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Breaking Free

We hope that everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a lovely day, or at the very least, a manageable holiday. Time with the family isn’t always easy, it can be fraught with emotional landmines and way too many topics that are better left untouched. Which leads us to the topic of how best to navigate the remainder of the Holiday Season.

It is currently the beginning of December and already the ads on YouTube, where we still download almost all the classes we exercise to, are already diet and detox based. This drives us up the proverbial wall! Why are we still bombarded with the idea that food as a whole is evil, that there is good food and junk food?

Eating well and exercising has become this elitist, bougie experience in the United States. It is a further divide between the haves and have nots. Food that is cheap and filling are what those on a limited budget look for. But what is cost effective is often not products recommended by the health industry as healthy, but that in and of itself is a huge issue!

Tips on eating well on a budget during the Holidays (and the whole year through):
1. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is accepted just about anywhere these days, including some Farmer’s markets!
2. Soups are an amazing way to use frozen, fresh and canned veggies, along with cheaper cuts of meat to produce a tasty, low cost and filling meal.
3. Shop ingredients that are in season and compare prices online. One of the best things to come from the pandemic is low cost or free store pickup and delivery services-while incredibly convenient, the other added benefit is that you know exactly how much you are spending, meaning no surprise costs at the register!

It sometimes is as simple as reminding myself that my body is a good body, that all bodies are good bodies. -Amanda Levitt

Tips on Staying Emotionally Fit during the Holidays:
1. Only say yes to events and parties that you truly want to be at. If you must attend something you don’t want to go to, such as a Holiday work party, show up, take a picture and tag the event if your company is big on that sort of thing, mingle and then make your apologies.
2. Find ways to clear your mind and relax during all the hustle and bustle this month. Try yoga, meditation, walking, using gift bags instead of wrapping, buying gift cards or experiences instead of a million little presents, book a trip away from family if the thought of going home makes you want to panic.
3. Say yes to alone time and time spent with people you love. Listen to Christmas music, spin the Dreidel, bake family recipes or recipes that entice you online, it doesn’t have to be photo worthy, it can be a bunch of people lounging in their PJs watching a “White Christmas,” it just has to bring you joy.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. -Nicolas Chamfort

And lastly, how to shut down any and all Karen’s and Ken’s (according to Google the male form of a Karen is Ken and Google is never wrong!) from fat shaming or food shaming you:
1. If anyone starts to comment on your body, shut them down immediately by singing any and all songs by Lizzo, in a pinch download and hit play. In all honesty literally interrupt and say, “I'm going to stop you right there, my body is amazing and I am sorry if your body image was messed up by Barbie and the patriarchy, but honey, this lovely skin bag and internal skeleton is off limits for discussion purposes, FOREVER.” BAM!!!!
2. If someone comments on something you are eating, reply, “What I put into my body and do to my body is my choice, I would ask you not to comment, thanks!”
3. If you are recovering or are actively working on recovering from an eating disorder, let your family or hosts know. Let them know eating around others might not be possible, or you cannot have anyone comment on how much or how little you are eating and if that is in any way uncomfortable or not enforceable, then you politely decline their holiday invitation.

I am forever engaged in a silent battle in my head over whether or not to lift the fork to my mouth, and when I talk myself into doing so, I taste only shame. I have an eating disorder.
-Jena Morrow, Hollow: An Unpolished Tale

The Holidays can be a very challenging time in spite of the lights and presents, our pictures may look perfectly curated and make it seem like life is blissful, but behind closed doors, we might really need some support. That is what we do, we are here for you, 24/7 365 days a year. Asking for support doesn’t make you weak, but in fact makes you a stronger, more well rounded person.

To better and brighter days ahead,
Team SG

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