Keeping Things in Perspective During the HolidaysBy: Warren Huberman, Ph.D.
Holiday season is upon us and it’s time for the 3 “F’s”… friends and family, festivities, and food. My message to you is quite simple…keep the last “F” in perspective.
This is the season when we give thanks, cherish our friends and loved ones, share experiences, have fun, give gifts and look forward to the promise of the new year. Food and eating is intertwined with all of these activities, but should be neither “THE” activity nor “THE” focus.
Each of us would probably love nothing more than to stop thinking about eating, food or (most of all) our weight. During this time of year, focus on enjoying your loved ones and the opportunities to celebrate the season. This is what life is really about so try to enjoy every moment. Sure, continue to watch what you eat and don’t let things get too out of hand during the season of fruitcake and chocolate covered everything… but even if you do, just let it go. It’s really not that important. If you eat too much one moment, just begin anew the next…don’t make the mistake of making yourself miserable over a stupid piece of cake.
I promise you that twenty-five years or more from now, when you’re older and grayer….you’re going to tell yourself that you should have enjoyed your loved ones and all of the opportunities you had to spend with them even more than you did. I guarantee that when you’re rocking in your rocking chair you will not be telling yourself that you should have spent more time focusing on your weight and you’re certainly not going to lament about the extra scoop of mashed potatoes that you ate on Thanksgiving in 2008!
If per chance the holidays are a painful or lonely time, make every effort to begin new traditions with new people. You don’t have to allow every holiday season to be a reminder of those you have lost or memorable times gone by. Every town and community has holiday social events that you can plug into. It requires some work, but things can absolutely be different if you make the effort to make it so.
So, should an errant chocolate melt-away or piece of pecan pie or turkey drumstick wind up in your belly by mistake, keep things in perspective. Don’t condemn yourself for hitting a bump in the road en route to whatever weight loss goal you are pursuing….that just leads to self-hatred and more eating. Let it go, give yourself a break and most importantly….enjoy your loved ones and the holiday season. Happy holidays!
Dr. Huberman is a Clinical Psychologist with a practice in cognitive-behavior therapy in New York City. He is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. He is an Affiliate Psychologist at the NYU Langone Medical Center and NSLIJ-Lenox Hill Hospital. Dr. Huberman is a consulting psychologist to the NYU/Langone Weight Management Program. He is the author of the New book “Through Thick & Thin: The Emotional Journey of Weight Loss Surgery.”
For more information, visit warrenhuberman.com.