‘Twas the Morning of Christmas (A Holiday Poem for the Exercise Addict)

santa-fitness[image source]

’Twas the morning of Christmas, though the children were sleeping, 

I was Yelp!-ing like crazy, while silently weeping. 

The stockings were filled with presents so dear, 

Yet all that I searched for were “gyms that are near.” 

At dawn, in my sports bra, and my lululemons, 

I prayed for a weight rack that I could get in. 

Don’t personal trainers need their Christmas sal’ries? 

How could they celebrate ‘stead of counting MY calories? 

My dinner would be so “off plan” for “clean eats” 

That I needed to preempt that night’s Christmas feast.

With hours of cardio, circuits, and weights

I could deal with (slightly better) the body I hate. 

I could call it a “cheat day,” but who was I kidding? 

“I never do cheat days,” says #fitspo I’ve been #Pinning.

If the gyms were all closed, how could my body I master? 

By sunrise, Christmas was already a disaster:  

‘Stead of spending my day with family & friends

I spent yet another Christmas with ED. 

It’s Christmas, and I’m not at the gym.

24 Hour Fitness is closed. The Bikram studio is unheated. The Crossfit “box” is wrapped up like a Christmas present.

For the first time in 14 years, I didn’t pre-plan my gym visit, and I won’t be anxiously worrying about how I’m going to  wedge a run in between unwrapping presents and cooking food I’m not going to eat.

Not giving a reindeer’s a** about how I’m going to tone my own is a darned good feeling.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with exercising today. But there’s a difference between exercising and needing to exercise. Your workout should not determine whether today is a win or a fail. If I choose to move—or to exercise—today, it’s not going to be because I can’t miss an “squat day.” It’s not going to be because I have to burn calories before a Christmas dinner. It’s not going to be because I have to have a “because.”


[image source]

If you find yourself worrying about how you’re going to get your workout in—or if you’re planning on restricting your food because you can’t find an open gym nearby (or if you’re planning on restricting in general), know that you’re not alone, but that you don’t have to worry, get upset, or suffer:

Santa’s going to leave you a present no matter how many calories you eat. Your family and friends won’t stop loving you if you miss yoga or boot camp. And one day is not going to derail your health. It’s just not.

(But if that reassurance doesn’t help and you need a little extra support, I’m here. Let me know.)

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas today or not, take a few moments to give yourself the gift of rest, relaxation, forgiveness, and awareness—and if you choose to exercise today, let it be without stress, obligation, or punishment.

Being present in your body is the best present you can ever hope to receive from yourself. And remember—no matter how you choose to celebrate, ED is not invited to the party.


Merry, happy, and all that jazz,

Stay hungry,


2 thoughts on “‘Twas the Morning of Christmas (A Holiday Poem for the Exercise Addict)

  1. Thank you for this post 🙂 The past few Christmases have been rough for me, and I want this to be the one where I can finally enjoy time with my family without worrying about food or exercise. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, “and all that jazz!”

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