Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets super annoyed by all the pre and post holiday articles about weight loss, detox diets, etc.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, especially during a time of year that’s synonymous with rich decadent treats but COME ON!  A few extra bites of macaroni n’ cheese, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and other delicious foods is not going to lead to substantial weight gain!  I promise.  In fact, I recently read somewhere that on average most people only gain one pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One pound, people!

And in my opinion food is not the only issue.  I’ve read a lot recently about exercising to lose unwanted holiday weight.  Ummm…if I’m not mistaken, the holidays are not even really here yet.  Again, don’t get me wrong…I absolutely love exercise.  What I don’t love is the mindset that people tend to take on during this time of year.  “Don’t eat these foods.  Make sure you do extra workouts to compensate for the extra calories you consumed.  Blah, Blah, Blah.”  I hate it!

I truly believe the holidays are meant to be enjoyed and savored.  We should be reflecting on where we’ve been and where we are going.  We should be giving more than receiving.  We should be saying thanks for all the blessings in our lives.  We should be smiling and laughing more. We should be spending time with loved ones.

We SHOULD NOT be focused on eating a little too much (or too little) or exercising more (or not enough).  Relax and enjoy, people!

Take walks with your family.  Play outside.  Engage in a hula hoop competition with your sister…oh wait, that’s probably just me.  The point is to just move.  Don’t worry about fitting in long runs, spin classes, gym sessions, etc.  If you are able to great, if not, it’s no big deal!

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Also, eat delicious foods that you love with people that make you happy.  But take the time to enjoy each and every bite.

And I’m honestly I’m not just saying this to say it.  I lived it during my visit to Atlanta last week.  My goal was to spend quality time with those I love and that’s what I did.  I fit in exercise when I could (when no one else was home), I ate things I love that probably don’t fall into the “healthy” category, and I enjoyed every single minute of it!

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Apple crisp made with real butter and real sugar…YUM!

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Breakfast by mom – eggs with cheese and buttered toast

And these are just some example of the things I ate while at home (I wasn’t in a picture taking mood).  For example, on Thanksgiving my mom made bean and cheese enchiladas.  Sounds innocent enough, but the delicious sauce was made with whipping cream.  I didn’t stress about it and think about how much I would have to work out to burn off all the calories.  Nope.  I ate a huge serving and licked my plate clean.  It’s not every day that I get to eat that meal!

You see, I love that people are making a conscious effort to be healthy.  However, instead of depriving yourself of the foods you love or overcompensating with exercise, try this – move as much as you can while hanging out with your loved ones, eat and truly enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, and really live in the present this holiday season.  A pound or two or five isn’t the end of the world!  And isn’t that why we make New Year’s resolutions anyway?!

Feels good to get that off my chest! Smile

By Parita

26 thoughts on “My Holiday Philosophy”
  1. AMEN, GIRL! I couldn’t agree more! I can understand the obsession with eating less/burning more around the holidays because I used to harbor that kinda mentality but at the same time, I want to shake people who do! It’s sad that food has become the main focus of holidays…of course it’s a huge part but it’s not the only part! Along with eating delicious food, savor the time with your loved ones. We have the rest of the year to eat “clean” (hate that word) and spend our time in the gym.

    1. I used to have that mentality as well. And I can fully attest to the fact that it sucks!! I’m not proposing eating unlimited quantities of “bad” foods…just saying that a few bites of your favorite things won’t hurt you. It’s crazy how people think they’re going to gain 10+ pounds in less than a month. I think you should write a post about this topic – I’d love to hear your thoughts!! I’m sure you have some good ideas. 🙂

  2. I think the thing that most irks me about all the articles about detox and losing holiday weight is that they act like drinking more water, taking a walk or a few minutes of activity after a large meal, and eating a few more vegetables at meals is something new and unheard of. It’s not new and it’s not rocket science…

    1. Haha. It really isn’t. I love it when a magazine has something like “the best kept secret to weight loss” on the cover, and then when you read the actual article, it says something along the lines of drink more water or something obvious like that.

  3. I totally agree! It’s so annoying! This time of year shouldn’t be any different than any other time of year. Even though you indulge more, the balance you keep of food and exercise should be the same as any other time of year! The eating articles in December are just as silly as the gym crowds during January. Working out one month a year isn’t going to do anything… just like eating more one month a year isn’t going to make you obese!

    1. Exactly. If everyone would stop freaking out and just do what they’ve been doing – a few extra calories would be no big deal. That’s why these articles just kill me!

  4. I 100% agree. Zach asked me what I do for fun this weekend. I told him, I eat. It’s oh so very true. There is nothing more that I enjoy doing than having a wonderful meal/dessert/vino with family/friends. It creates memories and fills my heart. If that means an extra pound, I’d say it’s worth it.

  5. Love this! Thanks for putting this back into perspective, I always spend too much time trying to juggle “getting in” my workouts around spending time with my family, holiday parties that should be fun, eating yummy foods that I enjoy, and traveling. I am going to make an effort to just be in the moment and enjoy!

  6. I am totally with you! I actually read this psychology study last year about how the increase in holiday articles about how to avoid weight gain during the holidays actually make people gain more weight because they try to over-control things and then just end up bingeing. I never think about gaining weight over the holidays and consequently don’t because I know I don’t have to feel guilty about anything.

    1. I agree with that study. Whenever I really focus on what I’m eating and scrutinize it to the very last calorie, I tend to get pissed off and say “screw it.” I can only imagine what this would look like over the holidays. Great point!

  7. I totally agree with you. I think people make a big deal out of this uncecessarily and take stress rather than enjoying the moment, spending quality time with family with good food. We all know holidays involve lot of food, drinking and lack of time for exercise but the problem is most of us fail to plan it ahead. Instead of eating balanced meals and exercising regularly for the rest of the year people give so much attention for the month of November and December- seriously people?

  8. Yep totally agree Pari. The couple of days that Evs and I had for our anniversary last weekend (haha coincidentally at the same time Thanksgiving is!!) meant we ate and ate and ate – literally all 3 meals were out. I didn’t stress that I was eating a turkish delight mini-doughnut at one of my fave restaurants or going to town on a chocolate peanut butter tart, because I was spending that time with the one I loved. Just because I am “eating for two” doesn’t mean I should be, but I didn’t stress over it either. Holidays are awesome 😀 Bring. IT. ON.

    PS – It was 38 degrees (err..100 F) today in Melbourne and I may or may not have had TWO icecreams today. Yes I went swimming as well, but those icecreams were so worth it 😀

    1. Honestly, enjoy your pregnancy! I can only imagine how miserable it would be to eat “healthy” foods all the time while pregnant. Mommas to be deserve to have fun too! A

  9. I LOVE this post! You’re absolutely right. People do spend too much time worrying and stressing about their day-to-day diets and stuff during the holidays, and yes, it’s important, but at the same time – it’s not! The point is being able to be with your family and if you can fit in exercise, that’s great! But if you even take a walk with your family after the holiday meal, then you’ve done something together and and still spent time together. Great post, Parita!

    1. Thank you, friend! Being healthy and making good choices is important to me, but to constantly be thinking about it, especially when spending time with loved ones, is wrong.

  10. Love this article.. long and detailed, you certainly wrote it with passion. 🙂 I’m in california at the moment and I’m eating like a pig, and I can tell I’ve gained weight, but I’m so lazy to exercise, nor do I care, because I know I will lose it all once I’m back home and walking to work daily. It’s all balance, enjoy the now, and live in the moment, the weight will come off. This time of year EVERYONE gains a couple pounds, it’s okay ppl. 🙂

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