Control the Candy Chaos

Self control is hard any time of the year. October to January (for me at least) is significantly harder. It’s like the food just doesn’t stop. Everywhere you look, there are bake sales, candy baskets, friends-givings, work parties, kids’ parties, and so much more. And you should be able to enjoy yourself without worrying about sabotaging your goals. When I was really struggling with my eating behaviors, I became verrry restrictive. Especially during holidays, I felt a lot of anxiety at gatherings. The problem however, was that I would not eat enough during mealtimes to satiate myself. Therefore, after every meal, I would go straight to the candy bowl or dessert table and binge on sugar. That would start the never ending cycle. I would eat so much sugar and feel so happy…until I crashed. I would then feel an insane amount of guilt. So I would go run or workout until I felt better about myself. And the next day, I would restrict my diet even more to compensate for the sugar binge. And the whole thing would start over. It was miserable but for some reason, I could not stop it. It is very easy for me to allow my diet to take a back-seat because with my job I am typically working during normal meal times. And with all the excess candy and food around, the opportunity to spiral out of control is a very tempting and easy option.If this is you too, let me help you…Think about eating like Pilates. First, BREATHE. Be patient with food. Learn your hunger levels and treat them with love. If you are hungry, eat. If you are not, don’t. Second, CLEAR YOUR MIND. Studies show that 90% of overeating episodes happen under stress or high emotional situations. So try to not take your stress out on food. Find other ways to relax yourself, like exercise! Maybe hold an extra 30 seconds in a plank, sweat through a jump board class, or enjoy a brisk jog / walk. Save the food and treats to enjoy with friends and family. Third, DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU. This was the best lesson I ever learned. In Pilates I say this quite often. You have to do what is best for your body. Some days you may do the advanced version of every move. Others, you may modify the whole time. Both are OK. The point where you get yourself into trouble is when you do something your body isn’t ready for or can’t handle that particular day. Then you end up getting hurt. The same principle can be applied to food as well. Once you learn what your body thrives on, eat that way. Your diet isn’t going to look like your friends diet, or anyone’s for that matter. Therefore, if you know a certain food really upsets your stomach, don’t eat it just because you think you should or someone is pressuring you. Because it is just going to hurt you in the long run. Likewise, if you are not indulging in any of your favorite foods because you think you are going to gain a pound, EAT the food. You can only deny yourself so long before you give in. And typically when that happens, you REALLY give in. So learn to love food and live in the moment! “Eat a little bit of everything, not a lot of anything” – Giada Da Laurentils -Jennie