As a young child learning about Thanksgiving, I romanticized the early colonial period. The Pilgrims were innovating government while exchanging gifts and customs with the Native Americans. “Thanksgiving” was a celebration and symbol of this cross-cultural collaboration.
Soon, I learned a more realistic version of events: blankets were served with a side of Syphillis, a primarily peaceful society where women had status was viewed and treated as “savage.” By fourth grade we learned about the “Trail of Tears,” and well . . we all know how that story ended. Around the same time, I also lost my innocence surrounding food. Thanksgiving, once a family celebration that involved a short vacation to my aunt and uncles’ house (where my sister and I were always spoiled) now had a dark edge,—just like the Pilgrims.
For many years my understanding of my weight struggles were just as incomplete as a Kindergartner’s version of Thanksgiving. I thought they were just about food. Many of my clients also feel that a piece of their own personal story is incomplete. Their lives look great on paper, but they’re unhappy. Something is missing. Initially, they believe that thinness is this missing and crucial chapter. Soon, they discover that the loss of their authentic voice and continually ignoring their own wants makes their story not their own, their weight uncontrollable.
The holiday season can be a cornucopia of these emotional frustrations and pressures. Without listening to personal limits and desires, food has tyranny over many women—especially during the holidays.
It’s time to opt-out of a convenient history, the one that celebrates self-sacrificing women. Ask temporarily inconvenient questions like “What if I don’t attend ___ holiday party” or “What happens if I only make one type of cookie this year.” Spoiler alert: nothing happens, nobody remembers, you may actually enjoy the holidays, and your clothes don’t get tighter.
But, like a new land full of disease and agricultural challenges, the holidays are a tricky environment. Discovering your individual needs and implementing them without guilt is challenging, particularly during the holidays. But, these challenges often results in the most important breakthroughs for my clients. The first workshop in my newly designed Eating Elegance step by step process speaks specifically to these needs during the holidays. This new concept examines how our own physical space and its organization reflect and create a feedback loop with our inner emotions. This workshop is designed to transform how you experience rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and organization, the root cause of the on/off-track eating cycle, particulary during the holidays. I am thrilled to announce that Linda Hallinan, Martha Stewart’s former coordinator, will be joining me to give her expert advice on physical redesign and organization. Space is limited, so sign up here soon.
To a complete Thanksgiving.