I was sitting at my desk at work, writing a blog for Kripalu about the balancing act of holiday celebration and self-care—how to keep healthy boundaries, how to not dive into either guilt or deprivation. Typing away, there was a knock at the door. In walked one of my colleagues, waving a tiny cellophane package at me.
“Chocolate covered almonds!” she happily declared.
I don’t eat chocolate. I don’t eat sugar. But I was so focused on my blog about nutritional balance that I didn’t have the energy to refuse her offer. It seemed easier to just accept her gift.
“Thanks so much,” I said, nodding to a place on my desk for the package. She laid them down and exited.
My first thought was—but I don’t eat chocolate. I don’t eat sugar.
Yet there on my desk sat chocolate and sugar.
My second thought was—I’ll take them home for Ras.
My third thought was fairly thoughtless, as were the next 17 seconds, in which I grabbed the package, ripped it open, put one chocolate almond in my mouth, determined to eat only that one, and finished the (somewhat small but nevertheless damaging) package in the remaining 16 seconds.
I ate them. I ate them all. Really? Really. (And not even good chocolate!) What is it I know about balance with food during the holidays?
I spent some time worrying about what might happen to my body. Then I spent some time considering why I was so vulnerable to outside influences. And mainly, I practiced relaxing and considering my behavior.
Nothing bad happened. Yes, I had some little GI upset and a bit of a headache. Along with that came a powerful wake up call to the allure of the hovering holidays. They certainly carry in them such potential for wacky and brainless indulgence.
Here’s what I want to remember about holiday celebration:
- To eat before a party—waiting for food, getting hungrier does not work for me
- To take appropriate food along with me—share it and feel good about it.
- To balance—if I eat too much one night, lighten up the next day. More does not need to be fanned by more.
- To enjoy the celebration!
Most importantly, I want to feed myself on the true spirit of the holiday. I want to enjoy the deliciousness of the return of the light. I choose connection and love to be the sweetness that I ingest. I hope to make the internal decision to live in the essence of the holiday and create steps externally to make this happen.
Dear Friends, let’s live the spirit of this holiday season and allow this be the feast upon which we savor.