Written by Sarah Loogman
Kick the pumpkins to the curb, Christmas is here! Okay, maybe it’s too soon yet for Michael Bible Holiday Radio on Pandora, but a trip to any suburban outlet will not-so-subtly remind you that the holidays are near. As you navigate yourself through the woes and wonders of the years end celebrations and the family/office/neighbors/kids/church parties that undoubtably have plate fulls of Guilt and Temptation, here are some tips for a healthy and happy holiday season.
If you’re looking for “5 Tips on How to Stay Shredded ‘Til New Years,” this is not it. Understanding mental balance is equally as important to that of our physical health, and the aim to close out 2017 should be about wellbeing and less about your six-pack.
Be kind to your food. There are times to focus our energy on conventionally “healthy” habits and there are times to focus our energy on relationships and celebration. Family and friend gatherings for holiday festivities and yearly traditions are the latter (if you disagree, I assure that you will not endure to your goals long term). Food has been used across every people and culture to share community and celebration. If you look at food as inherently “good” and “bad,” you will never be able to enjoy a guiltless indulgence. Please, don’t binge yourself into chocolate-induced oblivion, but acknowledge that the food we congregate around during this time of year is an offering to relationship. Instead of worrying about the calories on your plate, engage in the conversation right at the table.
Reflect and be thankful. Appreciate the cheerful clamor of the holidays for all of it’s chaos in that it’s a time to pull our heads out of the sand in the tasks in which we dutifully pursue and reconnect on simple traditions with the people closest to us. Breaking longtime routine is almost always for the best – change is the fountain of youth. Re-evaluate your health journey so far… what is your mindset now compared to that of last year this time? What have you accomplished from the resolutions of the new year and how can that continue to progress through the holidays? Allow yourself to be grateful this Thanksgiving for the growth you’ve made this past season and the gift you’ve found in this pursuit.
Spark new tradition. Getting to the gym or through your usual fitness regimen can be a challenge when family is in town or between seasonal events. The gym does not have to be your only outlet and in fact, the disruption to routine brought by the holidays can revive some inspiration for newness. Where visiting family members may be wary to try out CrossFit, maybe they would agree to a yoga class or a snow-shoe adventure. If you’re both new to it, the experience becomes an even greater one to share.
You are not defined by the level of your fitness, your body fat percentage, or the number or letter on your clothing tags. The family, friends, coworkers and other communities you celebrate the holidays with could likely care less about your clean and jerk or the fact that you finally mastered the elusive butterfly pull-up. They may notice that you look good, but they care to know that you feel good. Leave your insecurities and vanities behind as we celebrate to end an amazing year and love every moment of it, pumpkin pie, ugly sweaters, early Christmas tunes and all.