I love Thanksgiving. And not just like a mediocre love, I LOVE this holiday. The food, the people, the parade, the slowness of the day…everything. Love it.
But just as much as I love the holiday season, I could do without all the “how to stay healthy during the holidays” garbage. Like I haaatteeeee it. Ugh.
Sorry to rain on the naturally sweetened pie and grain free casserole, but the holidays weren’t meant to be 100% healthy.
The holidays aren’t about saying no to dessert or militantly portion controlling or working out to burn off whatever calories. And the holidays aren’t about spending November to January being obsessed with not being victim to weight gain.
The holidays are about being with those you love, slowing down, eating awesome food just because it’s awesome and homemade, soaking up the season, and letting it just be that.
We give way too much attention to the nutrient and calorie profile of holiday food and weight gain—like how many healthier green bean casserole recipes and winter workout routines do we actually need? Somebody post something original to Pinterest. PLEASE.
Because instead, if we begin to just focus on taking care of ourselves, resting, loving on our friends and family, and serving others, then we obsess less, or better yet stop obsessing — and the food becomes a way we celebrate and share this season with others instead of something we exhaust ourselves over.
Because when you’re taking care of yourself and being present with family and friends you focus on what actually matters. It doesn’t become full on gluttony followed by guilt because its “only once a year.” Both restricting food and making yourself ill from eating just because it’s there distracts from what the holidays are actually about. When we’re numbing with food, we’re numbing our experiences too.
The food will always be there. I know it’s hard to remember but it’s so true.
Yes, eat some things you don’t eat year round. Enjoy those foods. But the important thing is to be intentional about what you’re eating – whether that’s 1, 2 or 3 pieces of pumpkin pie or it’s kale salad, make a conscious choice to eat it because that’s what you WANT to eat and that’s what will SATISFY YOU. If you eat the pie, eat the pie and enjoy it. And if you eat the kale salad, eat the kale salad because you enjoy that. Eat it with intention and enjoy it because it satisfies your soul. The holidays are 6 weeks, not six months. Eating out of routine is part of the season.
Also, remember, just because it’s on the table doesn’t mean it has to go in your mouth. Choose what you actually want and taste each bite. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it because “it’s only once a year.”
Most importantly, remember any of these foods can be eaten anytime of the year. When we compartmentalize food is when we fall into the “I’ll never eat this again” trap leading to eating plateful after plateful. Then you feel stuffed and gross and now you’re frustrated at yourself and you forget how the food even tasted. And then you being telling yourself, “that wasn’t even worth it.” Because instead of enjoying the food, the food was glorified. With all the diet talk it’s so easy to get caught in this place. I’ve totally been there, so if you have too its okay. You’re not alone.
You have the freedom to eat anything you want, anytime you want. No food is forbidden and no food is good or bad. Food is just food. Let it be that so you can get on living instead.
So exercise because it feels good.
Eat that piece of pie because your momma made it with love.
Eat that sweet potato casserole because it’s so dang good.
Cozy up on the couch because resting and relaxing is needed.
And get busy soaking up the holiday season instead of obsessing over it.