So This Is Christmas…

Filed Under: Holiday Eating

19 December 2021 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

After almost two years the pandemic is dragging on and our resilience is dwindling. Christmas is approaching and many of us want and need togetherness with our loved ones more than ever before. We’re in the middle of a bumpy ride and just as we come up for air, it seems that there’s more turbulence around the corner. In addition to this, preparing for the festive season can be stressful.

This is the second Christmas that will be different for many of us. If this Christmas is likely to be easy for you and there are no difficulties, celebrate this and enjoy this time!

But for those of us who may be struggling, what do we do if we don’t feel “merry”? What if you are approaching this Christmas season with worry and fear for the future and sorrow for what has happened this past year?

You may be spending time with family where dynamics are tense, stressful and unpredictable. There may be unrealistic demands on you. All of these holiday stressors can lead to overeating. Given that this time is so strange with the ongoing pandemic, many emotions might come up. And of course with that, triggers to overeat. Eating is a way to distract ourselves from uncomfortable feelings. It’s a way to offer ourselves comfort and pleasure and a way to avoid pain. People eat emotionally in response to unmet needs and right now, we are living in an unusual and difficult time. Most of us are experiencing many unmet needs. Our core human needs include safety, security and human connection which are all seriously lacking these days.

Right now it’s so important to attend to our needs and to stay present to the teachings of the season.

No matter the challenges we face, let us not forget that Christmas is also a time of birth, of life and of hope. Christmas is a time of miracles. It’s about believing and having faith. The stories that surround Christmas show us that even when things are dark there is light and hope.

With everything that has happened and whatever the circumstances around your Christmas, as we celebrate very differently this year, let’s count our blessings and be grateful for the gift of special and ordinary moments. “I hope it’s a good one, without any fear” as John Lennon sings. Let us believe and retain our hopes and dreams of a brighter future.

Warmest wishes to all who celebrate, for a peaceful and blessed Christmas.

Wishing you peace and joy in this time,

Needing support with eating in the holidays? Here are some resources that can help you eat with more freedom and ease:

“From our first meeting - two faces on Zoom across the world from each other, there was a sense of familiarity and comfort that was a healing balm for a lifetime of food struggles and dieting. Without realizing how much damage I had done to myself by adhering, for decades, to restrictive food plans and rigid diet programs, Xen had a way of redirecting the harsh and negative self-talk and sending me forth each week with compassion, mindfulness and a new way of seeing myself in the here and now. Gone are the maybe somedays, and if-only, and when-I’m-smaller thinking. Now I am committed to the imperfect and rocky path to listening to my body, accepting my perfect imperfections, and rejecting diet mentality. Those negative voices will revisit me from time to time, I know, but Xen has offered valuable tools for meeting each day as a fresh start - another choice, another chance. Her devotion to this work and her belief in her clients is a remarkable gift; I am so fortunate to have found her. It is never too late to let go of the drama and embrace joy, ease and self-acceptance.”

Karen L, Denver, USA

“I felt hopeless and helpless in my daily struggle with mindless eating for many years. Then I found Xen which is exactly what I needed! My decision to work with her helped me to finally repair my relationship with food. It's changing my life for the better, one day at a time. Now I have control over the food, instead of it having control over me, which is the way it should be. I highly recommend Xen to anyone who has a desire to overcome similar food struggles. Xen, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

Karen J, Colorado, USA

“I reached out to Xenia because 2021 started on a tumultuous note for me. Between deaths, businesses suffering, hospitalizations, and job losses in our personal circle, I felt depleted and found myself being available for everyone but myself. Then I was hit with an unexpected health diagnosis, which was the last straw as it meant giving up “healthy foods” and workouts that I leaned on for my well-being and stability. Despite working in wellness (Yes, coaches and healers are vulnerable too!), I found myself reaching out to desserts for comfort. I like to live a life of permissions (not labels or deprivation leading to bingeing), so I wanted to work with someone who approached healing from a place of mindful compassion. I didn’t want to be my own client. Xenia was great in reminding me to be kind to myself. Working with her, brought me peace and helped shift my mindset. I love how desserts and I look at each other now.”

Sweta Vikram, New York, USA

“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

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“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating