control.
You are less likely to overeat when sitting down, and you will definitely enjoy it much more. Studies have shown that people who eat standing up, eat far more food with less satisfaction. So, grab a chair, and continue.
Stay Mindful & SavorSo, you have your treat on a plate and you’re sitting down. You are ready to eat, right? Not so fast. The key to developing a pleasurable relationship with food is to stay mindful while eating.
To stay present, notice the texture, taste, aroma, and color of your petit plaisir. Get your juices all fired up by a little culinary foreplay before you take a bite.
Once you’re eating, notice how the tastes change. At what point does it stop tasting as good?
This exercise alone has brought clients huge epiphanies. “I don’t even like crème filled donuts,” one client confessed after eating one mindfully. “They are way too sweet,” she added.
I have had the same revelations when it comes to food. When you are aware of, not only the way foods impact the senses, but how it feels in your body, you will gradually discover that you choose not to eat certain things. For example, I cut back on dairy and sugar because I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Do I feel deprived? No, not at all. I feel great, actually! It has nothing to do with deprivation and everything to do with self-love.
Mindful eating is a necessary component of living slim, chic and savvy, so start paying attention to your food, even the bite-sized Halloween candy.
EnjoyGuilt is NOT allowed in my approach to weight loss. In my opinion, guilt is a useless emotion that will have you waist deep in the freezer looking for the Ben & Jerry’s.
In this country, food has been turned into this evil enemy. So, even though human nature is to enjoy food, many people find themselves in love/hate affair with their meals. No more. I draw the line here. Food is to be enjoyed. Period.
If you overeat, guilt does not make the experience go away, so learn from it and move on!
Diversify Your PleasuresHow much of your daily pleasure comes from food? If you said anything more than 25%, then it’s no wonder that you feel compelled to eat more than your body needs. To create a healthy relationship with food, you must create a pleasurable relationship with life. <TWEET IT>! Begin to explore non-edible ways to add more sensual pleasures to your life – books, candles, coffee with friends, bubble baths, strolls through your neighborhood, hobbies undiscovered.
CelebrateBeing able to enjoy your holidays without deprivation or overindulgence is a huge celebration. These small accomplishments add up over time. To transform your body does not mean that you must give up the foods you enjoy. It means that you must be kind to yourself by finding that sweet balance where you can enjoy a piece of chocolate AND create the body you deserve.
I mean, what would life be without those little sweet pleasures?
Happy Halloween! I would love to hear how this little guide helps you through this sugar season in the comments below.
Book Giveaway Winners
I appreciate all of those who joined the “awesomefest.” It’s always inspiring to see women celebrating people who have impacted their lives in beautiful ways.
I put all of the eligible entries into my Louis and pulled out 3 lucky winners of Alexandra Franzen’s, 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome!
Here they are:
1. Katy Prange
2. Mariana Herrera Mosli
3. Kayce Hughlett
Congratulations ladies! Please email email@example.com with the Title: I am the winner. Include your mailing address and we’ll whisk off your book!
Slim, Chic and Savvy Secrets Video Series
Did you sign up for the free video series where I’m giving away some of the many Slim, Chic and Savvy community’s favorite secrets?
If not, you can access them here.
Also, keep a close eye on your inbox because enrollment will be opening soon. This program has changed the lives and bodies of hundreds of women around the world. One woman just sent me an email saying, “Out of all the programs I’ve ever done, Slim, Chic and Savvy is by far the best!” I’m looking forward to possibly supporting you into stepping into the Slim, Chic and Savvy lifestyle (because SCS women don’t diet!)
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