Finish the Year With a Bang

So it’s December. Christmas and New Year is just around the corner. By now, everyone is likely wearing cozy sweaters, frumpy pants, and the thought of beaches and bikinis is a lifetime away. So what’s the big deal if I “enjoy the holidays” and indulge like the majority of the population?

Because, you will regret it; you’ll regret it as you go back for thirds, or double up the desserts, and you binge watch Netflix.

This time of year is a perfect time of year for excuses:

  • It’s too cold outside.
  • There’s a family/friend/office party to go to.
  • I’m not showing skin, so who cares.
  • It’s the only time of year I indulge.

I call bullshit. If you are using these excuses, then you’re looking for an excuse.

I know, I know – I’m one to talk. I’m aware of my deficiencies and I’m working on it, but I’m actually looking forward to this holiday season. Yes, we don’t have any family here, so at least we don’t have dinners and parties and everything. It’s just the two of us. As well, my husband will be off the whole time I’ll be off and he’s really good at “policing” what we have in the house. As well, since he’ll have about 3 weeks until he goes off to basic training, we’ll be going to the gym a lot so he can get used to physical fitness again.

So why should you continue working towards your goals?

Firstly, there’s no doubt that the holidays can be an insanely busy and stressful time of year. Honestly? I was really starting to hate the holidays. When there’s several families vying for attention, even the “if we don’t see you at Christmas, it’s not a big deal”, it still is a big deal. We’ve had some ridiculous holidays that were insanely stressful – so being 4700 km away is a bit of a relief! We love all our families, but let’s face it – holidays are stressful! So having an outlet to deal with the stress is essential!

Second, your body will thank you for not over indulging. Over consuming on alcohol, extremely rich foods, and sweets will play havoc, not only on your waistline, but also on your psyche. The whole “you are what you eat” is pretty accurate – and if you eat foods you’re not used to, you’re likely going to feel like shit physically and that will affect you mentally and emotionally. And the whole “tryptophan turkey coma” is shit; the amount of turkey you normally eat is not enough to affect you. Changes are the whole “turkey coma” you feel is simply from over eating – period!

And thirdly, if you have goals – whether they’re fitness related or wanting to lose weight, not over-indulging will help keep you on track. If you stop going to the gym and eat like shit for the whole month, it’s going to be really hard to get back on track in January – and, no, that’s not what January is for. MANY people use January as the start of a new diet, a new exercise program, a time to better themselves – “New Year, a New You!”

… I’m surprised I haven’t seen more of those promotions popping up all over my feed! Maybe they were waiting until the Black Friday weekend to be over….

Now, keep in mind, there is a fine line between diet culture behavior and health/diet awareness. It’s not like I’m saying to avoid everything – just be smart about it. And I don’t mean to keep working out during the holidays as “punishment” of over-indulging or in preparation of over-indulging.

The thing is, lots of people make a BIG deal about this time of year – and a lot of the meaning behind Christmas has been lost. A lot of people DO use it as an excuse to over indulge… but there doesn’t need to be! For us, my husband and I, it’s “just another day”. Most of the time we don’t even get each other gifts. Yes, when we lived in BC, we had the stress of the 3 days around Christmas (Eve, Xmas, and Boxing Day) as it’s always been a juggling act on those days… but now our only stress is remembering to call our families and being mindful of the time difference! Last year was just the two of us – and it was fantastic! Not because we didn’t want to see everyone, but because we didn’t have the stress.

All the calendar is, is a breakdown of time into measureable units. Everything is based on the cycles of the moon and the seasons. These “special days” marked on a calendar were created so long ago that they have changed from their original meaning or created by marketers for economic “progress”. Ultimately, all these holidays are days like any other – and your body doesn’t know the difference! So when you “let go” and enjoy the holidays, it will stress your body whether you realize it or not. Instead of “being good” year round and then having a month long bender, enjoy your life year round; have chocolate dipped strawberries on Valentine’s Day, a slice of cheesecake on your birthday, a slice of pie at Thanksgiving, and a slice of yule log at Christmas – or because it’s Tuesday!

Yes, Christmas is special – the spirit of the season and everything… but don’t forget to put yourself on your list and make sure it’s not the bottom of the list! You don’t need to do anything out of obligation if it’s going to harm your peace of mind. You don’t have to attend every party you’re invited to. You don’t have to buy everyone a gift. You don’t have to go into debt or gain 20+ lbs.

Do something good for YOU – because you deserve it!

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