Feasting (ahem…overindulging…ahem) is a large part of the holiday season.  When done right it’s a delightful way in which to feel pampered and special, to celebrate and congregate, to share good times and make things merry.  Taken to excess…well…it becomes excessive.  Besides the not so hilarious holiday stories, the gastric distress, and the possible hangover that ensures from too much intake, we also ruin one of the most important relationships we have, the one with our own body.

The holidays may be a feast for the senses, but for most of us our bodies are collateral damage.  We get stressed over having so much to do, do too much without rest or care for ourselves, eat badly even before the feasting just because we don’t have any time to pay attention to the fact we shouldn’t be eating that (but it’s so easy and quick…) and we put aside any self-care routines that might keep us healthy in order to get through what we have to and enjoy all the fun things there are to do.  Wheeeee!!!!

So after the last present is opened, the ruins of a meal are all over the table, the games have been watched, the snacks eaten, the coffee has gotten cold and the drinks are down to the dregs, we find in a moment of stillness that we feel awful and the sneaking suspicion that we’ve gained weight starts to nag at us.  One more thing to add to the growing New Year’s resolution pile, right?  😛

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  If this season is about togetherness, about sharing, about deepening the bonds of our relationships, then why not include the one we have with ourselves?  Instead of prioritizing everything else over us, why not make this season about celebrating us?  You can taste everything without filling up on anything.  You can enjoy a holiday workout, just add a Santa hat or a crazy Christmas t-shirt to your gym gear.  While the kids are out of school include them in the physical activities.  Give them the job of reminding you when meal times are and helping you decide what to make and then make it.  Reinforce when they choose healthy options instead of fast food and then follow up on that.  Make meals with the holiday theme.  Turn the holiday around so that it’s about celebrating, not about being busy and harried and merchandising.  Make memories, grow the relationship between you and your body, fill your days with the joy of the season in equal measure with the logistics of creating it and you’ll have plenty of glad tidings to share when the day arrives.  (And it’s likely you’ll only have gained 2 lbs instead of 20. Yay!)