The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

Eating Through the Holidays

Oh, the junk I ate over the holidays! My refrigerator was stuffed full of cookies, dips, biscuits, macaroni and cheese, my pantry crammed with Fritos, Hawaiian potato chips, and candy.

Granting myself my usual holiday dispensation, I pretty much ate all day, every day throughout the month of December. I was so crazed that at one point I decided that keeping a bowl of M&Ms available would cut down on my excess eating because I could substitute them for other sweets. You can imagine how well that worked.

There’ve been times in my life when holidays weren’t the only time I ate like this, 15 years ago I weighed over 200 pounds. During the process of losing all that weight I found another part of me, a strong, disciplined and stable version of myself. I discovered a self that can control what I put in my mouth, can toss the left over chips and cookies in the trash, a self that chooses salad rather than a fattening dish when I go out for dinner.

My cookie-eating self lives in reaction, it eats junk simply because it’s there, or because sweets are my comfort food, or, really, for any reason at all. On the other hand, my adult self, my best self, chooses foods carefully. It uses the judgment that’s been crafted and fine-tuned throughout my life, developed as I learned from my mistakes and dealt with my baggage. My best self chooses what will support me in the long run, not what feels good for a minute.

We all have this duality – the reactive, thought-free self and the clear-sighted, measured self. And we have access to both at any given moment. We’re continually choosing which self we listen to, we’re always deciding which self will make our choices.

So, although I was able to ignore my best self over the holidays, today it’s firmly back in control. It’s got me in detox for the sweets and back to my reduced-fat Wheat Thins. And that’s the beauty of our best self. No matter how much we neglect it, or convince ourselves that it’s ok to ignore it, it’s always right there when we’re ready for it.

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