Alright, we have some challenges coming up this weekend and continuing next week.
Here’s the deal: a lot of us have done great all year. Improved nutrition habits, been consistent with our training and we’re looking and feeling pretty good.
All these new habits and momentum we have built will be tested these next few weeks.
The holiday season.
In the last 20 years we’ve seen it time and time again.
- People are extremely stressed around the holidays.
- People fall off their healthy nutrition routine.
- Fitness takes a back seat during the holiday season.
- People get out of their routine and take way too long to recover from it (Some never do)
These patterns are likely to emerge and challenge you again and again.
How To Avoid The Derailment
The holidays are wonderful times. We get to spend time with our friends and family. We get some time off of work. We get to enjoy delicious food, and share lots of laughs and memories with one another.
It’s totally normal for nutrition and fitness to take a hit during these times. A little bump in the road is no big deal. What we are trying to avoid is a complete “Derailment”. We need to stay focused so we don’t get completely knocked off track.
How much control do we have?
A complete “derailment” happens when a few small steps back turn into completely letting go of our healthy habits.
At Thanksgiving, we are around people we love and we feast. We are in company we love and enjoy and we let our guards down temporarily.
We eat foods we wouldn’t or don’t normally eat on a regular day to day basis.
These tasty treats and variance throw our taste buds into extreme sensation and pleasure seeking mode.
This snowballs when one day with one meal turns into days or even weeks of over indulging or eating too much of those joy foods and not enough quality food.
We are officially off track.
Then with Christmas around the corner our levels of stress are higher.
This leads to that need for a quick impulse or feel good to be even at a higher level, so we continue down this path.
As exciting as Christmas is for most of us, we can be in a constant state of stress about schedules, gifts, shopping, expectations or worries that we skip the gym more than get our daily dose of health, wellness and endorphins.
Missing a day here or there is normal and isn’t going to derail our progress.
It’s when we fall off our normal 3, 4 or 5 day a week fitness regime that we put ourselves in this hole that the further we get into it’s harder to get out of it.
And when we do eventually make our return we are unfortunately met with difficulty, a feeling of everything is difficult and I’m winded so quick and easily. Making the very thing you loved and enjoyed so regularly seem so difficult.
All challenging our will.
Now, Hello New Years.
A classic time where people stay up later than normal, over eat snacks and drink alcohol to celebrate the closing of a year and beginning of another.
The staying up late, food and alcohol combination throws off our entire daily rhythm and leaves us with more anguish than excitement.
These factors in combination are where the complete derailment comes into effect.
They challenge all the good behaviors, mindset/mentality and healthy consistent actions you’ve built up consistently over a long period of time.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Aware – Acknowledge – Action
Awareness, that’s the first step.
Second, we must acknowledge.
We can acknowledge that our nutrition will not be perfect over Thanksgiving and Christmas and that we will fully enjoy those meals and moments with loved ones, guilt free.
We acknowledge in advance that we will likely be around others (people we love) who don’t share the same will, drive, discipline or goals as we do.
Sadly, even the same desire for high levels of health and wellness.
(Friendly tip: If your family knows you as the the “healthy person” or “workout nut” a couple of things may happen during this time of year…..
One – they may challenge your discipline or healthy ways or two – they may talk or communicate in a way that almost shames you for being so healthy or them for not. I encourage you to not be reactive but to lead by example and allow your best self to show up in these instances. Meet them with unwavering love and understanding. What is really being said without actually being said is “I wish I had the level of discipline and commitment to my health as you do.”)
We acknowledge that although we may travel or need to do holiday shopping or be out of town, we will remain MORE consistent within the gym than not.
Third step, the most critical is we take action.
We take action in not letting ourselves spiral out of control due to 1-2 holiday indulgences.
We take action in committing to a minimum amount of days within the gym per week because we know it will lower our stress, help keep moving us closer to our goals, bettering us daily and that if we don’t we dig a hole that the deeper it gets the harder to climb out.
We take action in planning ahead.
We plan our schedules around our workouts.
We plan what days we will be traveling.
We plan what healthy and nutrient foods we will be eating a majority of our days.
We plan to get back on track the meal or day after we eat “out of the norm.”
We plan ahead and we vow to not let 1 or 2 days where we eat out of routine (Thanksgiving and Christmas) make the other 30+ days a wash and set ourselves further away from our ultimate goal and actually hinder our progress, body composition and ultimately how we feel day to day.
We know this time of year our healthy habits will be challenged the most.
We get ahead of that challenge by being aware it’s coming, acknowledging what we need to do and not do. We commit and take action.
Because the alternative?
And we see it all too often, is a derailment that is EXTREMELY hard to recover from and often IMPOSSIBLE!
If you need some support, guidance, and accountability throughout this holiday season, let’s chat. We can create a great game plan to keep you ON track.