Don’t try to lose weight on Christmas.

Pretty much every day of the year, magazines, news articles, Instagram accounts and diet commercials tout weight loss, the newest and best fad diet, the most effective surgery to flatten your belly. It’s so ubiquitous that it can become hard to notice.

It’s also so easy to lose track of how often you’re on a diet. After so many days, months, and years of counting calories, limiting sweets, and measuring yourself by the scale, we forget that trying to lose weight isn’t baseline. Actually, you can give up those behaviors, even if just for a little while.

Trying to lose weight during the holidays, on a birthday, or at any time when there’s a wonderful celebration filled with food and home cooking, is a terrible way to go. Not only because you will likely fail– try to give up Christmas cookies all week and by Saturday you might find yourself hovering over a plate and shoveling them into your mouth. The fact that weight loss is nearly impossible this time of year isn’t the only reason you should give up the struggle, at least for a while. It’s because life is about more than dieting.

It sounds simple, I know. But really, truly think about it. If you’re a lifelong dieter, or maybe even a person with an eating disorder (past or present) like me, take the time to consider it. Meditate on it. What’s more worth it– skipping your mother’s best Christmas turkey to save a couple hundred calories, or really slowing down and savoring food, appreciating your body and family, at least for a day? If you want, you can always go back to the diet after the holiday is over. That option isn’t going away (perhaps unfortunately). But for the time being, just consider it. Maybe try it. Give it up for one day. Allow yourself to experience a life that’s deeper, richer, and more beautiful than skipping two hundred calories can give you.

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