So, before I made this video I looked for articles and sources on how to get through the Holidays while being inundated with messages about how your body is “wrong” or why you should feel “guilty” or “earn” the foods you eat and I was so disappointed. Shame is not a motivator, it is terrible for your mental health and is no ways to celebrate the Holidays. I was disgusted to find that most of the articles I found gave tips on surviving the projections people placed on your body or your food choices involved restriction or exercise as a way of “earning” food as opposed to moving your body to care for it, because you enjoy it and because exercise is an excellent way to combat the stress that may come with all our holiday responsibilities. There are sources on the video for self care and why food shaming is harmful, but very few pop culture articles on how to get through the holidays without wracking guilt and with your self image intact. Here are my sort of tongue in cheek but also somewhat serious tips for getting through the holidays when other people try to make your body their business (bear in mind I am not an RD, I am a body image social worker):
- Do NOT starve yourself all day in anticipation of holiday parties or holiday meals, not because of whatever bullshit “health” guru tells you about how you will “over eat” when you get to the party but because you shouldn’t starve yourself at all. Do not starve yourself. Do not starve yourself on a holiday, do not starve yourself on a random Wednesday in June, do not starve yourself in a box, do not starve yourself with a fox. Do not starve yourself. Eat mindfully. Choose foods that are psychologically and physically healthy for YOU.
- Ignore bullshit posts telling you to stick to “clean eating.” First of all “clean eating” isn’t a thing (check the blog for more on this) and so giving yourself the added stress of trying to determine what that is when everyone’s nutritional and psychological needs are incredibly individualized is not worth the psychological stress. Want a cookie? Eat a damn cookie. Want some kale? Eat some kale.
- Workout because moving your body is a way of caring for it, not to punish it for whatever “dirty” food you consumed. Exercise is an awesome stress reducer and a great way to honor your body.