How to Celebrate the Holidays and Agonize Less


Holiday Star Hanging from Tree

Coulda, shoulda, woulda — all those things you tell yourself about your struggles with weight loss become a club to beat yourself with. During the holidays, there are lots of temptations and many stresses that can tip you over into the agony cycle. When your frustrations overwhelm you, it increases the odds that you’ll reach for the ice cream or chocolate chip cookies to make yourself feel better — and start the cycle all over again. Save yourself from the agony of agonizing by learning new ways to think.

Use the “Stop!” command. As soon as your thoughts start down the agony trail, say “Stop!” (you can even say it out loud). Then tell yourself something positive instead. How about, “I can learn from my mistakes and keep my focus on the healthy behaviors that will help me lose weight?” Now, take a deep breath; when you breathe out, see yourself breathing out all the negativity and agony. Create a mental picture of something beautiful or soothing. Focus on the picture until you feel calmer.

The holidays are a time for celebration, but there are plenty of other ways to celebrate besides food. Take extra time to pamper yourself with a long, sudsy bubble bath. Watch a classic holiday movie and play Christmas carols while you do housework. Write a special Christmas letter to the wonderful people in your life. Spend time with friends who really support your weight loss goals. A trusted confidante can catch you when you start down the agony trail and gently bring your focus back to your goals. Friends and family are what make the celebrations meaningful. At Metabolic Research Center, we know all about the agony trail, and we’ll help you get off.

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