Finding Balance & Body Positivity

We’re officially past the second week in January, and for the majority of those of you who make New Year’s Resolutions, you’ve either already given up, or you will in the next couple of weeks. I don’t mean to be pessimist and cynical, but it’s the truth.

The gym has been jam packed every single day that I’ve been since January 2d, and I’m expecting it to remain this way for another week or so; I’m all for healthy resolutions, but you honestly don’t need to wait for January 1st to start. I started my resolution back in November, and it had been hanging by a thread during the holidays.

Personally, I find the winter holidays to be the hardest time of the year in regards to self-love, body positivity, and finding the balance between indulging and binging. You’re stressed out from school, work, kids, travel plans, etc., you have to travel to visit family or you’re stuck hosting the main event, it just never stops.

We tend to put ourselves at the end of the list before everything else, but through trial and error, I’ve noticed that it’s probably better and smarter to put yourself first. I’m talking about taking 2 hours a day just to yourself, if you can’t fit it in all at once, break it down. In those two hours, you’ve got enough time to: go to the gym for a quick workout, walk around the neighborhood once or twice, take a bath and read a book, paint your nails and listen to that CD you’ve been dying to listen to: you pick!

I’ve found that if I don’t take that time to excuse myself from the fam-jam, or excuse myself from my pile of lectures and assignments, that I have a much harder time to get back on the proverbial horse once the holidays and/or stressful times are over.

There are two types of people present during the holiday feasts: those who let themselves eat everything they want, and those who refuse anything that cannot be weighed and tracked on MyFitness Pal. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be either one.

I want you to raise your hand, or at least in your head if you’re in a public space when reading this, if you make sure to have a pair of “fat-pants” in your suitcase when you travel. I’m talking about that one pair of sweatpants or leggings that stretch out without making you feel like a sausage (I tend to avoid dresses and nylons because you really get that sausage effect). We all have them, and we all wear them pretty much constantly during our holidays; except I didn’t this year. I forgot mine at home when I left for my two week trek across the province to visit four sets of parents. When I realized this, I made myself a promise: not buy another pair for the trip.

It’s ok to have a couple of days during the year when you shut that calorie-counter part of your brain off, and just listen to your body and what it’s telling you. If you feel like having an extra piece of cake, go for it (I had 3 pieces one night), just don’t guilt yourself over it and punish yourself by wearing those “fat-pants”. You don’t want to be that one person that says no to everything because “you’re watching your macros” or because you can’t track what you’re eating on MyFitnessPal. You’re allowed to have a couple of days that are off-track of your goals, without them being “cheat days”.

Since I didn’t end up buying another pair of “fat-pants”, I had a moment of panic since that would essentially mean that I couldn’t stuff my face and instantly not regret it. I also didn’t want to not eat anything because I couldn’t fit it in my daily macros for my training plan. Instead, I took this as a challenge; a challenge to keep up my 2h a day to myself where I could go for that run or walk, go to the gym, or take that bath. Because by doing those things that please me and calm me, I didn’t feel the need to say to myself “ok come January 1st, I’m starting my diet and losing all my Christmas weight”.

I let myself enjoy that one slightly bigger piece of cake and cookie, eat those holiday foods, without ever telling myself that I would have to go put my “fat-pants” on as a punishment for going overboard, or preventing myself from having certain things because I would have to track it.

Whatever weight I put on during the holidays is happy weight; it’s weight that I put on because I let myself enjoy my time, and appreciate myself and my body. I’m proud of myself because I managed to get into the gym on January 2d and do my regular workout, then fit into the clothes that I had brought with me. I’m proud that I let myself enjoy my holidays without obsessing over everything that wouldn’t fit in my meal plan.

For once, I think I found a perfect balance.

(credit for picture : Petit Chaos Illustrations “à l’épreuve de la bullshit”)

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