Firstly, does your family have tea and biscuits in bed in the morning? Let me know. I thought this was such a normal thing… it transpires perhaps not!
Secondly, tomorrow I head home for Christmas and am already anticipating my nutritional downfall. Anyone else?
If you’re lucky enough to know my mum (or most mums for that matter) you will know that adhering to any kind of nutritional plan whilst in her domain is nay on impossible.
And at Christmas time? Well. Roll over my friend. Defeat is yours.
Now, I grew up blessed daily with wholesome, healthy, home-cooked food. The fridge was and is always STUFFED with nutritious food whenever we are home. However(!), in my parents home, every morning starts with tea and biscuits in bed and if post-breakfast coffee and chocolate doesn’t happen about 10.30am then something is wrong.
And then there’s ‘that’ cupboard.
You know the one - to even open it means you’ll slide into a wonderland of biscuits, chocolate, mince pies and more.
Feeding people is a favourite pastime of my mother’s and she is a master at it. What’s more - I think fewer things give her more delight than seeing my usual healthy food habits slip into an abyss of minstrels, Percy pigs and crisps.
You know exactly what I mean though right?
The trouble is though - it doesn’t always leave me feeling so great.
ALWAYS is the key word there though. Because sometimes, these indulgences (that so reflect love in my family), they truly do feel like a delicious indulgence - no guilt, no real detriment to health, no challenge to my energy and so on. Other times though, they feel like sh*%.
So what makes the difference?
Is it the quantity?
Is it the selection?
Is it company or social setting?
Is it the internal dialogue that accompanies the choice?
Is it the motivation that led to the ‘yes please’?
I think the answer is often yes to all of the above.
Sometimes we can eat outside of our ideal ‘healthy’ diet and feel totally fine about it - fully enjoy it. Other times it can just trigger regret, self-degradation and nastiness - totally not worth it.
So HOW can we master those moments to make sure our Christmas treats really feel like treats?
We then choose consciously.
(And if you love any excuse to scribble in a lovely journal, you write a little list to help out too ~ see mine below.)
So, before diving into ALL the Christmas goodies that are so wilfully offered, first we pause to break the automatic ‘yes’ and take two seconds to ask a simple question;
Do I really want this or am I just about to eat it because it’s here?’
Do I also want one now or am I just having one now because everyone else is?
Am I anticipating enjoying every bit of this or is it just convenient entertainment?
Do I absolutely love these treats or do I know that I usually find them distinctly average and underwhelming?
Am I only eating it because this is one of the few moments of ‘food freedom’ I permit myself? (And so to capitalise on that I must EAT IT ALL NOW!!!!!)
This pause and process doesn’t have to be laborious, just a quick thought. To make that easier, I decided to have a little think before heading home…
List one = ‘HELL YES Christmas Treats’
List two = ‘Other Family Treats’
My theory (wishful thinking) is that if I can get crystal clear on the treats I absolutely love and the ones that a just a bit ‘meh’, then my “yes please” and “no thank you” will be far better directed. Essentially, ‘if it’s not a “hell yes (please)” then it’s a “no thank you”’.
The whole aim of this is to move into fully enjoying all of my choices wholeheartedly and feeling good within that, nothing more, nothing less.
So, what treats are standard in your household that you don’t really love yet you catch yourself eating all the time? Jot those in the ‘others’ list.
What is so truly scrumptious to you that you just can’t wait to have it? Pop that in your Christmas Treats list. (For me this has to be my mum’s steamed treacle pudding - not healthy AT ALL but so full of love and yumminess.)
I would love to know your Christmas traditions that you can’t wait to indulge in, and also those you think this year you’ll willingly give a miss.
Remember, the point is not to deprive yourself, nor binge to total excess. The goal is to enjoy yourself and feel good throughout this lovely time of year.
I so hope this is helpful and moves us all through Christmas with an abundance of joyful deliciousness. And if not - meh - at least we tried!
So on that note, I wish you a very merry Christmas and am so excited to connect with you more in the new year!
P.S. I really do want to know if your family have tea and biscuits in bed in the morning too? I grew up thinking this was totally the norm but it’s become increasingly apparent through the years that it is not... Are we Acott-Smiths alone in this ritual?! Surely not?!