Are you afraid of Christmas cookies?

Hey there,

Two weeks ago, a girlfriend shared how she’d been invited to a cookie exchange with a bunch of super cool women but didn’t want to go because she was afraid of being around all the cookies.

Whoa. Cookies instilling fear?

Then I remembered one particularly painful Christmas cookie baking session from a few years ago.

It was ugly. So ugly. 

I’d physically made myself sick from eating too many cookies. Sick in a way I’d never experienced before.

My tummy ached and was distended beyond belief. There was nausea. My skin was on fire and a rash had broken out all over my neck. And I was buzzing, literally. My body was vibrating from all the sugar and adrenaline and cortisol.

I was a mess, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Cue the negative self-talk. I berated myself, said ugly nasty things and lived through a state of self- assault lasting three solid days. It was untenable. And so mean. And beyond destructive.

Since then, I’ve done a lot of work around my thoughts about food. A lot. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s cookies or chocolate or pigs in a blanket, our thoughts trip us up and we get lost in the spin. 

Since consumption and opportunity are in abundance this time of year, here are a few strategies to help as you navigate the many delights presented.

  • Make a plan ahead of time and honor your commitment to yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 or 20, have all you want but when you’ve reached that point, game over. There’s safety and comfort in having a set amount of having some vs. none (because deprivation and restriction will send your brain over the edge). And you’ll build self-confidence by keeping your word to yourself.
  • Shift your focus. We go where we focus, so shift away from that “thing” and look elsewhere, literally. Focus on what you want (connection, conversation, joy) and not what you don’t want (overindulgence).
  • Make it special. Now, when I have cookies, it’s a moment. I carefully select the ones, plate them, find a quiet and tranquil place, and savor each bite. There’s no ravaging over the platter while standing up. I’m in the moment. And when it’s over, that’s it. I am mindfully fulfilled.
  • If you do end up tango-ing with fill-in-the-blank, invoke a serious dose of self-compassion. Beating yourself up only makes things worse. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to your BFF or your daughter or your inner 4 year-old self. Be kind to yourself, extend grace and true understanding. You had a moment, you’re human, it’s over, now move on. 

Hope this helps, even if it’s to know others have had similar experiences. 

Hugs and love and peace.
Stacey (+ Sarah)

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