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Do you take your holiday meals with a side of guilt?

It's that time of year again when the annual chatter about holiday foods going "straight to [insert body part]" or having to "work off all that food" is LOUD.

It’s easy (and may sometimes even feel good) to chime in and commiserate with others who are commenting on their impending “bad” behavior around food, especially during the holidays.

Maybe, along with this negative self-talk, you've even considered getting in workouts before Thanksgiving Day because of the delicious indulgences you have planned.

But guess what?

You deserve to enJOY those indulgences without guilt.

This is my reminder to you that exercise is NOT a punishment for eating.

❌ You do not have to "work off" anything you eat, sweets or otherwise.

✅ It is your right to ENJOY FOOD, whether or not you exercise, without shame, guilt, or feelings of failure during the holidays and EVERY other DAY of the year.

As you move through this holiday season, I have 2 invitations for you:

💌 Invitation #1: Permit yourself to enjoy food regardless of your exercise status.

Diet culture has taught us that food, a necessity of life, is an enemy of the body; that food is something to be controlled and restricted; that enjoying food is bad unless you exercise, but that it is okay (sort of) on special occasions and only if you exercise. 😒

None of that is true.

You have the right to ENJOY what you eat every single time you eat, even if you don’t intentionally exercise.

💌 Invitation #2: Practice mindfulness, intentionality, and self-compassion around your holiday eating experiences this year.

This means that, instead of allowing the excitement of the season to override your self-awareness, you practice tuning in to yourself and actively considering your thoughts and feelings around the choices you make, especially around:

👉🏽 how you speak to yourself about your food choices

👉🏽 whether or not you choose to engage in intentional movement (a workout, going for a walk, taking a fitness class, etc.) during this time

👉🏽 practicing self-compassion when you find yourself talking down to yourself about your choices and/or their outcomes.

And then there's this...

If you accept my invitations above and put them into practice, the young people in your life will notice. They may even adopt some of those practices for themselves, which may lead to them rejecting some of the longstanding harmful beliefs and practices around body stories, eating & exercise.

If you have young people in your life, especially young women & girls, they are listening and watching what you do and say about food and your body (and theirs) even when you don’t think they are.

For their entire lives, they, just like you, have been internalizing messages about their body and what they "should" and "shouldn't" do with their body.

Think about it for a moment. Can you identify any of the messages you have received throughout your life about what you "should" and "shouldn't" eat or how your body "should" look or weigh or perform?

What messages are you sending to the young women & girls in your life about what they "should" or "shouldn't" do with their bodies?


To learn more about the impact of diet culture and how we can model positive eating and body experiences for the young folks in our lives, check out some of the resources below.

Happy Holidays!





Hey there! My name is Maríssa Rivera-Davis (she/her). I am a certified health fitness pro and the founder of Her365 Fitness, a studio/gym & wellness community for women.

I help women move more, eat better, and develop self-care practices they can finally stick to.

My mission is to help women break free from the harmful cycles of dieting and the pursuit of body-image "ideals," so they feel empowered to live authentically & more joyfully in the body they have right now.

Learn more here. Connect with me on Instagram here & here and on Facebook.

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