Creating Healthy Habits
We are coming into a time of year that is about celebration and it seems that, culturally, we attach this celebration to excess. Many people are already having the conversation in their head about how they are just going to ‘let go’, ‘forget it all’ and enjoy the festivities to the max. Statistically, there is going to be a greater chance that we will put on weight and act in a way that goes against the principles of eating well. There is also the chance that as we get older, this weight will be more difficult to shift, and the ability to return to a way of eating well becomes more difficult. So is there a way of breaking this cycle?
What I find most interesting about the psychology of ‘letting go’ over the run up to Christmas and during the holidays, is that it is based on the idea that we ‘hold it together’ for the rest of the year. It implies that we spend the rest of the year in some sort of personal straightjacket, one in which we deny our desires around the foods we eat and the lifestyles we choose.
Much of it comes down to the relationship we have with ourselves and the relationships we have with our bodies. If we find ourselves in a constant state of denial, we also find ourselves constantly trying to break free of these rules and constraints.
I often find this struggle, this struggle between good and bad, this struggle between letting go and being good, is almost palpable when I met someone. The people I often meet are exhausted and worn out with the battle they are having with themselves every moment of every day in creating healthy habits. The energy that is consumed in fighting with themselves and their actions, could be energy that is instead on creating a healthier relationship to themselves and the world they live in.
What would happen if we decided to drop the battle? What would happen if we decided to take some of the pressure off ourselves, some of the pressure to be perfect and right and good? Chaos, disorder, uncontrolled eating habits? Who knows, but until we start acting in a kinder more loving way towards ourselves, we may never know what that potential is.