Surviving the Holidays – and why I won’t

Right around this time, there’s a trend hitting the internet. It started around Halloween, with the “scariest Halloween candies.” It moves on to Thanksgiving and “tips to survive Turkey Day.” Christmas and New Year’s are approached with handy dandy 12-step guides for the holidays.

We are, in short, hit with a steady influx of media that tells us that the holidays are a battle against weight gain and a struggle against food. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 76th Hunger Games! May the calories be ever in your favor!

hunger-games-movie-image-tributes

Since when did the holidays become about survival? About getting through them instead of relishing them? About surviving instead of thriving?

Now, I understand that the holidays aren’t really set up to encourage losing weight. But that’s exactly the point. The holidays aren’t about weight at all. They are about giving thanks, about being with family, about celebrating, about feasting!

We deprive ourselves of so much more than that Christmas cookie or that cranberry sauce when we think of “surviving” the holidays. We miss out on the celebration, on the joy.

Can the holidays mean weight gain? Sure. But you know what? There are worse things in life. It’s been my experience that I might gain a pound or two over the holidays. I’m usually coming off a training cycle, and there’s a lot of good cooking around me. Frankly, at this point, it can be healthy for me to gain a little weight.

And then…. I lose it again. I get back into training, and/or back into just normal living. Most of the year isn’t celebration, so it all evens out. Just like investments that ebb and flow over the year.

The rest of the year isn’t celebration time and isn’t treated like it. But neither should celebration time be treated like it’s just the rest of the year.

Here’s how I will be THRIVING this holiday season:

  • Having my favorite cookies that my mom makes. Not thinking about the calories in them. Thinking about the love in them.
  • Having hot chocolate (or other beverage of choice) by the fire. Drinking in the peace and with a good book.
  • Making fudge with my mother. Making memories.
  • Playing sous chef as my father makes our traditional lobster bisque. Trying not to think about the lobsters wriggling.

How will you thrive this holiday season?

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