This week in my coaching group, the topic I presented the ladies with was cravings – it was a fairly appropriate theme as we head into Halloween weekend. I shared with them part of my Tuesday night dinner – Dolmades. Also known as vine leaves…or GRAPE vine leaves as I discovered this week!
So anyway as you can see from the description, I was explaining how these little guys remind me of my dad. We had been talking about how our emotions play into the foods we choose, and for me it’s not just high calorie, unhealthy foods – but as I know full well, if you over consume a food it’s going to be a factor of weight gain.
I hadn’t bought these in a really long time, and happened to see them in the grocery store and grabbed them. I could easily eat the whole tin, but I had three at a time…although there might be four in this image! Lol!
In this moment as I looked at the Dolmades I realised something, the holidays are not tough for me because of the amount of food available in this three month period. Let’s face it there are plenty of unhealthier choices available everyday.
The holidays are harder for me, more so than any other time of year, because they represent a period of time in my life that was incredibly emotional. They are a time of year I had always loved, the trick or treating, the baking, family time, decorating the tree…right up until 2003.
My father passed away on November 4th 2003, and the period of time following his death was tough. I’m an only child and so whilst we had family around, it was just my mum and I. That Christmas we did our very best to enjoy the tree, the decorations, in fact as I sit here and try to remember exactly what happened that December – It’s a blur.
What I can tell you is that each and every November since then, I start to get more emotional around this time of year. I start to reflect and my ‘coping strategy’ is to plan my goals for the year ahead. I don’t set New Years Resolutions, instead I set ‘November Resolutions’ and I implement them now.
I use this time to reflect on what is great in my life, and what I want to achieve in the following twelve months. The reason I do this, is because in the days, weeks, months and years following my fathers passing – I gained over one-hundred pounds. Back in 2003 when I was sixteen, I was a dress size ten, I had been steadily losing weight that year and did it through healthy eating and exercise…I didn’t know what I was doing, but I didn’t follow a diet.
Each winter I didn’t know how to cope with the emotion I was feeling and so I turned to food, and not just any foods, but foods that my dad had loved. I’d over consume marzipan, Stollen cake, shortbread, mince pies, bagels, cookies, Kettle Chips and more. I’d negotiate with myself, that the reason I was buying them was because he had loved them, it made me feel closer to him.
Honestly, I try not to buy these foods now. Emotional cravings are very real for me and I don’t need to reflect on the saddest time in my life, I need to embrace my life now and enjoy the new memories we are creating.
Instead of over consuming at this time of year I choose to reflect on what is amazing in my life, and I start to set myself goals…my ‘November Resolutions’ – because really why wait for January 1st? I like to start planning and implementing now, it maintains my focus on my bigger reason’s why and my number goal every year is to not start January heavier than in October.
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