As I sit down today to share a heart felt post, I just have this overwhelming sense of gratitude, exhaustion and contentment.
Those feel like an odd combination for the holidays, right?
I always grew up looking forward to Christmas. Of course I loved getting presents and getting vacation days off from school, but it also signaled the end of the year, the closing of one chapter and opening of another. As a kid, this meant getting your license, going to college, graduating, things that were expected of me, that I could look forward to.
As an adult, nothing is a given and working for yourself, there is no path to follow but only one you make yourself. Each year brings uncertainty. I’m grateful that I have this job and have been able to support myself the past 8 years as a self employed young woman but there is no stability in what I do.
I’m grateful that I have my and my family’s health. And I don’t mean grateful in a hashtag #grateful kind of way, like I’m almost skeptical of the good fortune I’ve had lately and desperately holding on to it, afraid it might run out. As a child, I took for granted that my parents nor siblings were ever really sick.
I took for granted that I never knew what it was like to be hungry or that I grew up with married parents (they did get divorced during my college years). During the holidays, my privilege always becomes more apparent and I almost feel guilty for having it this year with everything that’s going on in the world. Tommy likely will know no different either. I want him to grow up knowing what empathy is and it has become a priority for me. I once thought this too was a given but I learned this year that it’s not. I think the holidays, when he is older, will be a valuable time of year for teaching this.
On a lighter note, I laugh at what I would blog about this time of year for the past 8 years. I was taking 60-90 minute exercise classes or running 6 miles, 6 days a week. I was eating 200 calories for breakfast, monitoring everything I ate and felt “bad” if I had a holiday cookie or too many cocktails. My posts were like…
How to indulge without feeling guilty!
How to burn off 600 calories after a mega holiday party binge!
Healthy, Gluten Free, Paleo, No Sugar Added Pumpkin Pie Bar Recipe!
And now, I’m lucky if I get in 3 30-minute workouts a week. I ordered pizza for dinner on Monday, had tacos for dinner last night and and cheddar bacon chicken cutlets earlier in the week. I obviously want to be healthy and fit into my clothes but not caring about what I eat (with obviously a health conscious mindset), allows me to eat what I want without feeling guilty, without binging on holiday cookies and I’m leaner than I’ve been in years!
I still haven’t figured out this special sauce but I think it’s the combination of chasing a toddler, eating real food, never being bored and since I don’t restrict myself, I never have an urge to binge on anything!
I’m tired of writing and reading about “indulging without guilt” or “how to avoid packing on the pounds during the holidays.” I feel like I’m alone in this however because when I do share my thoughts, they tend to earn a lot of eyeballs. I also still see theses stories on the morning news shows a lot.
Five years ago, I ate so much of my mom’s infamous grasshopper pie I made myself sick! I was dieting for like 3 months for a photoshoot and Christmas came at the end and I just went wild! I felt terrible not only because I literally made myself sick but I also felt like I had no will power and lacked any personal strength. I was so unhappy and for the most stupid reason. I overate dessert, I didn’t burn the house down!
If I’m going to have a holiday dessert, it’s going to be a good one and not a half assed healthy version. I want the real thing.
Contentment & Happiness
So much has changed in that all I want to do this holiday season is spend time with Tommy and Nick, and my brother and sister’s families. It’s been such a blessing having my brother’s family move back to the east coast. Tommy just loves them all so much!
I just think about how a piece of pie could ruin my Christmas five years ago and how now, that just would never happen. I’m happy!
I’ve also made peace I think with where my career has taken me. I talk about this a lot on my blog how I like to compare myself to some of the YouTube fitness gals that started out as my guest trainers in my diet.com videos. I always will have a twinge of “what if I had moved to LA” but my life goal, per my senior year book, was to “be happy” and that’s exactly where I am today. So, I would say I’m content in regards to my current career status.
I have an announcement to share next week as well which pertains to this so stayed tuned. Sorry for the stupid cliffhanger, hah. If you have to know, message me on Instagram 😉
A lot has changed but a lot hasn’t…
Things that don’t change though is that we still celebrate with the same traditions. We do stockings, breakfast and then presents one at a time. This is something I made Nick adopt from my family. Then we head to my sister’s house which is a new tradition as of 2 years ago with Nick’s mom and sister.
It’s still stressful buying gifts. It always will be. It’s just a lot more fun now buying for Tommy.
I’m still using the same ornaments to decorate our tree as I did the ones growing up. My mom handed down my personal ornaments to Nick and I this year.
We have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to look forward to next year.