We have felt a presence we have not felt in a long time. It is weight that settles on us even as you read this article. It may be subtle now but it is coming.
Now I am not saying that the holidays are the Lords of the Sith to my Jedi eating habits but they are damn close. You are going to read numerous articles in the coming months about how to minimize your food intake. Drink water, smaller plates, and fill up on vegetables will pervade every magazine and fitness blog on the interwebs. However, I am going to do something a little different. I am going to teach you how to Jedi Mind trick the hell out of your holiday.
Perhaps you have counted your calories or kept up with cardio. Maybe you have realized your system does not tolerate sugar well or maybe lactose has been an issue. Perhaps you are like me and have discovered that eating poorly actually will cause some health issues and not everyone is thoughtful of that or understands the implications that could arise.
For the majority of us the battle in the coming months is not with the amounts of food that are available to us, but the pressure from family and friends to consume said food (in any amount). In order to be victorious one needs understanding and support.
"I love you." "I know." - Han Solo/ Leia Organa
In my household food is pure emotion. It is love. It is pride and approval. It is the very glue that bonds us. What blinds us to this concept during the holidays? What makes this different from all of the other times you can say no to that slice of pie?
One could surmise that the overwhelming amount of people, friends, and the pressures of the events themselves lend to the temptation of breaking with your dietary goals. The sheer amount of food my family prepares is a testament to their skill and their love. Rejecting the offering of their outpouring is considered callous and rude. So I monitor my intakes and offer the learnings of the Jedi to help you padawan on your own path. Just donʼt go waving your hands around that is a pretty big give away.
"Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Beware the dark side, you must." - Yoda
If someone is failing in their own fitness attempts they may be dealing with envy, anger, or even guilt. Seeing successful moderation on your part exposes their failure or inadequacy. They become hyperaware and feel judgement even when there is none.
Often there could be a longing for the past. Perhaps they were in better shape, or perhaps you were a little less healthy. Those were happy times when you were in cahoots one-way or the other. Why can't it be like it was before? Misery loves company not because it absolves guilt. But there are more people to shoulder the burden.
"Your focus determines your reality." - Qui-Gon Jinn
Being aware of the situation that holiday eating presents allows you to think about it without the emotional component. Set yourself limits and be aware when the undermining forces come to bear. Being mindful of your surroundings and in the moment allows you to enjoy the social components of the event while minimizing your need to mindlessly binge on Aunt Gladysʼs bowl of homemade puppy chow.
"These are not the droids you are looking for." - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kenobi was the absolute Bomb at this. Giving a short answer with a quick deflection is an amazing way around the long-winded 20 minute explanation that you feel you have given one hundred times or more over that past year. For example,
"I hear you are still on that diet."
"Oh yeah. It's going well in fact I have the best recipe for turkey leftovers this year. It is amazing. What are you doing with your leftovers this year? "
"Hmm! Adventure. Hmmpf! Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things." Yoda
While we all enjoy the success that comes with meeting our goals, sometimes that success can come with more pressure than we intended to carry during the holiday season on our self or others. (See the Dark side paragraph above.) Accept compliments graciously with a smile; return them in kind.
" I wish I had your type of will power; you look amazing."
" Thank you so much but look at you - such a sense of fashion - you look stunning."
"A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, ... He betrayed and murdered your father." Obi-Wan Kenobi
Ok I am not going to say flat out lie but if it comes to it the truth is almost always a matter of a point of view. If someone really needs and an answer to their line of questioning simple and short and a potential fib can come in handy. It avoids the whole awkward explanation and can get you out of the moment without hurting any feelings.
" No pie, OMG you LOVE PIE! Here have some pie."
"I really canʼt - it just doesnʼt sit well with me and we have two other events this evening."
These strategies will help you during the upcoming social events with friends and family. The earlier you start practicing them the easier it will be when it comes to putting them to use in practical settings. Soon you shall be fielding and deflecting issues like a true Jedi Master.
As always let us know how we can help. May the force be with you.
Do you have other strategies in dealing with the oncoming holidays? We would love to hear about them. Share them here in the comments or on our Facebook page and help support others during these festive yet challenging times.