We’ve all been there.
December rolls around, and you have already been invited to ‘Christmas do’s” since mid September.
Hell, you may have already attended at least 12 by the time the tree is officially up.
Gym memberships quadruple at the beginning of January; all those well intended New Year’s resolutions to lose the Christmas bulge (highly doubtful it was actually solely attributed to Christmas) get people motivated for the next few weeks to get active, get fit, atone for their one-bubbly-too-many-at-the-office sins.
But what if this year you decided to set an intention to enjoy Christmas and all it’s festivities, without the need to go as over the top as a ‘Derek-from-accounts’ themed Christmas function?
It IS possible to enjoy yourself without the guilt!
Here are my personal favourite #tipsandtricks for surviving, nay, LOVING this year’s Christmas and all it’s calorific glory:
If you know that Denise is planning a big office party or BBQ where there will be the inevitability of rich and delicious foods, make sure you have a darn good preload of something healthy and filling. Try a dark green salad with a little feta, or a couple of pieces of fibre rich fruit and natural yoghurt, hell, why not put together a thick rye sammie packed with salad and eat it nice and slowly about an hour before you go. Providing you are not in the mindset of just ignoring the signs from your body that you are full, this is a good plan. Like not shopping on an empty stomach!
Be picky. Don’t just show up with an attitude of “how much can I get away with before people start looking at me sideways?” Each time food comes around ask yourself: “Do I really feel like eating this?” or “Is there a healthier option” (like grapes/vege platters) It’s often all you need to keep in control. Pay attention to the tastes of food. I know it sounds all a bit kumbayah, but SLOWING down in the face of food can really help.
I know. I sound like a Debbie Downer, but this is a biggie.
When you pop the Champers (or Lindauer if Derek from accounts was told to scale it back this year) you soon lose the ability to give a crap. Whilst this can often be the exact desired effect after a long drawn out year, it can lower the willpower of your best set intentions. We have all been there. It starts out so well… then 4 drinks later and that chip-and-dip combo looks good enough to coat yourself in…. (*names have been suppressed to ensure privacy…)
Additionally, it can make you act like a knob.
Come on now, you don’t want to be THAT girl (or guy) at the office who thinks it is the ample time to show everyone just how hard they have been working on their UFC moves.
Which brings me onto the next point:
I realise it is very flattering to be invited to all these ‘dos’ at the end of the year, well, for the extroverts it is… the introverts may not be cracking open the party poppers with quite the same vigorous ardour.
But try thinking of these lead-up-events as practice runs. Learn to differentiate ‘office drinks’ from proper family/friend celebrations, where you can treat yourself (in grand old moderation!) and not simply make a habit out of daily drinking and over-eating.
It is often the lead up to Christmas (which, yes, occasionally starts in May for some of us) that gets people stuck in the over eating cycle. You don’t gain 10 kilos from one Christmas party (unless of course you have an exceptionally large gastrointestinal system) but you can gain that amount by steadily over-indulging on a regular basis over a period of months.
And lastly, for the dedicated readers who really want to give this a go:
I’m not referring to the movement around Christmas table..
I’m talking about keeping loyal to your fitness routine (if you have one… if you don’t it’s never too late to start!). Keeping active will help to mitigate some of the excess calories you may be stockpiling. Obviously I advocate for the earnest attempt to NOT stockpile, but if you have, just get moving.
The days are getting warmer, and the activities available sans gym are a plenty. even if you go for a fast paced walk around the neighbourhood, you are sending your body signals that you are looking after it, and it doesn’t need to go into shock.
Having support during this time is also super helpful.
This is the part where I plug myself and let you know (as my clients are already aware) that a weekly pep talk or deeper sit down session to talk about the feels of the season are playing out, can really help support your attempts to make this year different. Having someone who has your back during a time that can be difficult for a multitude of reasons (trust me… I feel you on this) can really be the key to sticking at your intentions.
If you are nodding along but deep inside know that you struggle to keep your head up during Christmas (be it from the plate, or from the pain) please get in touch! I get so buzzed from helping people realise they are better than their past setbacks. It IS possible.
Father Christmas says so.
Happy holidays/office parties/awkward family gatherings/namaste/Merry Christmas! You can do it!