Ep #165: 2 Simple Steps to Help You With Holiday Meals

In today’s episode, you will discover how to use my simple 2-part process so you can eat without the shame and guilt this holiday season.

In this process you will learn how to decide ahead of time and what to do when you are facing challenges – like a food pusher or feeling grief and loss during this time.

Holidays are meant for fun and joy but for many of us they bring a whole lot of baggage and overeating. You won’t want to miss this episode as I also share simple tricks to help you during your holiday meal.

Featured on the Show:

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women Podcast with Shannan Christensen, episode number 165. Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, fortune 100 executive, and certified life coach, Shannan Christensen.


Hello love. So happy to be back with you. I wanted to do this show today cause I wanted to talk about holiday meals, and I wanna give you just a really simple two-step process. I did this the other day in a coaching call with my bosses and I just love this very simple process to really come into awareness and planning. So much of this work and so much of living your best life is just being aware of your challenges and planning for them. I can’t wait my love.


So I wanna tell you this story about how Thanksgiving used to be for me. This is not that long ago, but a few years ago. And I would, you know, cook for days. You know how it is ladies, if you’re the one who does the cooking, if you’re lucky and you don’t have to, you know, be really grateful for that. But if you’re like me, I cook. My mom used to always cook. And then the last couple to few years before she passed, I kind of took it over. And Thanksgiving for us is lots of family recipes and a lot of cooking. And I would start the day before Thanksgiving and of course cook all day, and then of course on Thanksgiving.


And what it left me feeling was exhausted. And then the meal comes and it lasts, you know, really about 10 to 20 minutes, but we’ll give it 30 minutes. And I would overeat. I would be eating all throughout cooking. So by the time the meal was over and we had dessert, I was just exhausted. My body would hurt, my legs would ache, and I would just wanna take a nap. And I didn’t have a ton of energy to really celebrate and have fun. Now I would, you know, fake it ladies, this is what we do. But it wasn’t the authentic self that I am now when it comes to how I want to feel on Thanksgiving. One of the things that I started was I asked for help.


I know ladies, before I get into the two-step process, I just want to share this with you. You know, I used to think I had to do all the things and now I ask for help. And my daughter-in-law and son, they’ll come over on Wednesday and my grand babies too. It’s so fun. They help me prepare the meal and do the cooking and I don’t have to do it all by myself.


And so if you have someone in your life that can help you, ask them. You’ll be amazed at the response. And when you get help, it helps you to one, have fun and share that with your family or friends. It also, again, is just another tradition that you can create. I just wanted to share that cause I love that. Now what I do, there’s a two-step process and I took some of my bosses through part of this process in the coaching call, but I wanna expand on it and talk really about some of the challenges that you might face and give you some tips on what to do.


So the first part of the process is awareness. And this goes to awareness of what the holiday really means to you and how you want to feel during and after. Just taking a couple minutes and deciding what is important, what do you want to feel? So Thanksgiving is the closest holiday. We celebrate it. For me, I want to feel joy. I want to feel excitement, celebration, and it means just a time for my family to get together and celebrate. It’s also my birthday and my daughter-in-law’s birthday and we always celebrate it on Thanksgiving, and it’s a time for me to celebrate my daughter-in-law, and have fun and you know, laugh and play games and go outside. It’s gonna be gorgeous here. So that’s what the holiday means to me. It really means love and family.


And I want to feel amazing, energetic, I wanna feel joyful. I wanna laugh and have fun. And after I want to feel just excited and content. And what’s important about it to me again, is just the family piece, the love piece. But I wanna add one more thing. I also wanna show up for me. I wanna take care of myself. I want to eat foods that feel good to me. I wanna enjoy some of my favorite Thanksgiving or holiday treats, but I don’t want to overeat them. I don’t want a stomachache. I don’t want to feel stuffed.


And so as I go into this holiday, I just took five minutes and just asked myself three questions. Number one, why is this holiday important to me? Number two, what challenges could I face? Number three, how do I want to feel during and after? These three questions are so powerful because they’re simple and they take about two minutes to answer.


The second part of the process is planning. I ask myself these three questions and then I got into the second part of the process, which is planning and deciding. Planning is an important part of the process because you’re using your thinking brain, your prefrontal, instead of your automatic habit brain or Lizzy. And then you’re deciding, what do I want to eat?


And things like, how many leftover meals will I have? You’re deciding this ahead of time. And what this does is allows yourself to be in an abundant mind and allowance instead of restriction. And when you’re planning and deciding, this is so important, don’t do it with your diet brain. Really think about what do I want to eat? What do I want to enjoy? What’s important to me? When you’re doing that, do that with allowance.


And the next part is what challenges will I face? You know, there’s lots of challenges that you could face. One, you might, when the food is there in front of you, want to overeat it even if you’ve planned ahead of time. So I wanna give you a couple tips during the meal time, what to do, or even as you’re, you know, making the meal, you know, for sure I like to taste things as I’m cooking them because I wanna make sure they’re good. And so what you can do is grab a small plate and put the things on it as you’re cooking, and then you just continue to put that on your small plate so you can just see what you’re eating.


Again, this is about awareness. So if I eat a bite of stuffing, I take that same portion and put it on a small plate. That way I can just be aware of what I’m, you know, that old saying, I think it’s bite licks and taste or something like that. It just gets you into awareness of what you’re eating throughout the day. And then at the meal, I like to actually put smaller portions on my plate, and on my realistic plan I actually on holiday meals, I’ll say, and you can have two plates, two servings. And why I do that is because I start with the smaller portions and then I get up. I get up, I walk around, I maybe start to put some things away, I check in with my family. You know, I just, sometimes I just even get up and just go to the restroom.


That disruption allows me to decide, do I want to go back for the second plate? Now if I did, if I was still hungry, I would allow myself. Sometimes there’s like, oh yeah, I’m a little still a little hungry. I might put a couple more scoops of whatever, stuffing is my favorite, on my plate. But again, it’s allowing myself to be in that awareness and to again, stay in my thinking brain. And it allows me to enjoy myself and enjoy my holiday meals without all of this guilt and shame.


Now, another challenge that I face is I have lots of feelings. Normally on the morning of Thanksgiving, I always feel some sadness and it’s because my mother has passed and it’s usually around my birthday time. And so I feel sad and I allow myself to feel it. I allow myself to feel sad. Usually I’ll write about her and allow myself to cry. And then I go into why I’m grateful that she was my mom and why I’m so grateful that she was in my life. And then it just changes the feeling for me and how grateful I am that she gave me all of these beautiful skills and all these beautiful recipes that I get to share with my family and my grandkids. And what it does is I don’t have to eat and push down the feelings of the loss or the sadness.  And for you, you might be missing family members, you might be missing someone that you love. You might have relationships that are strained right now. And so just allowing yourself to feel it without trying to avoid it.


The third challenge is food pushers. So maybe you’re one where you’re like, oh, I’m going to someone’s house and they want you to eat all the things, right? My solution for food pusher, I am actually one, so is my mom. So I totally understand from the food pusher side, and being on the other side of it, I think it’s just easy to say, oh my gosh, as you’re eating it, I love it. This is so good. And then if you start to feel full, just saying, Hey, I’m feeling so full. Can I take some of this home with me? You know, just helping them to see that you’re enjoying the food that they cooked, and you don’t need to make it a big deal.


I think sometimes we wanna, you know, make it mean that something’s wrong with them or how they’re always trying to push this food on me. You know, all the things we have, all the thoughts we have, and really it’s just they want you to enjoy it. So my simplest trick is really just to tell them how much you love them and you love the food and tell them the truth. You know, I’m feeling full. I know we wanna make it this big deal and come up with stories and all the things. And really you can just say,


you know, I’m feeling so full right now, but I’ll take some home for sure.


My love, in any holiday meal, in any situation, you can eat with abundance and love without restriction, guilt and shame. You can eat until you start feeling satiated or satisfied. You don’t need to cut out your favorite foods. You will also eat this meal again, right? I think sometimes we have these scarcity thoughts like, you know, I’m gonna eat all the things because I’m never gonna have pie again. And just allowing yourself to eat with abundance and love, and check in with your body. Check in with your body and see how you’re feeling. Because it goes back to the first part of the process. How do you wanna feel during and after?


Holidays, for you and me, I have a feeling are just so much more than the food. They’re really about love and enjoyment and being able to spend time with families and friends and folks that we love. So allow yourself to enjoy them. Allow the fun and joy. And I wish you the best holiday season, and I hope that you just laugh and have fun and joy and feel all the other stuff too.


And love, if you wanna take this work deeper, then take my free course, you can head on over to freebosscourse.com and take my free course. All right my love. Bye for now.  Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com. See you next week.



Join the Transform Boss
Weight Loss Program