Play To Strength

Surviving the Holidays

18 Dec

The following post is from an earlier blog, which I have replaced with this one…this post has been backdated to the date of the original post:

During this time of year you’ll get a lot of advice on how to maintain your fitness goals through the holidays. Much of it is actually guilt inducing and unhealthy thinking, about how to deprive yourself of the goodies out there. I don’t play that game. You know what is healthy and what isn’t and if you decide to go for indulgence I don’t think you should feel guilty about it. The holidays are stressful enough without adding to the stress on yourself, remember you are allowed to have fun. Here’s my “rules” regarding holiday eating:

Feeling guilty over food is not healthy, eating is necessary, feasting with loved ones is a spiritual act.
Feasting does not sabotage your fitness level.
Exercise bulimia does not help in any way and is neither healthy for your body or your soul. It certainly is not healthy for your relationship to exercise.
Exercise should never be punishment, it should be a joy.
So, keep on track with your exercise, but do not force yourself to do extra because of a socially created “sin.”
Remember this through the coming holiday season. Keep moving, but keep enjoying it and do not fear the food or let anyone, yourself or others, bully you into feeling guilt or punishing yourself.

This also means don’t judge others for what they are eating. You are not the food police for anyone else, it’s not your business.  Be kind.
Getting exercise in at this time of year can be difficult for those who celebrate the bigger seasonal holidays. Shopping takes up time, family matters take up time and can cause extreme stress. Exercise can fall to the wayside as one becomes overwhelmed.
Again, guilt doesn’t help and isn’t healthy, if stress is the issue you certainly do not need to add to it by beating yourself up at this time. Consider that this might be a good time to change your routine for awhile. Don’t have time for the gym, perhaps you can find a video routine  you can do at home. Feeling really stressed, perhaps it’s time to try out a soothing Yoga class OR perhaps it’s time to pump it up and sweat it out with a Zumba class instead, which ever works for you. Family time taking up your workout periods, why not make it a family affair. Perhaps you could get everyone out for some snowshoeing if there’s snow where you live or a hike if not, or ice skating or a rousing snowball fight (or touch football if there’s no snow). Keep it fun!
This is also a time, especially as people get together, for colds and flues. A lot of us try to tough it through every virus, but do remember that, especially if you have a fever, sometimes rest is the best thing and will help your fitness goals better in the long run than forcing an ailing body through it’s routine. Sometimes if a bug isn’t serious, it can make you feel stronger, but if you feel beat up before you go into it, you’re not going to feel better after. Taking care of yourself sometimes just IS about taking care of yourself.
Happy Holidays!

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