Every December, your social media feed is probably filled with articles like, “Avoid Falling Off the Wagon This Christmas” and “How To Cut Calories During Your Holiday Meals”. I hate articles like this and let me tell you why…
The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself. You get to see family and friends you may not see very often. You have the opportunity to enjoy home cooked food that you may only get to try once or twice per year. The mindset that these “How To Survive the Holidays” articles give is that the holidays are a time to fear, worry, and struggle through. We worry enough about getting the perfect gifts for our loved ones and arriving to the next party on time. Once you have that part done, why prevent a memorable time with your family by stressing about calories, sugar, etc.?
Articles like this make food the priority when it should be about your family, friends, and the memories you will make. The more you think about food, the more it will harm you. Enjoy yourself and live in the moment. If having a few treats during the holidays keeps you sane and helps you relax, DO IT. If you’re worrying about how many calories are in ½ a piece of your grandma’s pie or how many miles you need to run to work off a few glasses of wine, you aren’t living in the moment.
Not to mention that there are people who are actually struggling to survive the holidays. People trying to avoid an extra 800 calories in a piece of apple pie is not “survival”. There are soldiers, families, and homeless people who would do anything to enjoy a delicious meal with their family, sitting around the fire in a cozy living room.
You never know when might be the last time you get to try your Grandma’s cookies, your aunt’s mashed potatoes, or enjoy a cocktail with your family that lives hundreds of miles away.
All in all, you can be mindful of how you eat without stressing about it. Get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality. You can enjoy your experience and your food at the same time without thinking that it’s one or the other (pig out or don’t eat). Be present during the holidays. Figure out what makes you happiest and do that. Healthy foods and the gym will always be there – but some family gatherings only come once a year.