Holiday Fat Anxiety

Oh, the holidays. I was hanging out with a thin friend who talked about wearing “fat pants.” I looked at her and thought that in no possible world are pants that fit you “fat pants.” But it’s all relative, I guess. The point is whatever your size, fretting about holiday weight gain is a thing.

Side note: I think it’s true actually that when it comes to weight gain anxiety, thin people suffer more. They’ve got more to lose. In my post about the unexpected advantages of growing up chubby I wrote that, “I used to think that body acceptance would be easier if you were closer to society’s ideals for women. Now I see that isn’t so. Doing the Lean Eating program I got to know some very small women with some serious body image issues. I found some of the self-loathing pretty difficult to be around and in the end I chose a smaller subset of that community as allies and friends.”

Those of us who’ve always been outside society’s norms have had to make their peace with our size one way or another. For me, gaining or losing 5 lbs isn’t that anxiety making. I’m also writing this wearing a nightgown and a hoodie. Not exactly the most form fitting of clothing. Later I might move up to yoga pants. I’m aiming for actual pants with zippers and buttons by the new year.

But it got me thinking about how gaining 5 lbs over the holidays–that’s the average amount of weight people put on–is so noticeable in part because of the kind of clothes we wear. My dresses are much more forgiving, size flexible. That’s part of why I hate pants. In the blog post which made the case against pants, I wrote, “I gain or lose three pounds and I need to change sizes of pants. I’ve got dresses I’ve worn through weight gain and loss of twenty pounds, no problem, but pants? They can be too small in the morning and too big at night. I own pants in at least three different sizes. That’s pretty much required.”

I also hate the binge eating/dieting thing that goes on over the holidays. Mostly I manage to steer clear but I still have some anxiety about putting my jeans and work clothes back on. Deep breaths! Hey, I even tried listening to the song that’s supposed to reduce anxiety 65%. “The group that created “Weightless”, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

But it put me to sleep. Overkill. Guess maybe I’m not that anxious after all.

Yesterday I announced to no one in particular in my kitchen that I’m moving to eating only the really good desserts, leftover trifle and the best of the Christmas chocolate.  Also, I declared there’ll be no more breakfast and lunch dessert. Tonight I’m heading back to the gym. Baby steps…

But mostly for me its about taking deep breaths and getting outside. Dogs walks, not in aid of weight loss, help everything!

About Sam B

Philosopher, feminist, parent, and cyclist!

6 thoughts on “Holiday Fat Anxiety

  1. very entertaining post! lol I seem to have been gaining weight at a rapid pace as well lol, i just chuck it up to being less active & i’ll be back in the gym come January (lets see how this goes) but all that to say love yourself no matter what but dont stop now the best is yet to come! =) Best Wishes!! p.s if you have the time check out my page, thanks in advance.

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  2. Lovely post! I personally just try to not gain weight over the holidays…but I’m definitely not trying to lose weight. I love to enjoy everything during the holidays, so I just keep moderation in mind!

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  3. klyse3 says:

    I’ve found holiday weight gain/health concerns don’t bother me so much now–I’ve made a point of being active when on holiday. Thanksgiving I ran 5k with my dad and brother-in-law, plus various walking, running, and biking the rest of the week. For Christmas week, we explored 3-4 different parks. Not possible for everyone, I’m sure, but that’s helped me feel a lot more balanced through the chaos and schedule change of holidays.

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  4. Jean says:

    Grazing and standing near the chip dip area is not a good thing for me.

    For certain being car-free, either I make a choice to go shopping post-Christmas for bargains or I get out of home for a few hrs. either by walking, biking, transit or certain holidays, snowshoeing in the mountains in former years.

    This year was the lst time, in past 5 years, I battled Boxing Day crowds. Other years, I avoided it and did other stuff…which included eating at restaurants/cafes.

    We can’t be perfect. I think of Christmases past where one enjoyed meals with loved ones who no longer are alive now (a father, a sister). Those occasions are one of my best memories now. Weight gain fear wasn’t considered for the many hrs. I used to prepare a Christmas meal for over 15 family members. And now I live….3,000 km. away from over 25 family members (with more kids, etc.) over the past 15 years. Weight gain sorta hangs around in a brain corner, but other things are front and centre for me personally at this time of year.

    Wonder how many of us even bother to consider cooking “healthy” much at all, for a holiday meal with loved ones. It sorta happens but no one in my family, gets a decree that it must “healthy”. The only stipulation is care must be to avoid reactions to peanut and shrimp allergies which land some nieces and nephews in the hospital.

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  5. ainsobriety says:

    I look back at my lean eating photos and seriously wonder why I was so critical of my body. Somehow I related self worth to my weight.

    I’m glad I threw my scale away 3 years ago.

    I like your plan. This week I decided no more cookies and chocolate for meals. Veggies and protein have returned.

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  6. I bought new pants today with my Christmas money. I debated on which size to get as two different sizes “fit”. Instead of beating myself up over the weight I’ve gained by not running in the last 3 weeks and enjoying whatever I deemed edible, I bought the other size….the size that fits me most of the year. I know that this is a temporary situation and I figured, why waste the money on jeans that make me feel bad about myself? I hate that so many people fall into a spiral during the holidays only to attempt to get out come Jan 1 and then fall right back into the shame spiral when they quit resolutions before February gets into full swing.

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