It’s Halloween one day, and literally the next day it’s Thanksgiving. You pass out cold from all of the Thanksgiving hubbub only to wake up, and it’s Christmas Eve.
If you are anything like me, the holidays have you all twisted up. It’s Halloween one day, and literally the next day it’s Thanksgiving. You pass out cold from all of the Thanksgiving hubbub only to wake up, and it’s Christmas Eve.
Seriously, it’s the same every year. Whether you are trick or treating with a little one or giving candy out to little ones, there’s so much candy everywhere! But you won Halloween and had none of the candy. Then, before you know it, there is so much Thanksgiving everywhere, with the mashed potatoes and appetizers and desserts and gravy, and you long for the simpler times when the biggest hurdle was not going hard into the Almond Joys. It’s straight up un-American to deny yourself Thanksgiving foods, right? But you did it again. You got a ‘W’ in the ‘win’ column for Thanksgiving and kept things classy with the veggie and protein portions of the day. You even turned your back on the dessert table which is good because since the holidays got you hustling around, you haven’t been able to find time to work out at all.
Then something happened. You look up from your great-aunt Mildred’s holiday party, and you catch your reflection holding an overflowing plate of every single solitary thing. All of the things. Parm things, meat things, mashed things, casserole things… You actually turn around to make sure the reflection is really you and not some distant cousin. But it’s you. How did this happen? You don’t remember putting all of this food on your plate. The last thing you remember it was Thanksgiving, and you weren’t even messing with the gravy. Now there is literally gravy covering all of the things…You don’t even remember doing that! It’s like you woke up and you started to remember how things snapped after you were so good for so long. Halloween, Thanksgiving, the cookie exchange where you brought your bag of carrots, the office holiday party where you contributed a lentil soup, a side of steamed cauliflower and a 12-pack of La Croix.
It’s like the light was turned on and you remember everything so clearly. It was Mary from accounting that looked at your lentil soup and La Croix and asked very simply if you were ‘kidding.’ What the heck?! Kidding? How was she not equally as excited about a hot cup of soup and an ice cold La Croix. Well, as Mary and everyone else confirmed, they’re not, and as you sit there spooning your completely stupid and unappealing (at this point) brown sludge soup, not even your ice cold La Croix can cheer you up. Everyone was laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Even cranky Tom was hooting it up with Sally – and you know those two never get along – with an eggnog and a plate of Christmas cookies.
You want to blame Mary for all of this food on your plate at Aunt Mildred’s, but she didn’t put it there. Nor did she put all of the cookies you just now remember eating two nights ago at your neighbor’s house on your plate, along with a giant hot chocolate with an obnoxious amount of whipped cream on top. She simply asked a question and, as you wipe the gravy off your cheek, you realize that if you could turn back time, you for sure would have just had that fun-sized Almond Joy on Halloween. Possibly even two.
And maybe, just maybe, the lentil soup was a bit aggressive for a holiday party.
It’s the holiday season, and to deprive yourself of all that always, in my experience, backfires. Indulging with restraint while making time to work out is vastly more realistic than thinking you will maintain strict eating habits from November to January. It’s a slippery slope those eight weeks. Have the Mars bar on Halloween and make a human plate of food on Thanksgiving, but also make the time to get some workouts in. Because no matter what time you wake up, if you just wake up an hour earlier, there is a 99% chance the gym is already open, and there are people there.
But in all seriousness, still, bring the La Croix to the Holiday party… especially if it’s one I’ll be at.
About the Author
Andrea Kay is a longtime FI member, tri-Athlete, 50k runner and a regular contributor to Fit to Print.