thanksgiving

It finally dipped below 70 degrees in my city and I’m taking it as a sign from our Father Nature Al Gore that it is officially winter. Winter is an underrated season, overshadowed by its polar opposite, summer, but let me tell you — winter has PERKS.

First of all, Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday because I enjoy celebrating the true meaning of Thanksgiving: gluttony. I’m happiest on Thanksgiving, surrounded by my rotund aunts and uncles, eating more than we should, and enjoying each other’s company without worrying about calories and how much winter weight I’m putting on. That’s what they dreamed of on the Mayflower, I bet.

All of this is to say that winter, and its accompanying activities, lead people free to build their Winter Bodies. A Winter Body is, obviously, the exact opposite of a Summer Body. Your Winter Body is going to protect you from the rough winds and the harsh criticisms of your visiting extended family members who constantly ask if you’ve gained weight since they last saw you. While in the months preceding summer, you can catch me at the gym getting my #swoll on and counting calories, the months before winter are better spent hibernating. Take a lesson from bears, Thelma readers. Hibernating is totally underrated.

How does one achieve a Winter Body? It’s easy, really. Winter’s dark and gloomy disposition practically encourages us to stay home and lie prostrate on our couches. I’m an indoors kind of girl which makes me an expert on winter activities. The following are just a few suggestions on what you can do to be warmer and plumper this season:

1. Have two Thanksgiving dinners: one with your side of the family and one with your boyfriend’s side of the family.

2. Cancel your gym membership. This will allow you to save money for a few months because come the new year, you know you’ll have to sign up again. When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, you are free to start making resolutions about getting back into shape. For now, you should consider getting another Starbucks drink! Starbucks drinks in the red cups taste infinitely better than Starbucks drinks in the regular white cups, anyway.

3. Make dinner plans. Who can possibly be bothered to make their own sad, healthy salad at home when the sun sets before 5 PM every day and you get off work feeling like the day is already over? Did you know there are places that make your food for you for a small fee? And, yeah, sure, the food is usually highly caloric, but after a hard day of making phone calls, writing emails, and standing in front of your desk, only to be greeted by the dark winter sky, don’t you think you deserve a treat?

4. Marathon TV shows like Gilmore Girls or The Wire. Attend a Bikram Yoga class? Go for a jog? Are you kidding? Rory’s trying to decide between Jess and Dean and you want to run around the block? Please.

5. Spend all week waiting for the new Serial episode and then talk about it amongst your friends. Are you Team #FreeAdnan? Or are you Team #AdnanIsASociopath? I vacillate after every episode. You can do this from the comfort of your bed while eating a second helping of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter ice cream. Winter! Fun! Murder Mystery! Winter Body!

I’m telling you these Winter Body secrets because I like you and I think sometimes, maybe, like, three months out of the year, it’s okay to eat without reservations and be as lazy and happy as you please. I’m not genuinely condoning excessive gluttony or a no-exercise rule — I think it’s important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. But my therapist thinks that a lot of us could benefit from learning to be kinder to ourselves. If being kind to ourselves means being a little bit more lenient on our self-imposed pressures, then maybe the most stressful part of the year can be a little less stressful this time around. And maybe it can include more pumpkin pie!