When it comes to the holidays, it can feel like you’re constantly being told to eat this, drink that, skip your workout and hit the stores for some shopping, and you better not turn down great-aunt Sue’s famous pie or she’ll never forgive you.
This can lead to a laundry list of holiday excuses that are holding you back from reaching your goals.
How are you even supposed to navigate all of the opportunities to overindulge with not knowing how to say no, feeling like you should treat yo’self, and traditions all revolving around food.
It may not be easy, but the solutions are simple and I’m here to help you bust all of your holiday excuses.
You can listen here or by clicking the link below.
or if you’d prefer, you can read more here:
“I only get to eat *insert special holiday food* once a year so I better eat as much as I can.”
“Everyone else is indulging so I should too!”
“I don’t really want this, but I know someone else worked really hard on it so it would be impolite to say no.”
Do any of those holiday excuses sound familiar to you?
You don’t always have to say no to the special food or eating a little more of something than you normally would, but you do have to decide where you’re going to draw the line.
You get to decide which foods and drinks are actually worth it and which ones you could do without.
Once you’ve made your decisions, it’s up to you on how you’ll communicate those boundaries with those around you.
You don’t have to tell grandma that you’d prefer not to having a second helping of her stuffing, but if that’s a boundary you’ve decided you’re setting for yourself, you will have to decide how to cross that bridge once you get there.
The conversation will probably go a lot better if you practice saying “No thank you” and meaning it so you don’t find yourself adding it to your plate and then trying to sneak it to the dog under the table.
But what if grandma and her stuffing aren’t the problem?
What if the problem is the holiday party where the drinks will be flowing all night and you know that after a couple you won’t be able to turn down anything on the dessert table?
When you set boundaries with others, you also need to think about the boundaries you’re going to set with yourself.
If one too many drinks is going to send you spiraling, then commit to a one-drink max and sip on it throughout the night.
If you know that even one drink lowers your inhibition too much then go in with a plan to ask for some mocktails. You’ll still get the fancy glass with the fun garnish, but you’ll also be able to keep your commitment to yourself.
There are some other things you can do to help you avoid the holiday excuses pitfalls:
-Consider a buddy system.
If you’re heading to a family function, ask a supportive family member who understands your choices to help keep you in check or even run interference with less understanding family members.
You can do the same thing with friends and co-workers.
-If your family has traditions that seem to always revolve around food, come prepared with an alternative.
Take a family walk after dinner instead of spending the next two hours nibbling on the leftovers, bring the supplies for a craft instead of a gingerbread house, or (if you’re brave) start a new family tradition of playing board games after the food’s been put away.
I know it can often feel like you’re the only one trying to stay the course during the holidays and everyone else is out here indulging at every turn, but that’s just not the case.
It’s likely that you’ll have more support in your circles than you expect, but if you don’t you can always seek out support from online groups. There are a lot of people out there who are experiencing the same types of things you are and it can help you feel less lonely to know you’ve got someone in your corner.
If you’re feeling confident in your ability to turn down foods and drinks that just aren’t worth it to you, but the stress of having to do all the things during the holidays leaves you feeling like you won’t have time to stick to your goals, I suggest trying some life admin.
-Sit down with your calendars at the beginning of the holiday season and map out what your weeks are actually going to look like.
What work deadlines do you have to meet and when?
When will you get your holiday shopping done?
Do you have to prepare any food? If so, can you do any of it in advance?
When are your holiday parties and get-togethers?
When all the things are floating around in your head, it can feel overwhelming and lead to a plethora of holiday excuses, but once you get them on paper you’ll likely see that you actually have more time than you think.
If you put in the work to bust your holiday excuses this year, next year will feel a lot easier once November rolls around.