Okay, enough with the holiday weight-loss tips!
Each December, fitness magazines sing the same nauseating carols about choosing low-cal shrimp cocktails and white wine spritzers. Their “helpful” advice completely denies that our eat-drink-and-be-merry traditions are often integral to our well-being. In the darkest, coldest time of the year, Judeo-Christian folks gather around the lights, drink booze, eat decadent foods, and throw parties.
So we have two options: Blasted with the techno version of “Away in the Manger,” chafing in outdated family roles, and surrounded by tins of cookies, we could fall into mindless caloric and commercial consumption.
Or, take the recommendations of “health” magazines. Atone for each bite of peppermint bark with another high intensity interval workout. The binge/purge spin cycles bloat us with guilt. By New Year’s, we’re wrung out and buying the nearest crash diet, or, as they’re marketed, “Detox Kits.”
Where’s the holiday harmony? The trick is figuring out what parts of the holiday feast actually feed us.
Personally, I need several servings of gingerbread cookies, wearing heels, and sipping eggnog. I want to play with my nieces around the tree, but don’t need to bury them in plastic trinkets. I’ll skip the maxed out credit cards, hangovers, and fruitcake. I’ll stick to my year-round, self-care baselines: eggs/avocado/toast breakfast, hydrating with copious cups of tea, and simple, yet not especially heroic workouts.
I don’t need to know how many minutes on the treadmill equate to that serving of stuffing. The holidays are when I indulge without shame. I’ll savor each bite of my mom’s turkey dinner because I know what sustains me.