Indulge in Guilt-Free Holiday Workouts


Here we are a day before Thanksgiving.

A time for gratitude and reflection

A time for family

A time for food

So what’s up with the guilt? As a recovered exercise-aholic, I felt a strong urge to write about this topic. I used to be obsessed with spending hours at the gym “kicking my ass.” A less than torturous workout made me feel like a failure.

I know I am not the only one who has felt this way.

Many of us get anxious about the thought of  ”stuffing our faces”…so we “proactively” bust our butts at the gym in attempts to make room for the onslaught of holiday calories.

It seems virtuous. We feel like we are “being good” before we “be bad” at the meal. However, many of us still feel guilty from overindulging and head back to the gym the next morning to “burn more calories.”

Our workout serves as a punishment for eating too much.

We become seduced by the hardcore language around exercise:




Blast off the calories


Is it supposed to be so hard, painful, tortuous? Are workouts meant to be a punishment for overeating? In case you are unsure, the answer is NO.

How can we start to indulge in guilt-free workouts?

1. Rather than focusing on punishing, calorie blasting workouts, think of exercise as a special gift to yourself. Your body craves movement. Your energy level and mood are naturally elevated when you exercise.


2. Do what you love (or at least like). Some people truly love the feeling of a super intense workout. It feels awesome and uplifting  and not at all like “torture.” Other people enjoy walking, dance parties, yoga, playing tennis, biking, swimming, pole dancing, etc.


3. Think of exercise as play. Doing what makes your feel great is key.


4. Focus on gratitude. While you are working out- thank your legs, arms, and core for allowing you to experience this joyful movement. Remind yourself that you are strong and getting stronger each time you exercise.


5. No worries if you miss your workout. It is OK to skip days and in fact can be healthy. Too much exercise can cause stress and lead you to hold on to extra weight.


Whether you are a hardcore athlete or a budding beginner, do your best to take time for yourself and savor enjoyable, guilt-free movement this holiday season.

Wishing you a fun and fabulous Thanksgiving!

With love and gratitude- Michelle



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Michelle's class helped remind me that my own physical and emotional health should be priorities, too.

Justine Fontinell