It’s the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrr (I truly hope you sang that with me!!) I love Christmas, all the cheery songs, the sparkly lights, time with family and friends but for some people this can be there complete worst nightmare. If you struggle with your self confidence and have low self esteem, the festive period can be a time where you spend forever trying to find an outfit that you feel comfortable in to wear to your Christmas party, when finally you settle for another black dress, trusting that old saying "black is flattering". Then when you do actually get there, you look around comparing yourself to every woman in the room and just wishing the ground would swallow you up because you feel like the fattest and ugliest one there. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but does that sound even a teeny bit familiar?
On the run up to Christmas in the past I have taken part in challenges to attempt to lose weight, to find that Christmas confidence, to dazzle everyone at the social gatherings during the festive season. Now, sometimes I found success during these challenges, my light sparkled a bit brighter as the small scale win, gave me a boost of confidence and then after Christmas I’d stand back on the scales I'd have put all the weight on and more, feel down and binge binge binge. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even lose the weight, feel down and binge binge binge and other times I wouldn’t even get over the start line before I felt like I had “failed” at the challenge, feel down and binge binge binge. I’d then pick myself up, dust myself off, make up an excuse for why that diet didn’t work and then I’d be off to start a new one “New Year New Diet” this time it had to work right?! The following Christmas I’d end up at exactly the same place searching for that confidence and happiness within another weight loss challenge.
Secondly, I want you to know that you are not a failure, you may feel like it after having tripped up time and time again, starting diet after diet, challenge after challenge, but diets aren’t supposed to work, they create an unsustainable lifestyle, that they want you to continue on forever, restricting actually sets you up to fail. When you deprive yourself of what you crave and love you are more likely to binge later on than if you let yourself eat without these rules.
Thirdly, you deserve to enjoy your Christmas, to eat what you want without the guilt afterwards, without the negative self talk putting yourself down and calling yourself horrible names. You are not a fat pig for enjoying Christmas dinner. You are not a disgusting slob for not exercising over the holidays. You are allowed to enjoy life, you’re allowed to live in the moment, eat what you want, take a few days off, laugh, love and be happy. You deserve to live all year round, you really do.
It is actually easier for you to stay on the hamster wheel of hating your reflection and feeling like a failure, it isn't easy this whole self love thing, but there are little people who look up to us, we are their role models and they are the future. If you can't do this for you, do it to them, to show them that no matter what they are beautiful just as they are.
I hope you’ll join us on our mission to empower 10,000 women to conquer their body image issues and guide them on their self love journey by the end of 2020, we are on the countdown now and I would be so honoured if you’d join us.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! Here's to a new decade new direction!
With love & gratitude,
Ana Louise Bonasera
Ana Louise Bonasera, mum of 4 boys, girl power enthusiast.