When I was a kid, the holidays were different…
They were about Santa and Rudolph, cookies and milk, presents, vacation from school, Christmas Trees, and presents. Duh.
Nobody told me that as an adult the holidays, while still lovely and joyful in many ways, are actually about scheduling and learning how to be in two places at once.
If you’re anything like me, once December 1 hits, your social calendar sees as much action in one month as it did the previous eleven. Either that or I am showing just how anti-social I can be.
But it’s fun!
You’re seeing people you haven’t seen in months or years, you get to either dress up or dress in the most tacky things you own, you exchange gifts. Overall, you eat, you drink, and you are relatively merry.
Then December 15th hits and you’re headed to your 2nd party of the night and you realize it’s still 10 days until Christmas and the pants you put on 3 hours ago suddenly don’t fit.
If over-indulging has never happened to you at the holidays, I don’t know whether to applaud you or feel sad for you. But I know for me, and many others, it happens every single time.
Not only are you constantly on the go, eating at parties or out at restaurants, but you’re eating a lot. You’re probably drinking a lot, too. You’re tired. You’ve probably lost contact with your friend, H2O. Essentially, everything about your schedule, your fitness, and your normal diet are out of whack.
That’s why I have 3 of my favorite tips to help you make it through the holiday season without totally falling off the wagon.
1. Don’t Show Up Hungry!
That’s right. They may be serving amazing bites at the party you are going to, but if you show up hungry, then that one bacon-wrapped date you were going to eat suddenly turns into 10. You don’t need to have an entire meal before leaving the house, after all, bacon-wrapped dates are delicious and you should definitely have one. But eating something light before going out and even downing a little bit of water will curb your appetite and help you slow down to listen for the hunger cues your body is sending you. Which brings us to tip #2!
2. Eat Slowly!
This tip builds in some ways on the idea of not showing up hungry. If you show up hungry, you will probably try to satisfy that by eating quickly and not giving your body time to tell you it’s full. And, if you’re like me, I can get overwhelmed occasionally at holiday parties. So to give myself something to do, I eat. Sounds totally normal? Nope. Eating because you’re bored or want to avoid an awkward conversation is not a reason to eat. Eat because the food is delicious and your body tells you it’s time. And that leads us to the most important tip of all, #3.
You heard me, have fun. Ultimately the holiday rush only lasts for a few weeks every year. You aren’t going to destroy all of the progress you’ve made until then. Give yourself some grace! Try to pace yourself, but try not to let making these decisions stress you out. Just relax, have some eggnog, don’t sit on your boss’ dads lap and know that the produce aisle, your gym, and your fitness community is waiting for you on January 1st to get right back to the daily grind.