Tis the season of family gatherings, holiday parties, and usually quite a few additions to the belt buckle. At the end of the Thanksgiving holiday are you saying, “Thanks for giving me an extra 5lbs” ? Or maybe it’s after Xmas that you that you take on the role of the jolly ole’ fat guy or woman to be correct. This leads to the typical individual who will start with a New Year’s resolution to lose the weight gained over the holidays. This resolution usually lasts a month or so and then they revert back to the same habits. Humans are creatures of habit and until you start doing some things that challenge you, you will never achieve the desired results. Every person would love to eat and drink without a care in the world and not gain any weight, however the reality is that is not an option. This is also the season of excuses because holiday shopping, gatherings, company parties and so forth take precedence over a person’s interest in their own health and well-being.
Instead of being lumped into the New Year’s Resolution group, try something different, put as much effort into your health as you do about picking the perfect present for that special someone. Here are some simple ways to help stave off those holiday pounds.
• Get others around you on board with your commitment. You can’t do everything for everyone all the time. Sometimes, you need help. Many of my husband/wife clients who train with me will either train together if they have a sitter or one of them will babysit while the other one trains. This allows some alone time for the parent with their children that they might not otherwise get, while the other spouse can relieve some stress from the day they had at work. What better way to combat the stresses of the holidays than to allow your spouse to clear their head and then be happy to talk to you about their day. As the old saying goes, happy wife, happy life. Many of my male clients can attest to the wisdom of this motto.
• Accept that some days will be easier than others, but success is just hanging in there. There are days when my client is going through their workout and it’s going really well. They would love to keep going, but they literally run out of time. There are days when the calendar gets turned upside down and their workout doesn’t happen at all, or days when 10 minutes is all they have got. As long as most days, things work out as planned, that’s all you can ask for as a busy individual trying to juggle it all. If your day doesn’t go as planned, then plan another day to replace the lost workout. Do not just continually blow it off because life takes over.
• Schedule it as part of your day just like anything else. If you’re like me, your appointment calendar is full of tasks related to work and family. Why shouldn’t you budget time for your workout too? Plan your workouts for the week ahead and write them down on your calendar. You wouldn’t skip a meeting at the office or your child’s school, so treat your exercise appointments with the same importance.
• Get creative. Don’t use “lack of time” as an excuse not to exercise. Involve your kids, break your workout into shorter segments throughout the day, or use time at your child’s basketball practice to get in a workout. If you are willing to make exercise a priority in your life, sometimes you’ll have to do it in less-than-ideal conditions.Many individuals would much rather have an hour to themselves to exercise, but if it’s 20 minutes with your kids in the room, at least it’s something! You can also involve your kids and make them get off of their electronic device of choice and take a walk with you. It’s amazing what kids will tell you when they are not in front of a cell phone, laptop, or tv.
• Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just because you don’t have an hour to exercise doesn’t mean 10 or 15 minutes aren’t worth the effort. Even small amounts of exercise can add up to big results. If you could do 3 or 4 15 minute workouts in a day, it is just as good as an hour of consistent intense exercise. You might even find that you like the shorter duration better because it allows you to recover more before the next workout. Some exercise is better than NO exercise
There are thousands of excuses that I hear consistently throughout this holiday time of year as to why they cannot workout or eat right. As with most things in life you have to make some sacrifices in order to reap the benefits. Simple choices can lead to big results, try eating your protein first at a meal and then your carbohydrate. You can limit the amount of alcohol you have at a party, just because someone else is picking up the tab does not mean that you have to drink everything in sight. Try giving some of your Christmas cookies to people who you know might be struggling financially or do not have the means to enjoy all of the holiday foods. Most people have the wrong idea about what these holidays are about, it is not about YOUR present or YOUR food. It is about spending quality time with friends and family and showing them that you appreciate everything that they do for you throughout the course of the year. May your 2013 Holidays be a time of thankfulness and forgiveness.