Wednesday Missive: The Real Reason You Can't Stop "Holidaze" Overeating

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Oh, the love I feel for this boy!  But that love is heavy sometimes too. Read more here.

Hello All, 

I hope you had a warm and festive Thanksgiving weekend! I spent mine traveling to Pittsburgh to meet Micah’s (my partner) extended family.  Not only did we eat two Thanksgiving dinners (complete with pie + whipped cream!), we also found out that Jonah can handle a road trip.  Overall, I’d call our first full family trip a success.

Now, we are moving into the holiday season. For the next month, as a lead up to the winter round of Self Care 101 starting on January 7th, I’m creating a special series of Self Care for the “Holidaze.”  Each week, I’ll discuss a common self-care pitfall that you may experience during the beautiful and often-imbalancing holiday season, and offer a self-care script to help you treat yourself with more compassion and love.

Also, I’ll add in a reason why joining Self Care 101 could help you find long-term peace with your self-care in this area (and many others).

This week, we’re talking about overeating during the holidays.  So many of us struggle with this -- I know I do.  We are surrounded by flaky pies, colorful cookies, big slabs of baked brie and tall glasses of sparkling wine. It’s festive, it’s fun and it’s so yummy.  Something in you wants it so badly. It feels almost impossible to say “no.”

A night of this isn’t a big deal, but it goes on and on.  Soon you feel the effects. Your wake up feeling soggy in the morning, your pants start to fit a bit differently and your skin looks a bit gray when you look in the mirror.  

Internally, you get down on yourself.  Did you really have to eat five cookies? Why did you go back for seconds?  Is your self-control broken?  Do you have to go through this every year?

I wish I could offer you a simple three-step solution to combat holiday overeating.  I could tell you to eat more protein, switch to seltzer, or up your time at the gym.  But you know that already. Why can’t you just do it?

The problem is that we don’t fully understand the problem.  We think we need to fix our out-of-control eating and lack of self-control and finally GET IT TOGETHER.

But what if that’s not true?  What if the only thing we need to fix is our relationship with ourselves?  

These past years of helping women with their self-care have taught me a lot.  I’ve learned that none of our best self-care tips and tricks will work if we don’t start with a baseline of self-love.

We can work really hard to change ourselves, but without self-love we will just be spinning our wheels and drowning in our same struggles. Without self-love we will continue to miss out on enjoying our lives.

  Read when your pants are feeling too tight or when you wake up in the morning angry at yourself again. My hope is that it will help you remember that self-care only works when administered from a kind place in ourselves.

Self-Love Script for Overeating:  

"Ok, I did it again.  I ate too much and I don’t feel good.  Now, I’m beating myself up about it.  I did it because all of those cookies looked so good.  And, you know what?  They tasted pretty good, too.  Really, I couldn’t stop myself because I didn’t want to stop myself. I wanted to eat those good-tasting cookies. Honestly, I’m so stressed out right now.  Cookies make me feel better sometimes. I know I have this idea in my head that I should have better self-control but sometimes I need to eat the cookies.  Also, I feel like I should be thinner.  But what if that isn’t true?  Does being thinner really make my life go better? I remember that time in college after I studied abroad that I lost all that weight.  Did that make all of my problems go away?, I remember still having problems. I know that we vilify overeating and gaining weight in our capitalist culture of perfectionism. This is a rough way to live our lives. I could spend the rest of my life trying to live up to an unattainable ideal of eating “clean” or staying skinny or other forms of perfectionism.  Or I could enjoy myself and go easy on myself when I overindulge. We all overeat, especially around the holidays. Eating too many cookies doesn’t make me a bad person.  I know that that no choice I make could EVER affect my true self-worth.  I’ll resolve to love myself no matter what, and love every cookie I decide to eat. It’s only from this place that I can create a life of real health, inside and out."

Self Care 101 Nudge:

Do you continually struggle with beating yourself up for eating too much?  One of the first things we do in Self Care 101 is understand the difference between “self-improvement” and “self-care.”  So many of us are fighting a losing battle to improve ourselves, which only increases ourself-judgment.  

Automatically beating ourselves up for eating too much = self-improvement  
Taking the time to understand why we make the choices we do and going easy on ourselves in the process = self-care

Self-care is different.  To practice it, we start with our current state of mind and body.  It’s only from that place of accepting ourselves as we are that we invite a sustainable transformation. In Self Care 101, I will guide you away from the struggles of self-improvement and into genuine self-care.  It’s like a sigh of a relief and a warm hug wrapped up in one.  

Want to learn more about how to practice real self-care?  Fill out this application to learn more about joining the next course.  Want to hear a real life testimonial?  Listen to Ruth Ann’s story here.


Ok, that’s all for now, dear!  I wish you unprecedented self-love during this upcoming week of holiday season build-up.  I’ll be back next week with a few ideas on how to use self-love to get a grip on your chronic overscheduling during this time of year.  

With care,


Podcast Alert!

Arielle, who was in my pilot group for Self Care 101, was one of the first ladies who showed me the incredible connection between self-care and self-love.  

Listen to the journey of this yoga teacher and working mother and learn her gentle + curious approach to caring for herself and her family. I was buzzing from inspiration after we finished our conversation!

This is part of the ongoing podcast series on self-love and self-care I’m hosting this fall. Listen and learn how to use self-care to stop looking everywhere for love (because you’ve finally found it in yourself).

Listen to the full podcast here on the Self Care with Gracy Blog

(Or check out past episodes and subscribe on iTunes!)


Self-Care for Overeating/Healthy Body Image Inspiration 

1. I can’t recommend this book and this book by Geneen Roth enough.  Her philosophies on emotional eating have changed my relationship with food and life itself.

2. Max Daniels is a sensible lifestyle coach who helps people stop compulsive eating for good.  I love her weekly newsletter and was honored to record this podcast about dignified eating with her. 

3. This eating philosophy is based on cross-cultural nutritional research by a dentist in the 1930s. It turns out that great dental health and solid nutrition have gone hand-in-hand together throughout space and time. His findings provide a great baseline diet to return to when I dive too deeply into holiday sweets.

4. This body-positive Instagram feed that reminds me that people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful if they make the decision to own their greatness.

5. This inspiring documentary reminds women how truly beautiful they are when they accept their amazing bodies and live life to the fullest.


Self Care 101 Announcement 

Are you ready to change? Do you thrive in groups? Is this your moment?

If so, I want you to join the next round of Self Care 101.  Starting on January 7th, twenty amazing women will work together to create a lifestyle of self-care and a community of support.  I've taken over 200 women through this process and have seen the wonders it will work in your life.  Yes, even you who thinks that you'll never be able to change.  Let's get started. 

Do you want to learn more? Oh goodie!  Please fill out this application and we’ll talk, commitment-free, to see if it’s a good fit.

UPDATE: Five amazing ladies have already signed up!  This round is going to be really good!


A Final Thought

“It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels. We don't want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves." - Geneen Roth