Navigating the Trigger Minefield of The Season
Staying confident in your body
The holidays can sure put a lot of pressure on us to be cheerful. For those of us who may be struggling to find our happiness or to reclaim our sense of self- worth, the holidays can also feel like a minefield of triggers just daring us to take the wrong step.
This holiday season, we can all do better. This year, you have permission to enjoy the pumpkin pie or that second helping of your preferred plant- based holiday roast. You have permission to put a little sugar in your coffee and butter on your bread. Just in case you needed someone to tell you, here it is in print. You are allowed to take part in the plentiful holiday feasts ahead of you. And it’s even okay to enjoy them, too.
No matter how many magazine articles might try to convince us otherwise, a single meal’s worth of food will not make a lasting difference on our bodies. The idea that your holiday feasts will follow you to whatever New Year’s resolutions the diet industry would like us to have, is ridiculous. It’s no mystery why we fall victim to this cycle again and again - at the holidays, we feast. Come January, we diet. It’s a vicious cycle of expectation.
In spite of our culture’s focus on food this time of year, the holidays are not meant to be about what sits on our table. Rather, it’s about those who sit around it. Let’s take the emphasis off of what’s for dinner. Let’s take the power away from food. Let’s reclaim the meaning of celebration and finding something better to be thankful for than the food on our plates.
With so much going on this time of year, it is of utmost importance to remember to treat our bodies with kindness.
Little eyes look to us in admiration and mimic what they see. If we can remember to love our bodies - even if we’re only pretending to - with all their lumps and bumps and lines and curves and appreciate the ways in which our bodies house us and protect us, not only will we have a better holiday but we will be able to teach those around us that the amount of space our bodies take up isn’t the most important thing about us. We can protect our young ones from Diet Culture for another year’s worth of celebrations. We can impart a healthy association with what nourishes our bodies and honors our well- being.
This season, be compassionate and forgiving with yourself. Remember that a slice of pumpkin pie is not a bargaining chip. The only person’s permission you truly need in order to enjoy yourself is your own.
Heather Stadler is a writer and an educator who is passionate about animals, humans and rights for all beings. When she’s not educating children or problem- solving at the coworking space where she works, she advocates on behalf of animals by leading tours at Catskill Animal Sanctuary and writing for her blog, Official Fat Vegan. Heather believes in inclusionary veganism, meaning folks of all sizes, colors, genders and background are equal parts in this movement. Basically, there› s no wrong way to have a body and there is no wrong way to be vegan. Her blog focuses on body positivity and promotes veganism as a celebration of life.
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Be Merry. Be Thankful. Be Joyful.