Just Not That Into It: Everyone has their own tipping point. What do you hate about the holidays?
Hate is an awfully strong word. I don’t think there is anything I HATE about the holidays. However, there are definitely aspects I could do without and so in that spirit, here’s what tops my list. I doubt it will shock you.
Pressure to Eat…or Not Eat….
While I love the food at the holidays, I truly dislike the emphasis being placed on it above pretty much everything else. I like Thanksgiving food. It isn’t my favorite, but I do like it. Well, I like gravy. Everything else is a just a vehicle for the gravy to get in my belly. When we are in Connecticut for Thanksgiving, there is also a breakfast at my godmother’s place and my mom almost always serves appetizers before dinner.
The meal I look forward to the most every year is Christmas dinner with my parents. Again, always with the traditional appetizers and then my mom makes roughly 794 types of Christmas cookies and they are all DELICIOUS. Did I mention Christmas Eve dinner? Yep – special dinner that night too. Oh wait – and Christmas morning – specialty donuts purchased with love and TIME because you can’t get them nearby, danish, fruit…sometimes a breakfast casserole…all before my FAVORITE MEAL OF THE YEAR!
To say, “No thanks,” feels rude and most of the time I do WANT the food – all of it! It’s tradition!
I just definitely don’t need it. I eat it, though, and then I feel guilty.
I haven’t even gotten started on the ONSLAUGHT at work and with friends, right?
Friendsgiving: where we literally repeat the indulgences of Thanksgiving the VERY NEXT DAY.
“Mandatory fun” at work holiday parties – and it’s NEVER just one. Last year, I had to make an appearance at three sit-down holiday parties at work.
Being married means you have two families and two (at minimum) jobs with whom to celebrate and none of these parties are catered by Weight Watchers, you know what I mean?
I am not blind to the fact that these are personal stressors for me and not everyone has the same food issues I do. I know I don’t have to eat everything. I know there are strategies for reducing the caloric intake over the holidays. I have had some successes with that in the past… Which brings me to the second part of this dislike:
All the social media bullshit from fitness “gurus” or, usually more accurately, people who think they are fitness gurus, about how to avoid food and how to work off what you do eat.
I try to be supportive of people’s individual goals and I just spent the last 15 minutes ranting about not wanting to feel forced to eat, but please. For the love of God. LAY THE EFF OFF with the “Burn Off 3 Christmas Cookies with this Amazing Workout!” shit.
Guilting and shaming people out of enjoying their holidays isn’t the way to go either.
You’re not even guilting them out of eating or into exercising, because the likelihood that your message gets heard and utilized in the barrage of Jingle Bell Workouts is small. What you’re doing is stealing joy. You’re turning a time that is supposed to be pleasurable and focused on friends and family into yet another way to make people obsess over food and most likely also feel like failures for not being able to say no to everything.
I’m a fitness professional. Do I thinking exercise is important? Hell yes. Do I think a balanced diet is important? Hell yes. Do I take issue in ramping up your efforts over the holidays? No. I don’t. But I do take issue with messaging that makes it seem as though you MUST quadruple your efforts so as not to gain a pound or two because there is nothing wrong with gaining a few pounds. There. I said it 🙂
Those few pounds? They are joy. They are time with friends and family and yes, good food. Stop making me feel as though I have to punish myself for those joys.
I love the holidays and I love holiday food. I just wish there was an easier way, at least for me, to enjoy a “normal” amount (whatever that is) and do it guilt-free.
Maybe then I could focus on the actual meaning behind this time of year…
Wow. That all just kind of spilled out. God I love #reverb.