Staying in Shape on Christmas and Other Holidays
This article will be short, because the matter at hand is incredibly simple. When it comes to the issue of how to stay in shape during the holiday season you only need to ask yourself two questions:
- 1. Is this how I make my living?
- 2. Is whatever I'm dieting for going to be something I value more in ten years than the experience I'm missing by sticking to my diet?
If the answer to either of those questions is no, then you need to seriously reconsider dieting on Christmas, New Year's, other holidays, your birthday, etc. The fact of the matter is that unless you are three weeks out from a show one or two, or even; dare I say it, three days of shitty eating will not ruin a physique you spent a decade building. The reality is that as bodybuilders we have a tendency to take an all or nothing approach to things, and that can lead to a lot of unhealthy habits beyond the scope of bodybuilding.
The fact of the matter is, unless paying your rent and keeping the lights on for your wife and kids depends on a bodybuilding show taking place a week after New Year's, or if holidays are inconsequential enough to you that you don't think you'll regret not participating years down the line, even if they have no impact on your physique, there is no point to being the guy sitting in the corner eating his unseasoned tupperware of chicken breast while the entire family is celebrating the holiday with homemade food.
This is one of those moments when we as bodybuilders need to look at ourselves, say "don't be such a fucking egotist. Your physique is not all that exists in this life", and eat the damn Christmas roast because it's a holiday, it'll make your mom happy, and frankly you'll likely have a much happier memory of the day then if you spent it dieting. Not to mention, over a timeline longer than a week it probably won't have any impact on your physique whatsoever anyway to indulge in the holiday gluttony for one day 3-6 times a year.
Funnily enough, it may even benefit you long term to take holiday breaks from your diet, giving you a psychological break from nothing but premeasured, predetermined bodybuilding food.