no harm no foul

Moderate Overindulgence: No Shame No Guilt No Harm No Foul


noun: the action or fact of having too much of something enjoyable

Okay, folks, we are now smack dab in the middle of prime O time! That’s O for overindulgence, the holiday horror. We overdo everything in the name of good cheer. Moderation and good sense are tossed out with the turkey bones and used wrapping paper. Where’d we ever get the idea that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day gives any of us a license to over eat, over drink, over party, over shop, over buy, over gift, over book or over stress? Look, it’s not just two big dinners and long night of consuming adult beverages… It’s a month and a half of opportunities to make bad choices. Some of us refer to this time as our perfectly acceptable and allowable “cheat days”. The problem is that once we allow ourselves to take a major fall off the wagon, we suffer remorse, beat ourselves up for totally ‘blowing it’ and make New Years resolutions (which are seldom kept) to be better in the future (i.e. eat better, exercise more, spend less, learn to say no). And, more often than not, we repeat this ‘binge and purge’ cycle over and over, suffering the shame and guilt that results from breaking all of our rules. Sound familiar?

Step one is to stop calling it ‘cheating’.  Let go of that mindset of dishonesty and deceit. You are NOT cheating. It’s holiday time and your holiday way is different than everyday! Give yourself permission to be joyful and indulgent. You are celebrating… so why not call them Celebration Days?


verb: publicly acknowledge a significant or happy day with a social gathering or enjoyable activity

Now define celebration day – what it is and is not. A celebration day is a day to revel, carouse, whoop it up and have fun. It’s all about feeling good and feeling joyful. It isn’t an excuse to break every rule you have and then feel guilty and bad. Nor is it a time to eat everything in sight just because it’s there in front of you and you can… drink to point of drunken stupor… or spend the rent money on gifts and party clothes.

The holidays are about love, spirit and the genuine enjoyment of whom you’re with and what you’re doing. Of course you should celebrate by indulging in your favorite things to eat, drink and do. Of course you should shop, buy, wrap and distribute gifts to the special people in your life. Naturally, you should go to parties and dinners, dress up

The thing to recognize, however, is the dividing line between indulgence and overindulgence. When you learn where that line is… JOB DONE! You’re ready to go out into the world and CELEBRATE! Do… don’t over-do!

To help you keep your overdo-it syndrome in line, here are a few tips to help you ring in the New Year feeling GREAT – especially about yourself.

Regarding over-eating:

  1. Skip every other bite (just kidding). Taste a bite (REALLY taste it) of anything you want. You don’t have to eat the whole thing! Relax, you do not have to be the food police. If ya wanna taste, have a taste!
  2. Drink a lot of water before eating and drinking. This will fill you up – and besides, we tend to think we are hungry when actually we’re thirsty. Drinking water before you start in on those adult beverages is a great way to slow down your intake.
  3. Don’t skip meals to save up calories for holiday parties. It can actually cause you to eat more.

Regarding Money:

  1. Create a budget for gifts, new clothes, postage, whatever categories you’ll be facing.
  2. Stick to the budget!

Regarding Socializing, Holiday Tasks and Life:

  1. Make a schedule that feels comfortable to you – without overbooking, and ample time allotted for each thing you want to do. Seriously WRITE IT DOWN. It works.
  2. Follow your schedule!

Trite and true: Everything in moderation. Pace yourself.