Maintaining a calorie conscious, food-healthy lifestyle through the holidays can be somewhat of a joke when this month’s popular slogan shamelessly says, “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!”
The holidays bring gifts and family, and for some, extra unwanted pounds and stress. While the holidays do only come once a year, it’s not an excuse to throw out your daily fitness and food habits. Even if it is difficult to fully maintain your routine, it is important to at least attempt to keep things going so you don’t find yourself in a rut after the holidays.
It’s hard to dig yourself out of a hole; but if the hole is not that deep, it’ll be a little easier for you to climb out.
Junior Caitlyn Boyle said she takes everything in moderation over the holidays. Boyle continued and said it’s hard for her to get back on track, therefore, it’s crucial that she continues to watch her diet and exercise while home for the holidays. But for some, discipline is not easy to come by. Many students said they embrace the holidays and all that comes with it—calories and all. Michael Jackson did say, “Don’t stop ‘till you get enough,” and this holiday season, many students said they would do just that.
Colleen Carey, a senior, said she goes “all out” on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
“There’s so much just right in front of you,” Carey said, describing the holiday sweets.
Freshman Laura Viel said she also has a hard time keeping food in moderation.
She said, “It’s hard to resist when it’s all there. There’s always sweets around.”
Senior Erica Ricci said she uses the Christmas season as a reward, in a way. Ricci said she keeps a strict food and exercise routine throughout the year, giving her the room to spend that week or two indulging.
Ricci said, “I just kind of embrace it. I focus on it during the rest of the year, so for that week or two I enjoy it.”
She continued, “If you have a good enough routine in general, taking that week or two off is okay.”
But the holiday season brings more than just food temptations. Added stress due to family, travel, and money can put a cloud over December.
Marjorie Droppa, assistant professor of healthscience, said, “I find you can get caught up in the chaos.” Droppa said she’s careful to find time to rest and reflect, allowing her to remember the true meaning of the holidays.
One tip Droppa provided was to laugh more.
said,“Laughing reduces stress, burns calories, and it’s a great tension reliever.” If you’re laughing, you’re involved in what Droppa would say is the true meaning of the season—being with loved ones and making the time for some R&R. As far as the anticipated food and beverage intake, Droppa suggested drinking a glass of water before and between holiday drinks. She also said to not dive right into the dessert selection after dinner.
This gives your stomach time to settle and realize it’s full. She mentioned taking a quick walk after dinner to burn off some of the recently consumed calories and give your body time to digest.
Droppa reminded students to give themselves a break to truly benefit from the time off.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself,” she said. Trying to keep a rigid routine over a time when it’s all about rest and relaxation will not benefit you in any way.
This year, avoid the holiday hangover as best as you can, but be sure to take the term “Holiday Break” literally—this is our break, not just for our mind, but body and spirit.
Julie Conlon can be contacted at
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