I’m always wanging on about how much I rely on my exercise to keep me not only looking vaguely slim, but also nice and sane and in the happy play schooly state of mind that I like to be in. Keeping healthy is important to me. Physically and mentally. Keeping Healthy in December is even more important.
Problem is, global pandemic notwithstanding, I usually have more nights out in December than I have in the rest of the year combined. Now, that’s great, I’m a social gal and I like going out. However too much booze and bad food, does not a motivated lady make. And thus I really struggle staying remotely healthy in December.
Last year was possibly the most unhealthiest I’ve ever been over the festive period, it was certainly the heaviest I’ve been in December for many, many years. There were a few abnormal contributing factors that aren’t always the case; we went on a massive 2 week holiday to Canada at the end of September, where I gained 8lbs. Then between coming back at the beginning of October to the beginning of December I was up and down to Eastbourne every 2 weeks and unable to get into a good healthy eating/exercise rhythm. So the lbs continued to pile on. And on. And on.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am the BIGGEST advocate of relaxing and eating your body weight in Toffifee and drinking Prosecco with every meal over the festive period. But last year, as December 6th rolled around and I was on my 2nd night out of 5 I was very tempted to say ‘stuff it, i’ll just not bother with exercise in December and i’ll just start again in January’. So i tried that for a weekend.
Problem was, my mental health started to severely suffer just in that 48 hour period. I felt chubby and lethargic and my skin was getting spotty and grey and this was almost 3 weeks before the big guy was due to visit. If I continued with my ‘stuff it’ attitude, I was in real danger of spending xmas day under the duvet because I hated the way I looked and didn’t want to face anyone.
So, back off to the gym I went. I did a gentle 40 minutes on the crosstrainer while watching old episodes of The Challenge on YouTube and I almost instantly felt better. And there and then, whilst standing in a puddle of my own sweat made up mainly of white wine and pigs in blankets that I developed my new strategy for staying healthy in December; do what you can, when you can.
It may sound obvious (it definitely sounds simple) but I swear it pulled me back from the brink last year. I was simply going to eat well (salads or taboulleh for lunch, lighter healthier teas) and go to the gym on the days I wasn’t out shoving stuffing balls into my face like they’re skittles.
Of course ‘health’ isn’t limited to just diet and exercise. It’s also about getting enough rest and enough natural daylight. And when I say enough, what I mean is, what’s enough for you. It’s so important to make sure you’re getting enough rest, whether it’s rest from screen time if you work from home, rest from the chaos of having to wrap Christmas presents, or rest from worrying about the godawful situation we’re in at the moment.
I’ve also started walking more. Mainly at lunchtime or weekends to make the most of those precious daylight hours but it makes me feel so much better. Walking is an underrated exercise and certainly something that feels less daunting that having to navigate bad weather or dark nights with running, or the cardiovascular onslaught of a crosstrainer. Sticking my favourite playlist on Spotify and throwing on my walking boots to get out the house for a while seems like a compromise.
It can be tough, as I say, when I’m burning the candle at both ends, and when you wake up every other morning with mild to moderate hangovers it can be really difficult to motivate yourself to get your leggings on and head to the gym. But it’s more damage limitation for me than it is damage control. I know I’m going to gain weight in December and I’m a-ok with that. This way I just make sure I don’t lose my sanity at the same time