Soph's Guide to Christmas

Christmas can be an anxious time for fitness folks as we spend so much of the year being pretty disciplined (and enjoying it) that Christmas can feel like everything is out of your control. My advice here is to embrace Christmas and enjoy it – you know it’s coming so look for all the positives and welcome in Christmas with open arms. Here are my top tips for navigating the next few days.

1. Eat whatever you want. Especially if you’re the kind of person who is normally very careful or conscientious with your food. Pretending you like drinking kale is fine for 50 weeks of the year – take two weeks out to let your guard down and have whatever takes your fancy. As a bonus, your workouts will be supercharged on all those wonderful energy filled calories.

2. Don’t wig out about missing workouts. Spend time with loved ones instead. They are precious. Yes, you could go for a run on Christmas day and brag about it on social media, but also you could spend that time snuggling inside with people you love drinking Baileys inappropriately early. That is an opportunity that comes around once a year – you can run every other day.

Shut up Santa

3. You will gain weight. Probably water weight. Accept this now and move on. No self-hating, no drastic new year resolutions decisions to cut sugar/dairy/carbs. Just stretchy waistbands and the safe knowledge that you’ll fix it when the time is right. That right time being January at the earliest.

4. Sleep lots. If you have time off from work then use the opportunity to rest. Life is pretty full on the rest of the year and Christmas is the perfect time to catch an extra couple of hours sleep, spend all day indoors sitting and catching up with your family. Rest and recovery is not ‘failure’ and you don’t have to switch on ‘beast mode’ every damn day.

5. All that said, don’t be afraid to take the healthy option. Don’t feel you have to eat healthily but equally don’t feel like you have to eat junk because everyone else is. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to the sweets or having double roast potatoes just because you’ll get given a hard time. Just as you shouldn’t feel you have to be healthy at Christmas, you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re being judged for wanting to get your vegetables in. Food guilt of any kind is unacceptable at every time of year; don’t be afraid to do what you want to do!

Have a lovely Christmas pals x