To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain, Feed Your Soul Instead

Anne Redelfs, MD

To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain, Feed Your Soul Instead

December 3, 2020 Uncategorized 0
Sweet Buffet

The holiday season is a time when it is so easy to put on extra weight. In pre-pandemic times, holiday parties served dishes that were heavy in sugar and carbs. That inner child we all have often feels better after a double-fudge brownie or a colorful Christmas cookie. Two or three makes him or her feel even better!

The stress of the holidays may also compel us to eat more than we would normally. After all, it’s a festive time, why not enjoy a little self-indulgence? This information about food availability and stress is common knowledge to most of us. When we listen to our souls, however, there is a lot more to ponder in regard to holiday weight gain.

Whenever we’re overweight, it means psychologically that we are carrying around some heavy burden that we would do well to investigate and resolve. If weight gain is only a problem during the holidays, we may have been seriously hurt during these celebrations in the past. The special decorations, foods, music, and activities may touch on these memories, which we may have forgotten. Our painful unresolved feelings may start to emerge.

Authentic feelings are the nutrition of our emotional bodies. They strengthen and grow our hearts. When our genuine emotions are uncomfortable, as in contrary to our images and overwhelming to our sense of self, we may attempt to stuff these emotions with food. We can overdo the nutrition of our physical bodies in reaction to underfeeding our emotional bodies.

Our seeking-to-expand minds feed on truth. When we deny the traumatic truths of past holidays and their effects on us, we become mentally malnourished in these areas. We may then seek to overfeed our physical bodies in compensation, expanding our waistline instead of our heart and mind.

The foods we overeat are also significant. For example, if we overdo sugary foods, we may be lacking sweetness in our lives. We may also be receiving and/or giving the wrong type of sweetness. For example, excessive sugary words, such as “Luv ya!” or “You’re so wonderful,” can be as hurtful to egocentric people as refined sugar is to diabetics. Some “sugar” is fine, of course, like dessert after a meal. But each “dessert” must be balanced with “whole foods” containing the rest of our nutritional requirements. In regard to what feeds our souls, they require the whole truth of what we genuinely think and feel. This authentic sharing includes helping yourself and others to address the parts of us all that aren’t so lovable or wonderful and need your help to evolve.

We know that too much physical nutrition, particularly of the wrong kind, must be stored somewhere in the body — hello excess fat! As with feeding ourselves, we must be mindful of what we are feeding each part of each person. For example, If we overfeed people’s egos, they “fatten,” leading them to inauthentic feelings of superiority and to prideful thoughts. This false self-esteem can then reveal itself through excessive fat accumulation in physical bodies. The location of this accumulation is significant. Yes, fat can impact far more than our waistlines. For example, if the fat is accumulating in the heart’s vasculature, the emotions are seeking our attention. If a person has had a stroke, the mind is demanding care.

The key to avoiding weight gain or other health problems during the holidays can be as simple as using the song many of us learned in pre-school: Stop, Look and Listen:

Stop. When you feel the urge to grab an extra cookie or eat an unhealthy food, stop and ask your soul what is really needed. Don’t chide yourself, but rather ask with genuine concern for the answer.
Look. Set aside quiet time with yourself to receive an answer. This may be difficult at first if you aren’t practiced in mindfulness or meditation, but starting small – even 5 or 10 minutes, can get you started.
Listen. As your soul prompts you or offers guidance, seek out books, blogs, videos, or professional services that can help you learn about the issue that’s presented, and embrace the authentic feelings and thoughts seeking your attention.

Life becomes so rich and rewarding when we hear these soul communications in our body symptoms. Every moment takes on a vibrancy when we hear the personal help and healing coming our way. May this holiday season be one where you take in this nutrition of the soul with increasing gusto. Understanding and aptly responding to this ultimate message of your overeating, holiday weight gain will become but a memory that will soon be forgotten. (:

Disclaimer: I do not intend for this blog to give medical advice, diagnostics, or treatment. In the joy of the season, I wish to share my learning from my lifetime of experience.

What is a soul gardener?

For much of my life, I’ve enjoyed growing fresh vegetables and herbs as well as plants that feed butterflies, hummingbirds, and nature in general. I find many similarities between gardening plots of land and tending the various aspects of our psychology that together comprise the soul. I call myself a soul gardener because I help you to get the soil of your psyche in good condition and to care for your plants that are in need. As the garden of your life becomes increasingly bountiful and beautiful, others will naturally follow your inspiration.