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Holidays: Ceding Control and Establishing Balance


Edited to add–

This post actually would have been a perfect preamble to my giveaway announcements of late! But alas, you are just going to have to read it now. And then go back and be sure to enter into my Blogiversary Giveaway and the December Fitness and Health through the Holidays Giveaway Hop that I am hosting with Runaway Bridal Planner!

I’m going to go ahead and apologize for the rambling of this, but this has got me thinking.

I was thinking about an appropriate post for today, and in my reflections of all that is going on in my life, I came across this idea of control.


Control is a huge undercurrent of the holidays. During the holiday time, perhaps even more so than during the rest of the year, we are confronted by this concept of control. Control in terms of:

  • Cooking–everything must be perfect, it must taste perfect, must be the perfect accompaniment to the holiday feast, must work for everyone, must satisfy everything. Must make it look easy, must make it look hard.
  • Diet–must give in to everything, must eat all the foods, must enjoy all the foods, must make sure that everyone has access to all the foods, must have all the flavors, must eat everything on my plate, must try everything that Aunt Tancy brought over
  • Diet–must not gain weight. Must practice portion control. Must eat before party. Must not gain weight. 
  • Fitness–Must work out. Must not work out (because it is the holidays, after all).
  • Budget–Must not go over budget. Must spend a certain amount on everyone. 
  • Time–Schedule schedule schedule schedule.

Just to name a few….

I am the first to admit it. I am picky, choosy, and tend towards desiring control. Sometimes in a bit of a hypocritical manner, in that I like other people to over options, but I like to have the final say. Never said I was perfect. The holiday season is a tug-of-war between wanting control and feeling like you should just give it all up. Like these detox diets. (Great post about it from “Taylor” at Lifting Revolution) There is this idea that you should throw everything away for a few days of crazy fun, and then detox it away.

screw it meme

Excuse me, but isn’t that like saying you can go to Vegas, throw all your money away, and then just start clean after a week of responsible spending? (And believe me, there were a few other, waaay less “PC” analogies I could have made, but you know, the children). I THINK NOT.

Not only is that completely impractical from a rational point of view (not to mention financial), it is completely nonsensical from a psychological standpoint. Hello, binge-purge diets? Such behavior, this extreme control, isn’t healthy for your body, your mind, or your soul.


And I speak from experience–I used to get anxiety about situations where I would lose control. When I would get really unhappy, or my Crohn’s would start to flare, I would try to control my diet because I felt that was the only thing I had that would “give me the best chance.” A huge part of my transformation has been finding happiness in myself, maturing as a human being, and finding how gratifying the balance of a bit of control, a bit of release can be. Like with my marathon, and how it helped me to get mentally ready for some physical battles I will begin fighting late next year.

My challenge for myself, not just for this season but into the future, is to continue to find the balance, the happiness, in the “slack.” Ceding control entirely is just as impractical as a death grip–don’t completely throw away of the leash, but a gentle guiding tug every now and then.

Winter may be associated with white, but let’s not white-knuckle it, ok? And, just for the record, pinched isn’t a good look on anyone, either.

Disturbs mentally meme

Health, fitness, diet–these are not “detoxes” or moments in my life. Indulgence, like this weekend, it is a fact of my balance, my life. That might mean an entire Wagyu beef burger, nibbles, salad, and Baileys for lunch and a mishmash of things with dinner. But I have become a firm believer that as long as you straddle your line, it will all come out in the wash, you will find the middle ground. If you need a change, do something extreme. Shake it up. But if you are right where you need to be?

Feel free to take a little wander off the path (beware of poison ivy) but keep that path where you know you can get back to it easily. And then you will never feel the need to “punish” yourself or “detox” away your holidays.

live every day of your life suzlyfe

No one should think of moments with their family as something that they should “wash” away.

Happy Holiday Season, everyone. Let’s create memories that we are happy to take with us into the new year!

Detox diets: thoughts?

Do you tend to throw it up in the air or try to control it all?

What behaviors are you hoping to establish now to take into the new year?

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