We’ve run a lot of posts with tips and tricks to not gain weight this holiday season, and will continue to do so as Christmas and the New Year approach. But the other day, while all bundled up walking my dog (when I seem to do much of my accidental deep thinking), it dawned on me. It’s not Thanksgiving or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Christmas that are making us—I’m gonna say it!—fat.
It’s not the extra helping of stuffing, the special glass of egg nog or that holiday ham. It’s not even the Christmas cookies dipped in milk or the glass of champagne that we toast with to ring in the New Year. In fact, it’s not the holidays’ fault at all.
It’s the damned rest of the year.
It’s those times when we eat like it’s a holiday for no apparent reason on a Tuesday night at Ruby Tuesday’s. Or when we eat out of stress, boredom or loneliness. Or when swinging by the drive-thru and ordering something like this is the norm, not the greasy, indulgent exception. Or when we, night after night, don’t love ourselves enough to step away from the television and move our bodies as they were intended to move.
I know I’m totally preaching to the choir here. After all, you’re here reading this because you get how an active and healthy lifestyle can help enrich your life or you’re in the process of learning and discovering how it can. When we enjoy “unhealthy” foods during the holidays mindfully and in enjoyment—not in secret or in shameful bites—it doesn’t hurt our diets or explode our waistlines. It’s life. And life is really awesome when you live it. At the end of the day (or the year), Grandma’s pie isn’t the problem. It’s the other 11 months of the year.
So this holiday season, I encourage you to only eat what you love and savor every delicious holiday bite. Listen to your body, give it what it needs and wants—it’ll tell you if you really stop and listen. See the holidays as a time to indulge and celebrate everything you have in life, no matter how big or small. —Jenn