You know what the best part about taekwondo is?
Your training pants double as your fat pants.
I spent the week of Thanksgiving eating my weight in food at my parents’ house. It all started with a pumpkin donut at the airport Dunkin Donuts the Saturday before Thanksgiving, plus a free drink coupon from Southwest Airlines, and it went downhill from there. I spent the week before that convalescing (i.e., pouting at home) due to a severe back injury. I’m feeling a little more like Steven Segal than Bruce Lee these days.
So, I haven’t been moving around as much for the past few weeks. I’d probably built in a buffer from all the exercise I normally do and my regular boring diet of brown rice, vegetables, fruit, eggs, and protein bars. I’m not too concerned about it though. As I mentioned in my last post, life and food are meant to be enjoyed, especially during the holidays.
Thanks to a few taekwondo, physical therapy, and swimming sessions and a low-carb, high protein Mediterranean diet (but no fish, gross) I’m back to my pre-Thanksgiving weight. Not a big deal, right?
Unfortunately for the next two or three months, weight, food, and exercise are going to be top of mind for many people, and not in a mature, healthy way. Americans are going to be obsessing about what they eat, what they look like, and how they supposedly don’t measure up to all the beautiful (albeit manufactured) people around them.
All the magazines will have guilt-laden, naggy guides on how to stay in shape during the holidays, and afterwards they’ll pummel us with suggestions for cleaning up the indulgent messes we’ve made of ourselves. I won’t be able to find parking at my gym during January and February thanks to the influx of people with good intentions and, well…good intentions. (I’m not hating on the New Years Resolution gym-goers. I start and stop plenty of things because I get burned out or lose interest or whatever else causes me to stop. It happens to all of us in different ways.)
As someone with former eating and body image problems, those articles make me laugh. It seems like such small potatoes, excuse the pun. I wasted YEARS obsessing over my body and hating myself and the way I looked to the point of being suicidal. I still try to exhibit control over my body and what I eat, and I know I’m always going to have those tendencies (e.g., I’m a size four and panic when I’m puffy with water weight), but I’ve pretty much overcome the worst of it. I’d rather read about how to improve my emotional and spiritual health or how to help others, or hell, just something about shoes than freak out over my slightly and temporarily fatter ass.
I’m not saying there shouldn’t be helpful information about nutrition and exercise this time of year. This country more than any other needs it. I just wish it weren’t so laden with self-consciousness and guilt.
Please please please, do not beat yourselves up over eating an extra cookie or piece of pie this holiday season. It’s so not worth it. Enjoy the cookie. And then do what I do and beat other people up instead.