It’s Christmas time. We spend so much time, energy and money on gifts for those whom we love the most during this festive season. I’ve been hearing it all over the radio the last few days; an estimated $52 billion in Australia will be spent on gifts. That’s crazy if you ask me. Think of all the good we could do in the world if we donated just a fraction of this amount to charity. But that’s not what this post is about.
It’s time to take a step back and focus on the most important person in your life, you. In this craze of Christmas cheer and buzz of festivities, have you forgotten yourself?
The gift I’m talking about this festive season won’t cost you a cent. I’m talking about giving yourself the gift of self-compassion. In my mind, this is far more valuable than any tangible gift you may have purchased for yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I too have purchased a few gifts for myself (sorry Alex!). But I am wholeheartedly committed to practising self-compassion for this Christmas and the days, weeks, months and years which follow.
There are a few things which have inspired me to write this post. We are gearing up to the New Year where millions of people will pledge a resolution. One which often involves the latest diet and exercise fad, which doesn’t ever actually work. Because diets do not work. How many times have you tried to go on a diet and ‘failed?’ How many times have you lost weight initially, only to end up gaining more weight in the longer term? It’s not you, it’s the diet. They are unsustainable and put quite frankly, are a money-making scheme by the ‘health industry.’
So please, promise me, no more resolutions about your weight, your diet or your exercise regime. Have a read of wonderful dietitian, Emma Stubbs’ post from a few years ago which gives you six simple ways to live a healthier life without going on a diet. Go on, have a read.
How many of you have recently attended your fitness studio to have the instructor ‘motivate’ you to work harder by alluding you to the Christmas food you will soon devour? For me, I go to pilates to build up my strength and to have some dedicated ‘me time’. It’s this time which enables me to be the best mother I can be to Emilia. It frustrates me to no end, that the one place where I go for my ‘me time’, on occasion succumbs to this diet culture which we live in. I did not attend my class this week to make up for all of the mince pies I would be eating over the festive season (yes this was actually what was said). In fact, I’ve been having mince pies for breakfast and dessert this week because they were kindly gifted to me. Plus they taste down right delicious.
Is this what I usually eat? No.
Does this matter? No.
Do I need to work out to burn off these mince pies? Absolutely not.
Apart from being scrumptious. These mince pies give me the energy to keep up with my (almost) toddler. These mince pies were kindly gifted from A & B and eating these makes me feel grateful for their friendship and love. Eating these mince pies brings me satisfaction and joy.
That’s what this festive season should be about. It shouldn’t be about how many calories you are consuming. It shouldn’t be about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you have been with your food choices.
Let’s stop labelling food as if it has morals. Food is just food. Plain and simple. You are neither good nor bad if you eat a nectarine, mince pie, roast turkey or a bowl of quinoa. You are still you. Those around you love and care for you irrespective of your weight, your exercise regime and your food choices.
Isn’t it about time you gave yourself this same courtesy?
Isn’t it about time you gifted yourself some self-compassion?
Wishing you all a deliciously, enjoyable, safe, family-filled Christmas and New Year.
Love Tessie xx
Emilia’s facial expression upon meeting Santa for the first time was similar to mine when my Pilates instructor told the class to work harder to counteract the mince pies they would consume.