Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How to Avoid the Holiday Over-Eating Blues

As the holiday season gets busy, Christine Kane has some great advice on how to physically survive the parties. In particular, I see point #5 as being very important. I hope you enjoy this!


Office parties. Family gatherings. Neighborhood open-houses. Like it or not, holiday time is party time!

Since the season is here, I want to introduce you to a concept that might just make your holidays a little more enlightened:

overeatingNervous Food.

Nervous Food is my name for any edible thing we shove into our mouths when we're in social situations. Not because we WANT it. But because it's there.

Like the mushroom caps - stuffed with what could easily be described as Alpo. Or the crab puffs that we snarf down, as Hal from HR recites the latest office policy on Instant Messaging.

First, let me be clear: this is not about diets or weight-loss.

This is about going unconscious.

It's about leaving your present-moment awareness back in the comfort of your quiet home.

Here are a few techniques to help you stay conscious and connected in any social situation. Try them, and you might discover that you can leave parties feeling energized and purposeful. Not stuffed and buzzed.

1 - Take a pre-party temperature reading.

Take your "temperature" about social settings.

Are you uncomfortable at parties? Do you eat food without tasting it? Can you talk about anything with anyone? Or do you prefer an intense conversation with one or two people? Do you often feel left out or uneasy? Do you try to be in the know?

There are no right answers. This is to simply get clear about your desires and behaviors, and to honor that clarity. Self-awareness is the starting point.

2 - Set your intentions.

Prior to any social situation, set intentions.

What does this mean?

This means that you create your experience before you walk through the door of the event. It means that YOU set the tone for your whole evening.

Do this before you leave your house. Or while sitting in your car outside the party.

Simply intend who you will BE and what you will DO at this event.

Some examples:

I'm a great listener. I truly taste the food I eat. I delight in other people's passions and interests. I have lots of fun without overindulging. I attract the perfect conversations. I am loved.

Your intention is powerful and will act as sort of a beacon to guide you during the party.

3 - Give yourself permission to say NO

Most of us say a knee-jerk "yes" to every invitation we get without asking ourselves if we really want to go.

Saying no doesn't mean you're saying no to the party or the people. It might mean that you're saying "yes" to yourself.

Maybe you need to go to bed early. Or you want to spend a quiet night writing in your journal.

Sometimes we eat out of distractedness and nervousness because our deepest desires aren't being met. When we ignore our true desires, we might try to compensate by filling up on "shadow desires." Shadow desires often come in the form of food and alcohol.

4 - Attract, Don't Push

Parties can be highly charged. Sometimes we walk through that door and instantly feel ourselves trying to "measure up," or prove ourselves to anyone who seems hip.

If you're familiar with this behavior, try this technique:

Stop and take a breath. Intend that you attract the perfect people to you. Do it with a sense of service, and trust.

Attraction is a powerful principle. You might be amazed at how effortless the party becomes, and how surprising the conversations are! You might hear the perfect solution to a personal challenge. Or you might be an angel to someone who needs a listening ear.

5 - Become an Alcohol-Free Observer

Recently, I opted out of drinking the perfunctory glass of wine at a dinner party. I chose to be present and to simply observe. I actively listened to people and observed the conversations all around me. Not in an aloof way, but in a deep way. I had a great time!

Try it. Forego the alcohol and become an observer. Quietly and non-judgmentally witness your behavior. See how actively you can listen in conversations. Really taste the food on your plate. You might discover a whole new definition of fun!
This is not the typical magazine advice on holiday overeating. But it does work! You really can let the holidays and the Nervous Foods teach you a thing or two about how to create awareness and space, rather than anxiety and over-eating!

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

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