Tag Archives: holiday

Can we get a little FREAKIN’ PEACE around here?

HolidaySwing

Here in Southern California, the holidays are a special kind of stressful.  People here just sort of just plum lose connection with any sort of common sense for a few weeks.  And in the week before Christmas, the whole area vibrates with a special sort of near-nervous-breakdown energy that makes me want to stay inside and pull the covers over my head.  In the last two days, I have seen some death-defying, I gotta get the eggnog before 7 PM maneuvers that left me screaming.  On Friday, I watched a van driver flick on his emergency lights and pull over the shoulder.  I had plenty of time to observe this as the freeway was in its usual “Friday Before a Holiday Parking Lot” mode.  I thought to myself, “oh, that poor van driver person.  What a yucky day to break down on the freeway.”  I then watched as said van driver BACKED UP OVER 1/2 A FREAKIN MILE ON THE FREAKIN FREEWAY.  Why?  The driver had missed the desired ramp.  After the backing maneuver, the van bumped up over a lane divider and pulled in front of exiting traffic to exit at the desired ramp.

“SERIOUSLY?  ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME?” I shouted.

That is only one of many incidents of horrible driving, deeply problematic mall stampeding and grocery store aisle smackdowns I’ve witnessed in the past few days.  And I have to tell you, it’s made me slow down, stop, and think.

You know what I want for the holidays this year?  Just a little bit of peace.  Just a little bit of space to breathe and appreciate and enjoy.    And that’s my wish for you as well.  I hope this holiday season (or what’s left of it) allows you to find a little bit of peace.

I wish you peace on the road–free from people screaming, cutting you off or as my friend jokingly puts it, “using the fellowship finger”.

I wish you peace as you shop.  May the people around be considerate and kind. May they only have positive things to say about the way you act and the way you look and who you are.

I wish you peace as you eat.  May you enjoy every bite and allow it to nourish you both inside and out.  May you enjoy holiday gatherings free from food policing and body shame.

I wish you peace with your family.  May everybody around you be grateful for all you have done to make the holiday special, even if all you were able to do this year is to allow your beautiful self to take more breaths and exist on this amazing earth.

I wish you peace with your body.  May you declare a cease-fire in any war you may have waged against your good self.  May you appreciate the staggering awesomeness of the body you have right now.  May you pamper and find joy in the skin you are in.

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And I wish you a peaceful new year.  May you find a way to scoff at those in the world who believe the way to greet the new year is to change everything that makes you, well, YOU.  May you face the new year with courage and optimism.  May you choose for yourself a path that is strengthening, enriching, enlightening and encouraging.

Sleep in heavenly peace my friends.  Sleep in heavenly peace.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

“Guilt-Free Holiday Partying”

ProducersGuildParty

Hubby and I get started on some guilt-free holiday revelry at the Producer’s Guild Holiday Party.

Over the past few weeks, the media has been requesting experts to comment on recipes and plans for “guilt-free” holiday dining.  I have a lot of suggestions, but somehow, they haven’t been picked up.  They tell me that the items I am pitching are not what the media outlets are looking for.  The media is looking for recipes for low fat appetizers and low-calorie cookies.  They are looking for plans about how to get through the party without eating “too much”.  And they are looking for advice about what should eat to look hot in the LBD (Little Black Dress) you bought for the New Year’s Eve party.

Well here on my very own blog, let me offer you some thoughts.

Here’s how to make any holiday recipe, guilt free:

1.  Stir up, cook, bake or make your favorite recipe.

2.  Eat some of it.

3.  Enjoy it.

4.  Decide not to feel guilty about it.

I know it seems overly simplistic.  In a world where we are taught to binge on Saturday and Sunday and restrict and regret on Monday, this is some heavy-duty out of the box thinking.  But seriously folks,  can we just decide to give ourselves the holiday gift of not feeling guilty every time we put a morsel of food in our mouths?  Just because the media tells us that we have to feel awful every time we eat, doesn’t mean we have to actually do it.

And here’s a strategy for eating any holiday party:

1.  Tell yourself you are there to have fun.

2.  Tell yourself that you are taking a holiday from restriction and regrets.

3.  Tell yourself that any treat you see is allowed at any time, not just at a party and not just during the holidays.

4.  Eat what you want.

5.  Enjoy what you eat.

6.  Stop when you want.

7.  Eat whatever it is that you want!

Let’s simply take the time to enjoy holiday treats while they are here.  And since we know we can enjoy those treats on Monday (or any day of the week) if we want to, maybe we can put aside the need for the crazy weekend binge.

And finally,

How to Look Great in Your New Year’s Eve Little Black Dress

1.  Find an awesome dress.

2.  Put it on.

3.  Strut your stuff.

See?  That was easy!  No need for diets or foundation garments that squeeze you until your hair is taller or strategies for slimming.  Just put on a dress and ROCK. THAT. THING.

I hope my holiday strategies are helpful to you.  Even though you won’t be seeing them in your favorite newsstand magazine.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to talk to YOUR group about guilt-free living?  Click HERE.

P.S.S.  Want to get on my mailing list and get free stuff?  Click HERE.

On the tenth day of Christmas–Ten Jumpers Jumping

Dear readers.  Please excuse me as I interrupt your regularly scheduled reading for this DANCE break!  I ran across this great video yesterday and I just needed to share it with you.  But before I do, let me share with you that “Jumpers” is a word that folks in Britain commonly use to describe what us Americans commonly call “sweaters”.  And second, let me state that I can indeed count, but 5 Jumpers Jumping just doesn’t scan right with the song.  (Think FIIIIIIIIIVE Golden RIIIIIIIIIIIIINGS!)  Anywho, enjoy:

And I ask you.  Was that not a hoot?  Dads are gettin’ DOWN!  Even with my busy schedule, I manged to watch this an embarrassing number of times.  AND I downloaded the full track of the music.  AND I even checked out the place you could buy those fabulous sweaters, I mean jumpers.  Oh, and by the way, if you just can’t bring  yourself to buy a sweater you only wear to one hipster party per year,  you can always buy a DIY Holiday Sweater Kit.

I love to watch people dancing.  But I love to watch people who don’t look like stereotypical dancers even more.

That’s why I was so excited yesterday, when I ALSO ran across this new project being launched down under called “Nothing to Lose”.

It’s a dance production featuring amazingly talented fat dancers.  You can hear about it here:

And get a little tiny taste of the upcoming awesomeness right here:

So I hope you enjoyed today’s unscheduled dance break featuring deliciously wonderful dancers who have inspired me to shake my groove thing today.  Remember, whatever is going on in your life, and whatever else you have scheduled today, I hope you get a minute to get up offa that thing!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading. Well if you can sit still that is.

Lots of love!
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
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Resolve to have Different Resolutions Next Year

Hi kids!  I know it’s a little early to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I mean at this point, I am just resolving to, please God, make it to the next year without dying or committing a homicide.  But I am bringing up New Year’s resolutions at this time for a few important reasons:

1.  I wish to forestall panic.  One problem about waiting until New Year’s day to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions is that the self-help marketing machine fires up in full force around midnight on December 25.  And this “self-help” marketing machine is fueled completely by post-holiday panic.  Your Yule dinner won’t even be digested before tons of advertising hits trying to convince you that you are a BAD PERSON for having eaten it in the first place, and that you should start to feel massive amounts of panic this very second!  I say forewarned is forearmed.  (Wow, forearmed is a really weird word when you see it written down.  Does it mean you are prepared with weaponry or simply that you have body parts between your elbows and your wrists?  But I digress…)  So I want you to think ahead of time about how you are going to cope with this marketing onslaught.  I don’t want you to be caught unprepared.

2.  You might want to plan a media diet.  By and large I don’t believe in diets.  But from time to time I do recommend a “media diet”.  I don’t usually consume a lot of television or magazines, but I am especially careful to avoid TV or glossy magazines any time between December 25 and January 31.  It seems that during this time, all any magazines and TV shows can talk about is your need to lose weight in the coming year.  I mean it’s ALL they can talk about.  It makes me crazy.  And internet ads can be equally crazy-making (although usually a little easier to ignore).  So for the month of January, I drastically cut down on my media consumption, and am careful to spit out any media that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

3.  Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me.  With apologies to the songs about St. Francis, I think that peace on earth begins within our hearts and between our own ears.  I think that a more peaceful world is an awesome plan for 2014.  But I think peace on earth becomes a lot easier when we feel peace in our own skins.  So, I’d like to suggest that we approach 2014 with a plan to take care of ourselves from a place of love not hurt and a place of peace without panic.  Which leads me to the fact that:

4.  I’ve got a cool project idea, and I’d like your help.  Last year, I posted a New Year’s resolutions video.  Here it is:

THIS year, I’d like to post a resolutions video with YOUR resolutions.  But in order to do this, I need your help.  I need you to send photos of yourself along with a resolution that I can put into this year’s video.  I’d like to post the video by January 1, so I’ll need a little lead time.  So I’m asking you to email your photo along with a very short answer (like 1 to 5 words) to fill in this blank:

“This year I resolve to _____________________________”

Send your photos and resolutions to projects@thefatchick.com.

Here’s to a 2014 filled with light, laughter and body love for all.

Love,  Jeanette DePatie, AKA The Fat Chick

The True Virtue of the Turkey Trot and Other Tips for Holiday Fitness

Rockin' the turkey trot!

Rockin’ the turkey trot!

Thanksgiving will be here soon (at least if you live in the United States) and we’re swinging right into the major holiday season.  Between the holiday parties and the extra cooking and baking and gift shopping and family obligations, it can be especially difficult to keep fitness in your schedule.  Last week, I explained why the end of daylight savings time might be just the best excuse to start exercising EVER.  In theory, you’re getting an extra hour of sleep and thus, I reasoned, you could trick your body into getting up an hour earlier without too much pain.

So how did that work out for you?  Did you do it?  If not, don’t feel bad.  I’m not judging you.  But if you feel sad that you missed it, guess what: you get another chance!  Today is Veteran’s Day and many people (at least in the U.S.) have the day off.  It’s a perfect day to slide on those tennis shoes and get in a little exercise.  And if you are really especially clever, you can exercise your body and exercise your compassion at the same time by honoring a vet.  You could walk out and participate in a Veteran’s Day event in your area.  You could volunteer at a local Veteran’s Hospital.  You could take a walk and explore a nearby battleground.  You could even walk out to or march in a local Veteran’s Day parade.

You could even use today  an excuse to start training.  I’m training for an event which has become an annual tradition for yours truly–the Turkey Trot.  I usually participate in a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day that raises money for my local YMCA.  The course is short, fast and easy.  There are plenty of aid stations, and a large percentage of the participants are walkers like me.  I can take my time and have lots and lots of fun!

Participating in the Turkey Trot does mean that I have to amend the rules of 1-hour pants day.  I now have to add about an hour of sweat pants to the mix.  But I have found that this is one race that is scheduled on a day that I am not expected to speak or teach or have any professional obligations.  PLUS, I get to go right home, take a shower and a looooong Thanksgiving day nap right after.  Awesome!

And if a Turkey Trot isn’t right for you, how about a postprandial stroll to check out the early birds who manage to get holiday lights up by Thanksgiving Day?  You could honor their industry while strolling by on your way to a post dinner hot chocolate, or antacid.

Or you could always go out with your cousins and play a little football.  Although I should mention that activity is not without risk.

I don’t want to give you the impression that you have to exercise during the holidays or any other times.  That’s up to you.  You are the President and CEO of your own corpus!  But I am suggesting that if you’ve been looking for another little incentive or boost to get your fitness efforts going, you can honor the holidays and give an extra special gift to your body as well in the form of exercise (or the form of chocolate, ‘cuz chocolate is awesome too…)

And speaking of gifts, I’m pleased to announce that the third winner of The Fat Chick’s Great Pedometer Giveaway is Megan Page Montgomery!  Hey Megan, just drop me an email at jeanette at the fat chick dot com with your mailing address so I can ship your pedometer on out to you!  Yet another great excuse for getting started with a fabulous, shiny, new fitness program.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie

AKA The Fat Chick

P.S. Want to get access to FREE STUFF?  Just opt in RIGHT HERE!

The Holiday Magnifying Glass

magnifierThe holidays are here with all the extra activities and fun and stress. Just to be clear, I love the holidays!  I love the decorations and the visiting and the food and the music.  But I think the holidays also bring special challenges like the one I call the holiday magnifying glass.

I coined this term because it seems to me that everything is just a little bit bigger during the holidays.  Schedules are fuller, bills are bigger, and emotions run higher.  Everything is just a little more intense.  I find my highs are higher.  I can say I’ve experienced true holiday joy (both with and without eggnog).  Unfortunately joy is not the only emotion I find heightened during the holiday season.  I also tend to experience more fear, more stress, more anxiety and more anger.  And I don’t think I’m alone.

Los Angeles is a pressure cooker the whole year through.  But it seems this sense of increased holiday intensity is especially apparent here in La La Land.  The mean people are meaner.  People will risk their lives (and yours) to cut you off on the freeway, to steal the parking spot near the store all to get somewhere fifteen seconds sooner.  The nice people are also nicer.  I’ve had people make room for me to enter the road from the gas station, store keepers be extra nice, gentlemen holding doors.

It seems like the holidays bring more of just about everything.  I think a lot of it has to do with rampant expectations.  Johnny has to have exactly the same number of presents as Sue.  The house has to look perfect.  I have to make my special cranberry chutney and 18 kinds of cookies and roast a whole ox for the next holiday feast.  I’ve talked a lot about managing holiday expectations on this blog.  I’ve talked about it a lot because I think it’s important, and also because it’s something that I personally find extremely challenging.  But sometimes when you’re in the moment under the holiday magnifying glass, when you’re in the middle of opening gifts or hosting the holiday feast and it’s too late to not make the 3 kinds of homemade latkes or simplify your holiday plan you need an emergency technique to get you through.

Here it is.  It’s not exactly earth-shaking rocket science, but it seems to work.  When everything is magnified, when it all seems way too big, just take three steps back.  When you step back and give yourself a little perspective, everything seems a little smaller.  Take a few steps away.  Go sit in the bathroom and take a few deep breaths.  Step back from the holiday table and stop obsessing about the way the napkins are folded.  Don’t just look at the car in front of you, take in the entire road.  Step back from the temper tantrums happening with the kids and realize that this too will pass (probably in much less time than you think.)  When in doubt, literally and figuratively take three steps back and three deep breaths.  And give yourself the holiday gift of just a little perspective.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Shoppercize

If you’re like me, you’ve got a fair amount of pre-holiday shopping to do.  While I don’t typically participate in the Black Friday shopping insanity, I do have to hit the grocery stores to buy a few supplies for our Thanksgiving day and I will need to shop for baking and craft supplies soon.  Some people love shopping during the holidays–the excitement, the decorations, the crowds and the bargains really appeal to them.  Other people (like me) hate shopping during the holidays–the tension, the incessant holiday music, the noise, and the crowds make me nuts.  But love it or hate it, holiday shopping is a great time to get in a little fitness during a very hectic time of the year.

I have found that if I think of shopping as a sort of annual, extreme sports, fitness project it’s a little easier to get through it.  I call it “shoppercize”.    As with any fitness event or sport, preparation is key.  I make sure to wear the right gear (good sturdy athletic shoes, clothing in layers that breathe well), to warm up (doing some stretches before I get in the car) and and hydrate (with non-alcoholic beverages) before I begin.

I like to put on a pedometer or step counter when I shoppercize.  It helps me deal with the intensely stressed out crowds if I can foster a sense of accomplishment.  I set a goal for distance or number of steps before I head off for my shopping trip.  Then whenever I get to the store, I plan to park as far away as possible.  This way I can properly managing my expectations (since the darn lot will probably be full anyways), manage stress (since I’m not circling around the lot like a wheeled vulture spending thirty minutes to beat the other vultures to the one close parking spot) and I get in a little extra fitness (which is registered and logged on my handy pedometer).  Cool.

If I’m headed off to the mall, I try to shop early in the morning.  I usually arrive before the stores open and get in a mall lap or two and have a nice calm cup of coffee before the stores even open.  Usually the mall is less crowded first thing in the morning.  And if it gets too crowded to deal with, I just leave.  At least I got some exercise and a nice cup of coffee before it all went pear-shaped.  I can still feel a sense of accomplishment.

I doubt I will ever love holiday shopping–at least among LA crowds.  But love it or hate it, shoppercize is a great way to add a little fitness to your holiday while removing just a little of your holiday stress.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy shoppercizing!

Love,

The Fat Chick