It’s that time of year. We’ve already passed Halloween and with Thanksgiving around the corner, more and more people are going to start blaming holidays for their eating habits (why we pick the last quarter of the year to keep track of holidays is a mystery to me…nobody ever said that Armistice Day added 3 inches to their waistline).
There are two ways around this issue. The first is to stick to whatever dietary plan you’re on come hell or highwater. The second is to eat whatever you want and not worry that an extra turkey leg is going to cause unchecked obesity.
In Option #1, you have to be a bit of a hardnose in order to make it work. You have your eating plan and you stick with it. Going to Aunt Tallulah’s house? I hope she isn’t going to be insulted when you decline the stuffing, cranberries and pie. You really should hope she doesn’t have a baseball bat in the house, because when you pull out your Tupperware container of grilled chicken breasts and avocado slices and say “This is my dinner, but thanks anyway”, she’s gonna be livid.
In Option#2, you eat as part of the celebration with family and friends. You don’t intentionally try overdo it, but there will probably be a photo of you passed out on the couch with your belt undone in a post-feast stupor. That’s not a big deal because you never tag yourself in pictures anyway. The next day, you don’t freak out and run for 2 hours on the treadmill to “burn it off” (that’s not how it works anyway). You just go back to your normal workout and eating patterns, psychologically unaffected by the holiday.
Which one is right and which is wrong?
Neither and neither.
The wonderful thing about being an American is that you can still do what you want provided it doesn’t cause harm to anyone else (real harm, not “OMG I feel bad because he’s in better shape than me but ate more than me” harm). So do whatever makes you feel better. Personally, I’d choose Option #2 because I like people and I like to eat. I also understand the relationship between the body and food so the prospect of taking in extra calories is not frightening in the least bit. Not to mention, Option #2 gives much lower odds of getting wacked by Aunt Tallulah’s baseball bat. But I could see myself using Option #1 if the house I was going to was ridiculously unhealthy…I’m talking hot lard on top of Twinkies unhealthy.
The bottom line is no matter which one you pick, you cannot transfer responsibility for your actions to an inanimate day of celebration. Eat or don’t eat, the choice is yours. Just make sure when you make that choice that you own it and the results of that action.
As for me, I’m going to get another serving.