‘Tis the season for indulgence. And hey, you won’t hear us saying that’s necessarily a bad thing (bring on the peppermint hot chocolate). But let’s acknowledge that we all have way too many excuses to put off our health during the holiday season. A few? No problem. Halt the diet for a day and pound back a couple cocktails and charcuterie at the office party. It’s a time for celebration, after all. But eating candy canes to the point of explosion and then parking your bloated behind on the couch? Not a good plan.
We know we shouldn’t overindulge. But that doesn’t stop us from making excuses to abandon all vegetables and tuck away our running shoes for the season. The countdown to Christmas may even start to mirror the number of cookies you consume or the hours you spend stationary watching Christmas Vacation on repeat.
Do you find yourself coming up with these sorts of excuses below when it comes time to hit the gym or eat a salad during December? After all, the elf on the shelf is watching. And he’s counting your steps. And your slices of gingerbread cake. Be honest and confront your excuses to overcome them and reign in your indulgences this holiday season.
Yes, it’s cold. It might even be so cold that the snowmen come inside to get warm (waka waka). But like getting out of bed in the morning, it will only hurt for a minute. Once you brave the winter air and get moving, you’ll thank yourself for your courage. Maybe it’s the right time to try hot yoga? Winter is an open opportunity to mix up your fitness routine and add a jolt of energy. And if you’re having real trouble getting out, you can try one of these (a great conversation starter around the gym).
You might have a holiday event every night. Your dance card is full. You’ve worn so many ugly sweaters, festive onesies, bow ties, and sparkle tops that you don’t even remember what it was like to dress in a way that didn’t scream “celebrate!” With so much revelry it can be hard to remember that alcohol and hours d’oeuvres shouldn’t be pounded back on the nightly. Try eating a protein packed meal before you attend to reduce snacking temptations, and take it easy on the cheer-filled drinks so that you don’t end up on the naughty list.
But I shopped today. Doesn’t that burn calories? Sure it does. But you’d likely have to shop nearly 6 hours to burn off the calories consumed in one pumpkin scone. That might literally be shopping to the point of dropping and if you can brave the crazy crowds for that long you deserve a medal. But don’t assume standing in line equates to the same fitness benefits as your normal workout routine.
Try not to abandon your good habits during December. Because that’s not what Christmas is about, Charlie Brown. And ducking out to take a walk or hit the gym might save you from making snow globes with your Aunt Mildred and her weird cats (who decided to come for the holidays at the last minute.)