I thought I’d write you this letter, an ‘open letter,’ to urge you to embrace this holiday season. But not just the season itself, but the spirit behind the season. Stop focusing on how much weight you’re bound to gain from all of the holiday parties you’ve been invited to (or are hosting yourself). Stop worrying that your workouts are bound to suffer because you’ve got a more-full social calendar than normal. And please, don’t worry that the gifts you’ve chosen for loved ones will not be well-received: they are gifts from the heart, and that’s what matters most, not what’s physically in that box or gift bag.
Instead, focus on the spirit of the season itself:
Embrace un-routine a little bit. If that means that you’ve got to rejigger your workout plans so you can enjoy the holiday party on a Thursday night (that you’d normally spend working out), so be it. Go ahead and set the alarm an hour earlier on Thursday morning and get your workout in early, before most of the rest of the world has even considered waking up. It may also mean learning to let go of a workout here and there (if you’re like me and very much love to stick to your normal workout routine no matter what!) and embracing the extra hour or two spent with family and friends instead (or with your husband snuggled in bed for an extra hour).
Focus on the celebration, not the sheer amount of food set forth at the next holiday party you attend. Instead of automatically bee-lining it over to the trays of food, take your time moseying around the room, making conversation, sipping on some champagne (it *is* a time for celebrating, yes?) and making memories with loved ones. This may fall into an ‘un-routine’ moment for you if you normally go straight for the food at a party (this used to be me too, I readily admit), and yes, it might take time to break that habit, but please – celebrate the small victories, this lifestyle isn’t about perfection, but striving for excellence.
Let go. Of stress. That the holiday party you throw will not be as perfect as you’d hoped (this is a note to self for me…). That your gifts will not be well-received. That you’re going to gain weight and completely fall off the workout bandwagon in the final two weeks of the year. Let go. Of all of that. And shift your focus. Celebrate all that this year has meant to you instead. And get excited for the promise and wonder of what the next year will bring.
And finally, just be. Be normal. Be yourself, who you’ve been this entire year and stop looking at the holidays as ‘that time where you wrecked all of your hard work.’ And start looking at it as one big, long celebration of this past year spent LIVING.