I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Lately, I’ve seen a lot of criticism on blogs and social media of other people’s diet and exercise regimes (or lack thereof) over Christmas. While I would have joined in the debate in the past, I’ve now learned that others’ own personal choices do not concern me.
Personally, I hate Christmas. Maybe I’m a huge grinch, but it’s never been a big deal to me. My best Christmas ever was two years ago, when I spent the day alone. I did whatever the hell I wanted to and didn’t have to deal with family politics, screaming children or gift-related anxiety.
I have been travelling for five out of the last seven Christmases, but you can bet your ass that I would go to the gym if I could. It doesn’t mean that I am gym-obsessed (heck, at the time of writing I haven’t stepped foot in a gym for 18 days and counting) but, if I have a day to myself with no other obligations, I love taking the time to work out. It is genuinely something I love doing.
On one of the years I wasn’t travelling, I suggested to the owner of my gym that he open on Christmas and Boxing Day, if there was enough demand for it. I got attacked by the other members and told that I needed to get a life outside of the gym. While I might technically have been “home” in London, I had no family to celebrate with and my friends were busy, so Christmas was just another day to me.
If you have a big family who you only get to see once a year, then sure, perhaps you should spend time with them rather than wasting time trying to find an open gym. However, for many people, Christmas can be a tough time of year and the gym can serve as a welcome distraction.
It’s also important to note that some people, due to religious reasons or otherwise, don’t celebrate Christmas at all. There was a petition circulating in the UK before Christmas to stop shops opening on Boxing Day, which I think is so stupid. Sure, some people would rather spend the day with their family, but some people (like me!) who don’t care about Christmas would jump at the opportunity to earn double time.
Whether you want to train every day right through the festive season, or stay out of the gym for the entire week between Christmas and New Year, it’s your choice. You shouldn’t be shamed for it either way.
What you eat on Christmas day is your choice, too. I personally treat it like any other special occasion. If I’m an event with friends and/or family and there is lots of delicious food on offer, I enjoy a little of everything (or sometimes a lot, haha) without feeling guilty. When I’m travelling, I typically order or make something a little extravagant to celebrate.
This year, I made these insanely delicious brownies.
I went for a 20-minute run in the morning, before eating myself into a food coma in the afternoon. I never stopped for a second to think if I should or should not be eating something.
An Instagram account I follow posted her entire line-up of tupperware meals she’d prepared for Christmas day… which she was spending with her family. This girl does not have any competitions or photoshoots coming up, so I personally think it’s a little overkill for her not to fully enjoy the day with her family.
If my friends ever saw me bust out the tupperware during a group celebration, I’d get so much shit that it wouldn’t be worth it. And I would never want to isolate myself like that for no reason.
Even so, it is still her decision. I don’t know the exact reasons she chose to bring her own food to her family gathering, so I can’t automically assume that she has an eating disorder. As long as you are truly happy and comfortable with your decision, that’s all that matters.
Do you work out on Christmas Day? Do you watch what you eat or go all-out?