Earlier this week, I may or may not have done a little experiment at my own kitchen table. Ahem. My son had cleaned his plate and my daughter was complaining over hers. This was a perfect opportunity and I just couldn’t resist.
Circumstance: Sweet Potatoes with Dinner.
My son, “Yay! Sweet potatoes! I can’t wait!”
My daughter, “YUCK! Sweet potatoes! Do I have to??”
My son felt excited and happy about dinner.
My daughter felt frustrated and angry about dinner.
My son ate his dinner in record time.
My daughter picked at her dinner endlessly and was the last one with food still on her plate.
I’m sure you are shocked at how that played out.
Maybe this scenario has happened in your house too??
But here’s the fun part. After we talked through each one’s thoughts, feelings and actions do you know what happened? Well, first off, everyone laughed. (Phew!) But, then my daughter perked up, and ate all her sweet potatoes. #parentingwin (Ok, maybe she knows Santa is coming too – I’ll take all the cards.)
During the holidays, when you are navigating food sensitivities or a gut healing protocol or just trying to not indulge in all the sugar there is one thing even more important than avoiding certain foods. Managing your thoughts about said circumstances.
When working to have a better belly for your future fabulous you, it takes some work. It takes some avoidance of certain foods and introduction of other foods that may or may not be your favorite. But all of those things are really just the circumstances you are in right now. The circumstances are not good or bad, just neutral. The only way they become good or bad is what you THINK of them.
This isn’t meant to last forever. You aren’t necessarily avoiding the gingersnaps and eggnog for the rest of your life – but perhaps this season. We often think that avoiding certain foods = deprivation. But what if we flipped that thought on its head and instead looked at this season as one to really nourish and take care of YOU?
You get to choose the thoughts you have around your current food sensitivities and those thoughts will dictate your feelings and your actions. If you think your food sensitivities are limiting and frustrating, you are going to feel crummy, depressed and boxed in. With thoughts of despair and frustration, there isn’t much motivation to avoid the cookies and cake. Next thing you know, you’re eating the foods that hurt you. Then you really do feel lousy.
Choose a Different Thought.
Instead, think of what you are rebuilding in your body. Liken your belly to that of a castle with crumbling walls and sleepy knights (leaky gut). Anyone and anything can come into the castle walls, because no one is on guard and the wall is falling apart. The castle quickly becomes overrun. Now visualize the knights waking up and patching those crumbling walls, placing tight-fitting stones together and even planting beautiful vining roses around the perimeter. All of this to protect and take care of the beautiful queen: YOU.
As you head into this holiday season, notice your thoughts around food. What are you telling yourself? Do you like it? Are those thoughts helping you? You get to choose your thoughts. Isn’t that great? So choose wisely.