It’s post-Christmas. And at this time of year, both from other people and in my own mind, I hear a lot of “Oh I have eaten so much”, “I feel disgusting,” “I haven’t done any exercise.” Overindulgence of alcohol, gifted chocolates that absolutely must be eaten, little bowls of sweets on the tables and countertops, dual servings of every meal and a variety of desserts to tempt even the most astute dieter, has left many of us feeling a little worse for wear.
Yep we’ve all got the I-feel-like-crap-sure-my-clothes-have-shrunk-don’t-know-if-I-can-ever-run-again thang going on.
We’re suddenly very down on ourselves; firing guilt bullets into our souls more efficiently than a household of boys with Nerf guns on Christmas morning. We’re vulnerable. And there’s an army of warriors coming our way to help the battle.
For me, the fasters are at the front line. The fasting warriors tell me that I have eaten enough food to last me at least a week. I can absolutely survive safely and happily on green tea and water for the next the next seven days. That will induce homeostasis.
Marching not far behind is the juice cleanse brigade. Ready for battle, roaring “Juice for breakfast, lunch and tea! Carrot juice, celery juice, kale juice! Juice! Juice! Juice!” The more liquid goodness I can pour into my body the more un-liquid goodness I can eliminate. Juice me back to normality.
Hot on the tail of the juice brigade is the old faithful calorie counters. Download that app. Stat. It’s worked before, it will work again. Simple equation of calories in versus calories out right? Can’t be that hard, annoying or time consuming.
This war zone is also littered with guerrilla fighters. I’m getting Morse-code messages from undisclosed locations persuading me to quit sugar, dairy, grains and all manner of things I love. But I’ll feel amazing and my skin will glow and I’ll have so much energy. All things I’m not really basking in right now.
Whether it is through our own conditioned responses, adverts breaking up the non-rating period television shows, newspaper articles disguised as health sections, women’s magazines touting the latest celebrity diet, social media posts or even our local gym: they are all coming at us. Ready to help us fight the post-Christmas self-hate.
But I’m retreating. Christmas is as Christmas is. A time of year when many of us eat and drink more than what we need. And yes, we may immerge feeling a little out of kilter. But I am not rolling out any armies. I am not in any fight. I’m not going to war with myself.
This is what I am going to do.
I am going to breathe, walk, jog, stretch, catch up on sleep, read some books, eat fresh foods, drink plenty of water, listen to hunger queues (rather than the pop of a champagne bottle) and ignore the onslaught of sponsored ads that promise all manner of feeling better-ness.
Post-Christmas should not be a warzone. There should be no attacks, no interrogations, no prisoners.
It was Christmas. It was ace. Move on.