No Regrets

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve and nothing else, or nothing at all, the holiday season comes riddled with plans, and guides, and advice on how to navigate the holidays.  There are tips.

Don’t eat dessert.

Don’t eat more than one dessert.

Save room for dessert.

There are a million ways to “navigate” the holidays, but the best way is the same best way the rest of the year, to listen to your body.

And, now, perhaps some of your navigation is done. Maybe you are just getting started. Regardless, let’s make this our philosophy this year. No Regrets.

And, while these messages are meant to keep you on track, they may also freak you out about (gasp!) holiday weight gain! extra calories! sugar binges!

The “holiday season” (understanding that the “holidays” for different people around the world comes at different times throughout the year) comes but once a year in full swing in American culture, and that full swing begins around Thanksgiving and does not end until the New Year.

For the entire season, magazines, talk shows, commercials all talk about how you can maintain your shape, lose weight (gasp!), not gain weight during the holidays. There are many ways to take this message, though.

There’s the good way:

  • Eat food you want and focus on feeling as good as you can.
  • Remember that the food will still be around the day after Christmas, the day after a big Hanukkah dinner, the day after New Year’s Eve, and that it won’t be wrong to eat the food in January, or February, or even March (gasp!). Eating gingerbread cookies in February I am pretty certain is not a sin.
  • No all or nothing mentality.  One extra cookie (ahem, two or three extra cookies) or a couple of big holiday meals will not ruin a “diet” plan, an otherwise healthier lifestyle, or a figure. Relax.  You are still healthy. No one food (or two foods) can change that.

Then, there’s the bad way, the hurtful way, the guilt-ridden, psychological torturing way:

  • blame yourself for eating too much
  • “make up” for holiday eating with starvation before or after the New Year
  • deprivation of foods you love for fear you cannot control yourself around them
  • plans to “diet” in the New Year to alleviate guilt, and fear of gaining weight, that you cannot and should not keep

This year, let’s celebrate the holidays for what they were meant to be. A time to spend with family, to enjoy our loved ones and ourselves, and to take a break from the rush push world we all live in the rest of the year and appreciate the things that are greater than all of us. Happy Holidays. Be Good to Yourself, now and in the New Year.  And go ahead and have a cookie. They’re cute, and tasty. What more could you ask for?


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