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Happy As a Clam and Cutting Myself Some Slack

JennSlack585After my first gluten-free baking extravaganza, I’ve been enjoying a cookie with my morning coffee almost every day of the week. Yes, it’s a treat and not something I’d want to make a daily habit, but this time of year when I’m filled with the holiday spirit? Game on.

After years and years of obsessive calorie-counting, deprivation and then subsequent overeating (because you can only eat “perfectly” and work out like a banshee for so long before your primal hunger kicks in), I’ve learned to cut myself some slack (much like FBG Erin). And during the holidays (for me, this week between Christmas and New Year’s is holiday perfection with plenty of quiet reflection time), I cut myself just a bit more than usual.

Sure, I still hit the Fit Pit a couple of times a week (even last week!), but today when Erin, her husband and her little one came over for breakfast (waffles, eggs, kale and French press coffee, of course!), did I feel bad about missing a workout? Heck to the no. Erin and I only get to see each other a few times a year, so, yes, indeed my regular day-to-day life needs to hit pause.

Taking a break every now and again is good for the soul. Taking it easy around the holidays does a couple of things. First, it helps me actually begin to miss working out. I miss the sweat, the feeling of accomplishment and my gym buddies. Second, I realize how good working out regularly and eating clean really does make me feel. A few days of eating processed foods and not moving much is a sure-fire way for me to remember why I choose—and enjoy—healthy foods. Third, despite all the things I just said, sometimes you just need to chill. Most of us work too hard and push ourselves to be everything for everyone. This year, my only goal for Christmas was to be myself, accept others for who they are, and choose to be happy as a clam. Come to think of it, that’s a pretty good goal for every day of the year.

So this week, I’m going to the gym when I can, not beating myself up when I can’t, taking time for myself to reflect on the year, and enjoying that extra holiday cookie here and there in addition to my usual healthy diet. Here’s to being happy as a clam now and into 2012!

Do you cut yourself some slack this time of year? —Jenn


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