Monday, December 21, 2009

The Goal Is Flexibility! Just not mine.

Last Friday I sent out my Daily Dose, which I do each morning on Twitter and via email for twitterphobes, and since it was a Friday I had to think of a word beginning with "F" to complete the sentence, "TGIF: The Goal Is.....". I started doing that on Fridays months ago and now it's a thing and each Friday I have to come up with a new f-word. Unfortunately I can't use that one.

Last Friday I used "flexibility," and planned to write something about how we all have to be flexible during the holidays to stay on our healthy plans despite travels, well-meaning family members who made special food, and the like. But then I thought....wait a sec.....why do I have to be the flexible one? Why can't they accomodate me?

I felt a little bad about thinking that seeing that its the holiday season and I am supposed to be giving, not receiving. But I pushed that feeling aside as I recalled an article that a friend sent to me a few weeks ago that illustrated my point. You can read it here.

The article is pretty much a non-apology letter for being a stubborn clean eater in the midst of holiday food, and an explanation that being a health-food snob is not personal, its just food. As I read it, I wanted to take out a full page in the New York Times to proclaim my love for the author, Jennifer Merritt, who had obviously somehow managed to tap into my soul without my even realizing it. She laid out my thoughts so eloquently I felt like I should pay her a commission or something.

I'm here now at my parent's house, having arrived with my ice chest and taking over the beer fridge in the garage with my spinach, egg whites, turkey, soup, fruit, veggies, and whatnot. I sipped soup while everyone else ate pizza, I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on pears and oranges to snack on, and I bought a week's guest pass at my family's gym so I can stay on top of my workouts. And what I have to keep reminding people is that this is what I want to do. Indulging in sugar and fatty creamy holiday food would be like having the Grinch steal Christmas from me. I really honestly truly would rather eat fruit.

Its not that my family is super unhealthy; they're not. But you know what I mean, the holidays cast a spell on all of us that makes it seem like we're un-American if we don't maintain a diet of rum balls and eggnog for the rest of the year, and practically tars and feathers those of us who pass on the traditional seven holiday pounds gained. I used to embrace the calorie-fest of December and feel like I deserved to "treat" myself because, after all, it's the holidays. But over time, I began to realize that I wasn't doing myself any favors.

So, I am asking my family to give me a very special gift for Christmas this year: flexibility to let me do my weird food thing and maybe even try it out yourself. :)
I'll settle for the beer fridge. :)

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