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Avoiding the Holiday Bulge

The biggest excuse one finds (alright, alright – *we* ALL find!) to relax our more discliplined health habits during the holiday season, especially as pertains culinary indulgences is, well, that it is the holiday season! By this, I mean that for some people, this seems to be the blanket excuse and permission they give themselves to indulge, let loose, let go, let up, and let it all hang out! To be sure, there is absolutely nothing wrong with true and genuine celebration. To appreciate life and to enjoy life is to LIVE life.

But, if you want to maintain some order – and please realize that that means peace! – in your life, be it with regard to your finances, house-keeping, familial relations and home environment, energy costs, and myriad other booby traps of the festive season and mindset, you must pay attention to balance. Celebrate in moderation!

This is especially true in matters of personal health. Whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, you are well served to keep hold of some discipline – not for the sake of “prudent and pious righteousness” or other faux-proper dictum – but for your own happiness and well being and that of your family and loved ones.

What habits have you successfully adopted and honed to maintain your health and balance the rest of the year? Of all the seasons where such hard-learned wisdom and hard-earned achievements can yield the biggest rewards and save such precious personal satisfaction, this time and tradition of overdoing it most certainly deserves priority and diligence.

Do you have a work-out routine? KEEP IT UP! Okay you can give yourself the day off on Thanksgiving, Christmas (and okay, Christmas Eve), New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. That is five (count em 5!) days out of the winter where you can indulge in some reckless abandon without paying any heed or mind to normal limits, discretion, or guilt. Obviously I exclude the most reckless or dangerous or immoral behavior, as moderation does not apply to everything! Yes, wintertime does present some logistical and often climactic obstacles to overcome in maintaining a fitness routine but it is also a wonderful opportunity to spice up the humdrummary of you treadmill and/or weight circuit ritual. You’d be advised to keep these up at least to a minimum, but why not throw in some cross country skiing or even taking your jog to the brisk and awesome outdoors? Bundle up and breath deep. It can be absolutely invigorating and inspiring!

If you enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage, surely you can allow yourself the pleasure of some of winter’s most exotic treats or even the simplest nectars of comfort one or two more times than usual. Just remember to keep your sense about you! It is a myth, an absolute and downright ridiculous fallacy, to assume or assert that temperance is the antithesis of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Not only will some painless observance of balance and self-restraint prevent you from behaving in ways for which you’ll pay the dues for the next 6 months be it at the gym, the office, or ever so painfully as your Visa or Mastercard bills begin to beckon but you will see that the comfort and joy of the holidays is much more about the quality of what you do, and with whom you do it, than the silly notion that more is more and that this is the time to overdo it.

Heed this simple advice and you can treat yourself by skipping the New Year’s Resolution. You’re already resolved and in control. Congratulations! Keep it up!

The joy of the holiday season does not have to sabotage a year’s worth of disciplined and healthy living. So enjoy! Be mindful, celebrate in moderation, and you’ll be that much happier and healthier for it.