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|It looks like a smile, but it's really a scream for help. PUT THE FREE WEIGHTS DOWN, CINDY.|
I don't know how to tell you this, but every time you start listing practical tips for staying fit & healthy during the holidays, everyone is laughing at you and definitely not taking notes.
Here is a list of real-ass "helpful holiday fitness tips" I have actually heard or read over the past week or so that have made me throw up a bit in my mouth with embarrassment for those doling them out:
In addition to maintaining your normal exercise schedule, squeeze in an extra workout or two whenever you can. You know, in all that extra free time you have around the holidays. Bring your free weights to office meetings. Do laps around the cell phone lot as you wait for loved ones at the airport. The possibilities are endless. (I prefer wine aerobics and cookie yoga, myself.)
After a midday holiday meal, convince your friends & family to go for a fun, festive post meal jog or walk. GODDDDD please don't be this person. Please. You want to go for a fun, festive calorie-burning walk/run? By all means go for it. But please don't attempt to browbeat the rest of us who kind of just want to sit on our asses and shoot the shit with a glass of whiskey with people we only ever get to see once a year. Don't be that guy/gal.
Before you go to a party, decide ahead of time to limit yourself to three bites, three cookies, your three favorite foods, etc. and stick to it. Yes, limit yourself. To three bites, or three cookies, your three favorite foods, three foods of each color, three plates of food, three foods that remind you of each person at the party, three vats of artificially colored cookie frosting, etc. Again, the possibilities are endless. You do you.
Buy a low-fat, low-sugar eggnog and skip the alcohol to save calories per cup. Or, you could skip directly to stabbing yourself in the throat. :D
Enlist a fitness-minded friend or family member to be your holiday exercise buddy! Look. Those of us who want any kind of exercise buddy probably already have one. Those of us who don't want you to stop talking about this because you're making it weird for everyone.
Instead of baking cookies or playing board games, pass the time with an active pursuit like snowshoeing, hiking, or building snowmen or igloos. Recent studies show that holiday board games are definitely, DEFINITELY a leading cause of the Obesifying Of AmericaTM. Probably also terrorism. GET OUT THOSE SNOWSHOES, PEOPLE.
Instead of mulled red wine, make mulled cider. You save the calories not only from the alcohol in the wine, but also from the added sugar, since cider is naturally sweet. You know what makes cider 'naturally sweet'? FUCKING SUGAR. See also: Stabbing oneself in the throat.
Instead of dark meat slathered in gravy, choose lower-fat white meat without the skin and enjoy it with just a drizzle of gravy made with defatted pan juices, dry white wine, and low-sodium chicken broth. If you come to my holiday dinner and start talking about 'defatted pan juices,' we are so over. SO. OVER.
Bring your own healthy snacks to the holiday party. Yes, please totally be that sad person sitting in the corner eating celery sticks and homemade GMO-free hummus out of your sad little tupperware while you gaze longingly at your Three Favorite Foods. It won't be weird or awkward for ANYONE, TRUST ME.
Skip the baking; you probably eat more cookies while baking. Fuck that noise. You wanna bake? Fucking bake. YOU BAKE THE SHIT OUT OF THOSE FESTIVE HOLIDAY COOKIES AND EAT AS MANY AS YOU WANT. You baddass motherfucker, you.
Invite holiday vacation visitors to join you at the gym or a favorite exercise class. No. NO. NOOOOOO. Trust me; they do not not NOT want you to do this. HOLIDAY. VACATION. Look it up.
Do some yard work. What?
Lace up your sneakers and powerwalk between holiday errands at the mall. This is definitely not the saddest, most depressing thing related to exercise I've ever heard. Definitely, definitely not. (See also: stabbing in the throat.)
When traveling for the holidays, bring along a favorite fitness DVD and yoga mat. ARE. YOU. JOKING.
Eat and chew slowly. Take a second to savor each bite of baked brie or scoop of spiced nuts! Oh, so it's not enough that I'm packing my own fitness DVD and drinking sad teetotaler eggnog and powerwalking the mall between
murdering children errands, now I have to monitor my chew-rate? IS THERE SOME KIND OF APP FOR THAT???!?!?
Turn away from temptation by facing away from the dessert spread. Don't worry, your chew-monitoring app probably also comes with DessertCompassTM.
Choose a tall, skinny glass instead of a short, squat one; you'll drink less. Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahahaha wanna bet? (Or, maybe your chew-monitoring app also comes with CupChooserTM.)
Sneak puréed veggies into baked goods in place of butter or oil. Bitch, I will straight-up cut you.
When baking [IF YOU MUST], try subbing half the flour with whole-wheat flour to increase the fiber, which fills you up faster & makes you feel fuller longer. You guys, sorry to be the killer of dreams, but I have spent way too much time sitting in a sports nutritionist's office and the whole wheat flour thing is 90% bullshit.
Stand up to "food pushers" -- Just say no, over and over and over again! Is this, like, the grown-up equivalent of the war on drugs? You would actually think it's that serious, based what WebMD has to say about the matter: "Despite your best laid plans, your holiday food goals can still go awry thanks to 'food pushers' – friends, family members, and co-workers who refuse to take 'no' for an answer when they're offering fattening treats. These are the people who, for whatever reason, seem to believe that their holiday celebration just isn't complete until they get you to give in to their food weaknesses.' YOU GUYS, DON'T GIVE IN TO THEIR FOOD WEAKNESSES, NOOOOOOO! J/K, you eat WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT, you baddass motherfucker.
(RealTalk: OK, sure, I agree that this is SUPER weird behavior that some people definitely engage in, but it's not limited to the holidays, and part of being a grown-ass adult is learning how to politely say 'No thank you' with a lovely smile plastered on your face when a thing is not your jam. So, like, stop making it weird, WebMD. This is not about Teh Holidayzzz or getting fat.)
Instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out. Like parties. And alcohol. And baking. And free-form chewing. Basically, anything that might bring you joy for half a second.
Skip the savory finger foods, creamy dips, and fried canapés, help yourself to a small handful of nuts, reduced-fat cheese and fresh fruit, or chilled shrimp. I have an idea, what if you helped yourself to whatever the fuck you felt like eating and didn't make a big deal out of it?
Honestly, you want my tips for staying fit & healthy during the holiday (AND I THINK YOU DO)?
- Eat like a normal person most of the time & have a tasty holiday treat or two when you goddamn feel like it.
- Do your normal exercise when you can but do not feel bad & flagellate yourself if you are sometimes too busy kissing under the mistletoe or slapping under the slappy spider or just feel like today you're more interested in wine/pie/polishing off that whiskey advent calendar.
- Stop talking about it like it's a thing. Everyone is laughing at you.