Holiday Motto: No one cares about your diet, just go eat your lettuce and be sad.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there! (New moms, old moms, moms-to-be, moms of angel babies and hopeful future moms) 💕

With yesterday being a holiday you may be feeling a little sluggish and blah this Monday morning. Maybe you overdid it at your Mother’s Day brunch. You may be angry now that your pants are too tight. Maybe you simply slipped up and fell off your plan a little bit. If that’s the case you are once again ridiculing yourself for your lack of willpower.

With that being said, something dawned on me this week about holidays  that I’d like to share.

Whether it’s a huge holiday like Christmas or a smaller celebration like Mother’s Day,the conversation about holiday plans has become more about the fear of food than the happiness of the day. Sure, the day centers around food… we plan what we are going to eat, where we are going to eat and with whom we are eating with.

Because of this, each holiday morphs into a larger than life eating extravaganza and holidays become the bane of our waistline. A primary source of diet and food anxiety.Each holiday either take us off the diet we are currently on, sets us back on the diet we plan to start or leaves us bloated and puffy for 6 days. Frankly, we think holidays make us fat. And because of that, we have all started to hate them. If you panic, like me, the minute you see the first sign of any holiday in hallmark then you’re as well suffering from self inflicted holiday food fears.

My family brunch was served buffet style yesterday. Served was shrimp cocktail, kale salad with dried fruit and nuts, twice baked french toast, mini broccoli cheddar quiches, bacon, bagels with 3 different types of cream cheese, cold cut sandwiches, ice cream cake, fruit salad, pound cake, muffins and 4 different types of cookies. There was wine, beer, soda & juice. A once glance, this looks like a dieting disaster. And it was. But that’s ok.

But here’s why we all need to stop dreading the holidays and what the result of them will be on the scale. All holidays bring different emotions for different people. Mother’s Day is no exception. For some people yesterday was happy, for some people it was sad, for some people it was a combination of both. Feelings that accompany holidays are inescapable. Sure we can talk about how we can make plans to eat less, cook healthier or lock ourselves in the bathroom so we don’t overeat but in the midst of all the emotions (good and bad) that accompany a holiday, food anchors us. It comforts us, it calms us and as much as we all hate to admit it, it’s the reason we love the holidays. Let’s embrace that.

I hate how, in the past, I have looked at holidays as a source of food stress and not pure happiness. At different times in our lives, life can feel like a string of gloomy cloudy days. Holidays should be the sunshine. Not a day of rain. Let’s all work together to remember that. Buy the Cadbury eggs that come with Easter. Enjoy the conversation hearts that symbolize Valentines Day. Steal all the mini Snickers from your child’s Halloween bag. Do what you need to do to remind yourself that a holiday is happy. Remove the guilt that comes with eating on these days. 

The bottom line, holidays aren’t to blame. And we shouldn’t blame them for the size of our jeans.

When we all look at our own personal social calendars we see celebrations as diet roadblocks. And most of us are waiting for the perfect time to start a diet (ie: Monday) because we know it will be impossible to stay on any plan during a celebration. It will be. But that doesn’t mean you are doomed.

I did some math. There are 365 days in a year. Counting every holiday, including flag day, groundhog day, black Friday, cyber Monday & president’s day…They total about 37 days a year. Add in a couple birthdays, a couple bridal showers and some vacations we’re up to about 52. (basically if you had something every weekend). That’s still only 1/7th of a year of bad eating days. If we eat well on the other 311 days, we’re golden.

Holidays are nothing in the grand scheme of the scale. You deserve to celebrate life. We all do. Don’t fear the food, flavor the celebration.

 

 

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