As we said last week, Thanksgiving is “Food Olympics”and the beginning of a fun and tricky holiday season, especially in moments when we’d like to pump the brakes after our meal and leave the dinner table.
Last week we talked about the value of planning. Today we need to talk about what happens when the plan.. well… doesn’t go according to plan.
Because Buddies, unless we talk about this, I fear we will go into our old habit of CATASTROPHIZING. You know what I mean: you’re at Thanksgiving, plan in hand, and all of a sudden a bite of marshmallow-sweet-potato-
casserole is in your mouth and down your throat. It happens, right? And usually, our reaction to that is to make this situation worse! Am I right? “I’ve already had a bite of the marshmallows, so pass the stuffing and please don’t forget the pecan pie, with a solid serving of whipped cream!”
These reactions to our errors is akin to getting a flat tire, getting out of the car, slicing all four tires and torching the car. We have a tendency, with our behaviors, to make a less-than-ideal bite turn into a pretty harmful night of eating. And that night can span into days, weeks and years. And we’ve worked too hard to let that happen, right Buddies?
How do you calm that inner saboteur and make your Thanksgiving catastrophe-free? That, as we say at Beacon, is a problem to be solved. And it stars our dear friend and fave skill: Harm Reduction. Harm Reduction helps you to REDUCE THE HARM: it’s the practice of turning on your brain to prevent little errors from turning into big, shameful, icky, bloated catastrophes.
If you remember one thing, Buddies, remember this: No matter where you find yourself and with what spoonful you become conscious again, there is always time to reduce the harm. Here are my three favorite harm reduction skills:
STOP. No seriously, stop. The STOP skill is BOSS. It’s a quick check in for you to find your very best self amidst the chaos: S: Stop. T: Take a step back. O: Observe yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, your surroundings and then P: Proceed mindfully – find that wisest mind and let it drive again!
Step away from the Pecan Pie. Literally. Such an underrated skill. When the pie and the fresh baked bread is talking to you, or when you’ve had a sordid romance with it, walk away and regroup. It’s underrated because we often don’t pay enough attention to how triggered and lit up our brain gets by being in the presence of these foods and how useful a little reprieve can be for how to stop eating. Getting out of harms way – literally – can help you get right back on track.
Everything is reparable. Let me remind you over and over and over. And probably next week too. You can be doing something at 5:00 and be doing something totally different at 5:01 – it is really that simple. So if you find yourself with your hand in the m&m’s bowl at 3:30, your hand can be out of it and in a better skill at 3:31. Learning how to stop eating when you want to is a muscle you have to grow and develop through the use of handy-dandy skills. #pinkyswear #yougotthis