At a Christmas party, two guests are standing by the buffet. One has their plate piled high with food. The other has cleverly taken a Buffet Tour and has selected only the food they really wanted. The first guest is eating very quickly, the other is taking their time and savouring their selection.
It’s a good old-fashioned Christmas meet-up with family, friends and acquaintances.
So who’s here? There’s your aunt who tries to emotionally manipulate you. There’s that old family friend who always makes inappropriate remarks about your body. Over there’s your cousin who never fails to give you “helpful” diet tips. She’s talking to your mother who’s giving you “that look”.
And there’s you – mindlessly eating mince pies in an attempt to deal with the stress and misery.
A friend is having a Christmas get-together. The house is decorated, the tree is trimmed and in the middle of the room a table groans under the weight of an impressive buffet.
There’s everything you could imagine: sausage rolls, veggie vol-au-vents, smoked salmon pinwheels, stuffed peppers, bread, salads and olives, not to mention those little cheesy ball things you just can’t resist (apparently this buffet is from 1974).
In the kitchen, an array of cakes and puddings is waiting to be brought out once the savoury course is finished.
What do you do?
You’ll notice things are a little different on the blog this month. The usual features are being replaced with a series of festive-themed posts to help you through the holiday season.
And before the festivities really begin to ramp up, why not stop and take a breather?
Think about how the past 12 months have been for you and consider what you want next year.
It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you binge. Especially if you begin to suffer health complications as a result of increased weight.
“It’s my fault”, you say. “I’ve brought this on myself”.
Except you haven’t.
“One way to encourage clients to accept themselves is to remind them that it is human to err and make mistakes. This will enable them to see themselves as human and learn to replace self-judgement with humility and laughter, rather than being crippled by shame. When clients are able to laugh rather than become embarrassed by awkward situations, they are able to redefine their experience and maintain social bonds. In this way, good-natured humour and laughter has a positive effect in disrupting the cycle of shame (Scheff 1990). Moreover, shared laughter is quintessentially human and a powerful tool for connecting to others.”
– Christiane Sanderson, “Counselling Skills for Working with Shame”
I saw a quote the other day that stopped me in my tracks:
Its stark simplicity hit me hard.
It’s absolutely true. If children are criticised relentlessly, they don’t start hating their parents, they start hating themselves.