Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Giving Thanks to the Sugar Plum Witch

With the recent sugar-driven holiday of Halloween and the gorging holiday of Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, many of you are wondering what will happen once we dive deeper into the holiday season. One thing I can tell you for sure is that you will get the exact results you plan for.

If you decide to approach the holidays in the same way you approach the rest of the year, you could find yourself feeling like Santa's Sexy Little Helper. If, however, you decide to approach the holidays with a more glutinous, compulsive attitude, you may find that St. Nick's belly has graciously migrated to your body to help you get into the holiday spirit. Neither approach is wrong, however, I often assume that if you are reading these posts, you would prefer the former.

It's always funny to me that people anticipate the "holiday weight gain", when they are really only anticipating their desire for overindulgence and the subsequent "consumer's remorse". Gyms and trainers bank on the fact that, year after year, people will slow down their routine over the holidays and come back with a New Year's resolution to get back the body they had only a few short weeks ago. Nevertheless, it happens.

Halloween begins the vicious cycle as we silently sneak candy from our children's huge stash. This continues through Thanksgiving, which is the holiday we cherish for our ability to out-eat our relatives and then pass out into a complete food coma. Next come the endless stream of Christmas parties and gifts of cookies, cakes, chocolates, fudge, candy canes, and everything in the "not included on my diet" list. The most ridiculous part about it all is the fact that we feel the need to say yes to every single thing!!

This year, make a vow to yourself, for yourself, that in the spirit of giving, you will make sure to give much more than you receive. Give away the Halloween candy or start a new, healthier tradition, put enough on your Thanksgiving plate to satisfy you and give the rest to your guests, and graciously say, "I appreciate your sincere generosity, however, I made a commitment to myself not to eat (fill in the blank), and I would love for you to give it where it will not go to waste."

Personally, I can be just as jolly with a piece of crudite as I can with a Christmas cookie. That's not to say never indulge, however it is so much more satisfying to savor a truly scrumptious piece of fudge rather than stuffing an entire plate of mediocre cookies into your mouth.

Be mindful of what you are eating and why you are eating it. The holidays tend to stir up emotions in us that stuffing our face seems to pacify. By the same token, be mindful of what you are saying no to as you say yes to the multitudes of holiday shindigs. If you are saying no to your workouts for weeks on end, it may be time to whittle down which parties you feel most called to attend.

May you be conscious of the food you eat, gracious with your company, and committed to your health. Give thanks to the Sugar Plum Witch for her constant reminder this holiday season to teach others by example and I know you will be a success!

In love and Gratitude (without the sugar!)~

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