Don’t Let This Season Twist You into a Pretzel!
It’s that time of year again: The malls! Parking! The food! The checkout lines! The Traffic! The food! Holiday eating!


Yes, I did mention food twice, because–for some people with eating issues, body issues, emotion-triggered eating and the like–food can be just as challenging an issue in this chaotic holiday shopping season as anything else. The combination of stress and self-imposed mandates to resist temptation (I want to get a pretzel, but I really shouldn’t!) just adds to the stress of an already challenging time.


Walking into a store or mall around this time of year is an experience verging on complete sensory overload. The swarms of people, the music and crowd noise, the fact that you can actually feel the building shake from all the commotion if you stop for a moment to catch your breath; no wonder the treats for sale all around the place feel so tempting. Whether some goodie catches the eye on impulse, or at the end of a hard-fought shopping excursion there is a feeling that a food treat reward is in order, this time of year is unique.


Many people have asked me for help; some sort of way to avoid yielding to temptation, and my answer is… why?
Why not give yourself permission to have a treat if you want, or not get a treat if you’d just as soon wait? The only strategy I do recommend is that you eat a healthy well-balanced meal before hitting the stores, so if you choose to grab a muffin it’s as a treat and not as your meal. My point is, this time of year is unique, so don’t add food to the list of stresses.
Why give a pretzel that sort of power over you? Just listen to the wisdom of your body and act accordingly. It’s a good strategy, regardless of the time of year.
And remember: no matter the stuff you buy, the best present you can give those you love is simply being present.