New Years’ Fitness Resolution Countdown: 8

Only 8 days left before you start a new year, and a new you. Here’s another handy dandy tip to help you not suck at it.

Happy Christmas, one and all. For a lot of you this will be a day where you indulge and feel terrible about it, dreading the scale and the waistband on your trousers tomorrow.

How about this – quit it. It’s Christmas. Enjoy yourself. Have some pie. Have a glass or four of wine. Eat a few cookies. Seriously, enjoy yourself. One day, in the grandest scheme of things will not matter.

Joy and pleasure are rare. Really. Life is mostly struggle and difficulty. Pain, or at least discomfort, are far more common than comfort and pleasure in life. Hug your children, or your parents, or your spouse, or just someone who happens to be standing close by. Revel in your existence and the good fortune you have to be who you are, where you are, and when you are.

Celebrations are not the problem. Having a treat now and then is also not the problem. The problem is that we, as a culture, have made treats into staples. Dessert used to be something reserved for special occasions, not something built-in to the final chapter of every meal. It’s ok for you to have dessert on Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s Day, or even date night. Dessert should not, however, be a part of your daily routine.

My own fatitude was partially a result of building dessert into a near daily event. I rewarded myself for work well done or an attaboy by a stroll to the vending machine to buy myself a Snickers bar. I’m good at what I do, so this happened way too often. I don’t do this anymore, and I will never do it again. I will, however, have some cobbler tonight at Christmas dinner, and I will not feel guilty about it, or even think about it that much.

Here’s another way to look at it – Celebrate and enjoy life, and let food be a part of that, but don’t make food the celebration itself. The primary reason to eat is for fuel. Seek comfort from activities, friends and loved ones. Seek joy from participation in the world. Sometimes there will be food around when the people you love are celebrating life. Enjoy it, but don’t make it into the center of what you’re doing.

Wherever you are with your body right now, you did not get there from one day of behavior, and you will not get to where you want to be with one day of behavior either. 80% of the time, eat right, get plenty of rest and activities in, and let yourself enjoy the festivals and holidays and birthdays that come alone the other 20% of the time.

Be well this Christmas, all of you.

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