Candy and cocktails and pies, oh my!
The holidays mean food. And for most people, that means all the yummy things that we tell ourselves are “bad” or off limits. So, how do we stick to our diets and double down on some ironclad willpower when we’re constantly faced with a barrage of savory, sweet, and decadent delights?
Here’s it is… the secret is out… all you have to do is… just eat. That’s it. Just eat.
For starters, the literal definition of a diet is, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” Knowing that, I want to get rid of the word “diet” in the context of implying that how a person normally eats isn’t okay and that one should stick to a structured approach, eliminating a group foods or only allowing certain foods at special times of the year, and only in moderation. (Of course, disregard if you have a legitimate allergy/aversion to something - like if an EpiPen would need to be involved).
Does this mean that you must Scrooge McDuck yourself into a vault of gravy and/or chocolate in order to assert your dominance over society’s standards of health and beauty? No. I mean, you do you. Side note: If you do have a vault and are filling it with gravy and/or chocolate to surf on and dive into, please call me. However, including fruits, veggies, water, and movement into our day are great ways to keep you feeling good, physically and mentally. Now, don’t beat yourself up about it, but being mindful of what foods and actions make us feel our best is always a good idea. We just don’t need to freak out that we’re eating a cinnamon bun for breakfast and then figuring out how many burpees we’ll need to do to “burn it off.” Taking the stress out being “good” or “bad” is what’s going to allow you to enjoy your life, holidays or not.
As we’ve established, for most people, the holidays are filled with fun treats and ways to relax that aren’t typically part of our daily lives year-round. So, take the time to slow down and enjoy your grandma’s famous apple pie that brings you back to a special memory. Have an extra cocktail with your dad on the front porch while making jokes that your mom would roll her eyes at. Take shots of whipped cream straight from the can while your cat, Jeff, looks at you in confusion and disgust while you stand in the soft, warm glow of the open fridge door. But enough about me… dive into whatever comfort and joy mean to you. No judgment!
If we are constantly afraid that what we eat and how we choose to enjoy things are going to make us “bad” or ruin our waistlines (whatever that means), then I think the true meaning of the holiday season is lost. In a year, five years, 20 years, you’re not going to remember what you weighed or that you were “good” because you turned down a favorite food. You’re going to want to look back and be thankful that you created special memories, enjoyed yourself, and made more inside jokes that will annoy your loved ones for another 20 years. And your judgmental cat. Chill out, Jeff…
Thanks for reading and happy holidays,
Claire, Office Manager at Athletes' Potential
Dr. Danny and staff's views on performance improvement, injury prevention, and sometimes other random thoughts.