At this time of the year, everyone wants to tell you how to keep off the holiday weight.

Screw it -- you're a fit Boulderite year-round. Eating another slice of pumpkin pie now won't be a death-blow to your spring marathon training. Really.

If you want to enjoy Christmas cookies rather than stressing over them, know some potential benefits to extra pounds. It'll help you battle peer pressure from your uber-fit friends (who really want a cookie).

Here are five guilt-free reasons to indulge, just a little:

1. Warm up

The first time you climb ice or ride an extra-cold day at Breck, you might be glad for your new personal insulation.

Detractors (those with visible eight-packs) will say an extra puffy or fleece jacket insulates just fine.

Whatever. Mom's cranberry bread is cheaper than a puffy. And it tastes better. And for some reason it totally goes with your roommate's hillbilly margarita recipe.

If eight-pack detractor isn't convinced, suggest that he/she try eating PrimaLoft, then get back to you on the subtleties of synthetics on the palate.

2. Ski/ride faster

For skiing, snowboarding and downhill cycling, extra weight will help you go extra fast.

Whee! Gravity is on your side!

Until you have to go uphill.

Oops. Well, go uphill after the holidays.

3. Better belay

Use reverse guilt.

Example: Your climbing partner comments that your harness is a little more snug than usual.

Tell him it's a selfless act: You were too light before to give a good belay. In your litheness, every time he whipped off one of his numerous projects, you were plucked far off the ground, and he couldn't get back on the wall.

Extra points if you keep climbing hard, then lose weight and send harder than him in the spring, per No. 4 (below).

4. Weighted training

Since everything is potentially training for something, treat holiday pounds as a form of weight training.

Think: aerobics with ankle weights in '80s neon spandex. Or crunches while holding a weight to your chest.

Or squats holding a 22-pound turkey.

5. You're not training. Yet

Schedule a date after the holidays to start training. When your triathlon buddies are suffering holiday will-power battles, you can relax and declare that you're not training until January, anyway, then eat cookies with abandon.

You'll feel guilty, anyway -- that's how you got to be an uber-fit Boulderite in the first place.