Reply To: The Holiday Trap (again)

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Hi Gillian,

Thanks for that, yes you’re right, this has been a real eye opener for me and I can see clearly where it all went wrong and more importantly how I can avoid falling into the holiday trap in future. It is really helpful being able to go back and revisit sessions at times when they are particularly relevant to my own experiences at that time. This is when the penny dropped and it dawned on me that I had been in compliance for the past few months.

I can think of 3 occasions in the 2 months when I ate something that wasn’t great for me but I didn’t overeat, they were minor and I compensated by not eating carbohydrates for the rest of the day, or substituted it for a meal. If I actually overeat or I can’t compensate for it in some way, it feels like too big an imperfection and I feel so guilty, I overreact and then it becomes a problem.

However, now I know that the problem is my conditioned response to overeating after the event to overeat again. Had I forgiven myself for overeating, reminded myself that the aim is to overeat less, not to never overeat, reinforced the idea that I was free to overeat again everyday if I wanted to and then anticipated the inevitable desire to eat that followed, I could have worked through that and my total amount of overeating would have been much less overall compared to my response of ‘I’ve blown it, I may as well just keep on eating’ which lasted over a week.

Had I not been in compliance by practicing dealing with imperfect eating I might not have rebelled like I did, as I would have had a good sense of choice. I think this is something that I need to be aware of falling back into. I must say, compliance feels very comforting but as tempting as it is, I know that it doesn’t do me any favours in the long run.

Yes it’s a long time to wait until next Christmas to practice but this happens to me at every holiday period, Easter, birthdays, holidays, weekends away, so I will get lots of chances to practice.

Despite it being a tough week, which put quite a dampener on Christmas, upon reflection it has been an invaluable learning experience and this is the point that I can do something about it to change the outcome in the future. Thank you again for your wisdom, it is hugely appreciated and I know this is the answer, this is how I move forward and put my dysfunctional relationship with food behind me.

All the best for the new year to you too, here’s hoping for a much happier and healthier year 🙂