Well, the holidays are certainly here, and we are faced with so many choices, so many foods, and so many potential dietary indiscretions that it’s difficult to summon enough self-control to stay balanced and healthy!
This is a typical scenario for so many of us. We’re doing great with our diet and exercise, eating well, and maybe even lost a few pounds over the summer and the fall.
Then, all of a sudden, Thanksgiving comes crashing into our world, we indulge a little too much, and then maybe we get back on track over the next few weeks.
As Christmas approaches, holiday parties and special occasions begin to populate our lives, and we find ourselves faced with so many things that could potentially go wrong. At one party, we have a piece of cake and then some candy. At another party, we drink too much and have some more cake. The next day, there’s pizza at work, beer after hours, and then you realize you haven’t been to the gym since the week after Thanksgiving and the only exercise you’ve been getting is shopping at the mall or wrapping gifts.
So, what’s a poor health-conscious person to do when the holiday onslaught arrives at their door?
First, just relax. The holidays are overwhelming enough without anxiety going through the roof. Next, take stock of your health priorities and make some decisions as to where your bottom line may be. Perhaps there are some things you simply want to indulge in, but then there are others that you could easily eschew. Some of us are ultra-disciplined, and others are somewhat disciplined with a penchant for small indulgences. Then there’s the rest of us who can’t resist much of anything!
Remember that there are choices to be made every day, and sometimes we’ll make good ones and sometimes our choices will questionable. The fact is, each moment offers another choice and another chance to reverse the poor choices of the moment before. Sure, we may gain a few pounds over the holidays, but we can also choose to accept this with equanimity while mitigating the damage as much as we can.
It’s a tempting world out there at the holidays, and the tables often overflow with mounds of food and drink that we know we shouldn’t even touch. Make your choices carefully, think it through, and make allowances when you’ve made a misstep. If your carb intake was enormous on Monday, tighten up your belt on Tuesday and be as strict and health-conscious as you can. If you know you’ll want to have that piece of cake tomorrow, then lay off the breads and pastries today in anticipation.
It’s not a zero sum game, and some of us will just have to pay the Piper and resume our usual regimens after the holidays. Meanwhile, some of us will fare a little better and maintain our balance amidst the chaos.
However you face the holidays, remember that self-forgiveness, equanimity, and an ability to be balanced and thoughtful about what you put in your body can go a long way towards not going too far. Indulgences are expected, but you have plenty of tools at your disposal so that you can keep yourself from losing your head (and expanding your waistline!)