Pie advice for Christmas

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For info, this is a Mr Kipling but I intend to try many more brands before January rolls around

Do you know how many calories there are in a mince pie? I don’t. And I don’t want to; it’s not going to affect whether or not I eat one.

At this time of year we are even more conscious of ‘bad’ foods than usual and it makes me sad. If you want the pie/wine/chocolate, in my opinion, you should just have it. But make sure you genuinely do want it. If you’re just stuffing your face because it’s there and you can, where’s the enjoyment in that? Equally, where’s the enjoyment in denying yourself if you really want it?

Sure, fitness, BMI, cholesterol levels etc are important, but so is mental and emotional wellbeing. Equally as important, actually. And by counting the calories of everything you eat or drink this season, you’re bringing stress into the equation. If you’re someone who struggles with their weight, with emotional eating or you have a tendency to obsess over healthy foods, counting the calories in every extra treat you have this season is going to make matters even worse. I suggest, if you’re worried about over-indulging, ask yourself this: ‘Will I get proper enjoyment from this?’ (or, ‘Is it worth it?’ if that’s more the way you think). If the answer is yes, then go for it! Life is too short to overthink things. If you feel like you’re maybe just eating and drinking things because they are there, perhaps it’s a good time to take a break.

It can be so simple really; listen to your body – if you’re honest, you know what it feels like when you’re overdoing things, so back off a bit and you’ll feel better. And if you’re really worried about putting on weight, factor in an extra run, walk or other workout, just for good measure.

Let’s not ruin the awesome relationship we have with that mince pie by over-analysing it; it’s there to make you happy, that’s all. Stop worrying about food, be kind to yourself and have fun!

Finding your get-up-and-go

This is the time of year everyone’s looking for ways to get fit. It’s a lot to do with making new year’s resolutions and a lot to do with the guilt of Christmas excess too. And for what might be the first time, I am facing that challenge too – to pick myself up and improve my fitness. Just before Christmas I hurt my back. I mean, properly, can’t stand, can’t sit, can’t move territory. I’ve never had that before; never had to completely stop all exercise, and it sucked. Also, it happened at exactly the wrong time of year, so I was burning about 4 calories a day but consuming about 40,000, in mince pies and red wine alone. Roughly. So now I’m facing that daunting task of getting back to where I was.

If you’re in a similar situation you’ll appreciate it’s not great. But it has given me insight into what it’s like and how to motivate myself from here and I’ll take that as a positive; a good tool for my skill box. Best motivator so far? Telling myself I can stop after five minutes if I really can’t bear it. Once I’ve got going, it’s really not that bad, and the five-minute cut-off is forgotten. If you’re in the same boat, I’d love to hear your tips too!