If the festive season sees you hurtling, train wreck-like, towards corpulence and toxicity, you do know it doesn’t have to be that way. CLAIRE O’MAHONY rounds up some solid expert advice to help minimise any drastic 2017 resolutions.
Hurrah for Christmas clichés. From Indiana Jones on the TV to office party misbehaviour, tut-tutting about the Twelve Pubs of Christmas and the unavoidable sparkly outfit, there’s a lot to love. Less appealing is the annual cycle of over- indulgence and bitter regret that sees us lurch from box of Heroes to bottle of Baileys, knowing that hard months of reckoning lie ahead, yet unable to stop ourselves from leaping, lemming-like, into a cheeseboard.
If you would prefer not to spend the early part of 2017 in stretch pants and block booking spin classes, the good news is that there is a simple answer – don’t be a glutton, keep working out, and put down the mulled wine. Simple, we said, but certainly not easy. Tragically, there is no magic bullet – no chia seed pudding, no vinegar shot, no ten-minute gym routine and no revolutionary way of eating that can negate scientific principles – eat rubbish, don’t move, and you’ll feel awful and gain weight. Physical health aside, there are aspects to Christmas that undermine psychological wellbeing, including unhappy family dynamics and the pressure to have the time of your life. But there are still painless pointers to take on board to help you stay on the path of healthfulness, in terms of mind and body. Adapting the middle ground is never the sexiest or most on-trend thing to do, but it does make sense.
Here is the expert advice from Jules Coll.
Jules Coll is the author of Flabyrinth: My Escape from Maximum Insecurity Prison (Gill Books). The healthy foodie and lifestyle blogger documented her weight loss in the RTÉ documentary Nine Stone Lighter.
WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS CHOICES.
The big mistake that people make when it comes to Christmas is that as soon as the decorations are out in shops, we adopt this “feck it” attitude, and it seems to happen earlier and earlier every year. We say, “Right, that’s it, I’ve already been to one Christmas party now, I completely overindulged, so I may as well just go for it for the whole of Christmas.” Then you feel incredibly guilty when what you really wanted was to wear all your nice little Christmassy dresses, and party clothes, and feeling fantastic. But what do you do? You go through your wardrobe and see what you have that’s black and baggy and is going to hide everything so you can go to this party and eat and drink more, and let the stomach swell out.
It can be difficult to get in your exercise, but there are a lot of resources for home workouts that you can do, just to get moving, even if you can’t get outside.
But it’s about choosing to still enjoy yourself over Christmas, but just not going absolutely crazy; and also, if you do overindulge at some point, it’s important to get back on track over Christmas. If you had one flat tyre, would you slash the other three? You’d change that tyre, and you’d just get back on the road again.
This article originally appeared in the December issue of IMAGE magazine, on shelves nationwide now.