Soon, you will be inundated with temptation. Food and drinks and mistletoe will all start swirling about in a miasma of pleasures that will push the seven deadly sins to their limit. Sounds like a good party. Along with all that good stuff, at least for some of us, comes an offsetting load of angst and of feeling very badly about that third piece of cheesecake.

So here is a story from Tony Robbins. Use it as necessary to exculpate yourself from the darkness of self-help hell.

Robbins was on his honeymoon in Italy. He’s enjoying the scenery, the history, and he notices that his new wife – just as health conscience as he is – is noshing her way through the local pastries. Apparently, she had never met a tiramisu that she didn’t like. He forgives her for a day or two and then asks her what in the world she’s doing. Her response is a priceless reminder for everyone living life. “What? Hey! Listen up. I’m on my damned honeymoon and I’m in Italy and I’m surrounded by the greatest food that’s ever come this close to my body. Damn! I’m going to live it up and you should too.” Robbins laughs at the telling and agrees that his wife has reminded him of something important. We live long and healthy and stress-free to enjoy our long, healthy, and stress-free life.

There are times when enjoy should be the focus.

Remember this for the holidays. Forgive yourself if you need to. Remember that diet and exercise are parts of an entire lifestyle that promotes the best you. They’re important but don’t let them overshadow fun and family. Eating together, laughing, and watching the game together are all activities that strengthen relationships and create great memories. Don’t buy into an all-or-nothing lifestyle and forget what’s really important.

Don’t fall into the trap that your body is so finely tuned that one taste of a sugar-laced butter cookie will do you in. It’s only vitamin and diet salespeople who argue that one grain of wheat will ruin you and shave years off your life. The real fact is that your body is wonderfully flexible and able to adapt to almost any mix of carbs, protein, gingerbread, and fruitcake for a short time. Eat away. Have ice cream on it. Sip a nice Vouvray. It won’t hurt you. If you are breaking out in a sweat right now even thinking these thoughts then have two nice sips of Vouvray.

This isn’t carte blanche permission to pack on an extra ten over Christmas vacation or start lighting up the Marlboro Lights again. But it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. Live a little. Then run tomorrow. But live it up for once. Enjoy what you have earned. Isn’t this what the good life it all about?

Cheers!