Mashed potatoes, turkey dinner, rich chocolate cake for dessert. You’re going to be tempted by all the wonderful comfort foods of the holiday season soon enough. If you’re anything like me, all the delicious treats are likely to leave you feeling pretty self-conscious about what it could be doing to your body. You’re reading this because you’re searching for a hidden trick that’ll let you enjoy Grandma’s homemade pie, while somehow still maintaining a slim waistline. You’re lucky, because I have some advice that’ll put your belly, your mind, and your conscious at ease:
Go for seconds.
Enjoy your time off from school, work, and the rest of your hectic life. Give yourself a break! You stress over your weight every day of the year, and you probably work hard at the gym to maintain a figure that you’re proud of. Don’t let it go too far, and don’t let counting calories become an addiction. You need cheat days, and you need to be mindful of the bigger picture. The holidays aren’t about the food you fill your dinner plate with, or the expensive Michael Kors wrist piece you’re hoping sits under the tree. The holidays are about relaxing, giving your mental and physical health a break, and enjoying the company of those around you. My advice to you is this:
Aim for balance.
You won’t reach your fitness goals by cutting yourself off from yummy things cold turkey. And you won’t be happy either. Find balance and feel okay taking that scoop of mashed potatoes and drizzling gravy all over it. Be confident and knowledgeable enough to know that this isn’t a lifestyle, but it is a break. You have to feel good about how you treat your body, but don’t think for a minute that you can’t enjoy a treat now and then as well.
Beauty magazines used to feel distant and help us realize that those girls aren’t realistic. It seemed that we had finally made progress on accepting that most magazine covers are photoshopped and altered a lot. But with Instagram models, and some of our real-world friends hitting those beauty standards on social media; it can be hard to distinguish between reality and altered photos. We are consistently pressuring young girls to be thin, and we’ve unfortunately taken a few steps back through our modern media habits. Our new world is consumed by this idea that we too can be perfect, and we too can get 600 likes on our photos, so we obsess. We obsess over our bodies and deprive ourselves basic rewards now and then. I encourage you to use this carby Christmas dinner as an incentive and a reward to how hard you’ve worked all year to accomplish your fitness goals. Because you love yourself to know that those New Year’s Resolutions you made are real things that you’ll actually pursue.
You won’t look bad, and you shouldn’t feel guilty.
You should feel thankful for the opportunity and privilege to enjoy a full plate of food, because so many in the world are not nearly as fortunate. Take a break from the lies society manipulates you with, and eat what you want. This time of year is one to celebrate. Celebrate you, and how fabulous you’re still going to look after that meal.
Because this is your family’s tradition, and it’ll make your grandma happy to see you enjoying yourself. Because you love yourself enough to do it, and you’ll get back on track in the New Year. Because you watch your weight closely 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 364 days a year. Because you’re not going to watch your weight on Christmas; you’re going to let yourself have it. You’re going to let yourself have it, because you deserve it.
Featured Image via What She Ate.