Why We Gain Weight During the Holidays

I have discovered the secret! It came to me while looking over my calendar for the month of December and realizing that I will be missing more Zumba classes than I attend for the next month.  Since I’m a Zumba addict, I’m pretty pissed about this but it did provide some insight into why we tend to gain weight over the holidays.  It’s not just the amounts of food we’re consuming; it’s also the total upheaval of our normal routines.  Add in the stress of spending extended amounts of time with family and there’s a reason we need new year’s resolutions.

I’m happy to say that for the past few months I really have not worried about my weight.  I have felt confident in my size and the way I look and have finally been able to shed the perpetual diet I was living under for most of my life.  I’ve cooked great food, eaten at good restaurants and figured out an exercise regimen that works for me.  Facing the next month of time spent at parties or away from home, coupled with my Tuesday night pilates teacher not teaching on Tuesdays anymore and missing so many Zumba classes, I’m starting to worry again.  I am totally fine with the way I look now, but that doesn’t make me less terrified of gaining holiday weight.

Besides just my routine not being able to exist for the next month, it seems that I’m constantly surrounded by food.  Yesterday it was oreos in the kitchen at work, today its chocolate from a gift basket (and I can’t walk away from a supply of chocolate!).  Next week it will be a cocktail party and the week after my a cappella group’s Christmas party.  Sure I can promise myself to not go overboard and treat this month like any other.  But the minute I try to limit myself is the minute that I go crazy.  I rebel against myself.  It’s completely crazy and I spent so many years in therapy trying to not do it, but I do and I probably always will.  I’m trying to let my hunger lead me instead of my love of chocolate.  It hasn’t worked so far, but hopefully the novelty of the holidays will wear off pretty soon.

I’m trying to come up with a plan to get me through.  I have my Zumba dvds that Evan gave me for my birthday (OBSESSED!) that I can use to supplement my work outs.  I also can allot myself a certain amount of candy a day so that I don’t feel completely deprived and TOTALLY sad all the time.  I also can just suck it up, gain the five pounds everyone does knowing that I’ll lose it pretty quickly in January when life returns to normal (even if my classes are totally overcrowded like they are every January!).  Or I can just buy some new spanx.  In reality I’ll probably use a combination of all of these things.  What I’m really hoping to avoid is beating myself up for being human.  The holidays are fun and exciting and are made for an extra peppermint mocha from starbucks and another slice of dessert you only eat once a year.  So my advice to myself and everyone else: be mindful, but have fun (and maybe embrace a temporary need for spanx!)!

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3 thoughts on “Why We Gain Weight During the Holidays

  1. Pingback: Open Letter to December: Go Away! « Think well. Love well. Dine well.

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year: I’m on a Diet « Think well. Love well. Dine well.

  3. Pingback: No Sweets Week: Day 1 | Think well. Love well. Dine well.

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