The holidays are right around the corner, and for many this means vacations, parties, food, drink, and less sleep. Health and fitness takes a back seat usually. Raise your hand if you’ve found yourself saying one of these;
“Well, I don’t want to start now because the holidays are coming and I won’t have time.”
“Eh, I’ll eat better when the holidays are over. I want to enjoy them.”
“Family is in town, so I can’t go to the gym this week.”
“I can’t start a gym membership because I have to save my money for holiday shopping.”
Or how about these:
“Oh I feel so bloated I ate too much.”
“I’ll start from square one in January, again.”
“I put on my holiday weight, again”
This doesn’t have to be reality for you this year! If you’re tired of the cycle, it’s time to get uncomfortable and make your health a priority during this season. Holidays 2018 can be different! You CAN eat well through the holidays. You CAN go to the gym. Heck, you even CAN start a new fitness routine. How, you may ask? Do you need superhuman strength to stay away from the sweets and holiday drinks? No, you just need to practice GRIT!
5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Right Now
My first tip for you is to just start. Find a fitness program and get started. I can hear some of you saying; “But I won’t be able to go every day since my schedule is so busy.” So what! Don’t expect yourself to go every day. Go as much as you can. Once or twice per week is fine! The important thing to realize is that you are starting small and gaining momentum. Progress happens quickly once you get going! (Think of building a snowman; it starts small!) And once you realize that you enjoy working out, you will inherently start creating the time in your busy schedule to prioritize going to the gym. So it doesn’t matter that you can only go twice a week right now – just go! By starting now, you are exercising your grit!
My second tip; don’t feel obligated to eat all of the treats offered to you. Maybe you think you’ll feel bad for not eating your friends’ homemade pumpkin pie or the coworker’s famous sugar cookies. But if you don’t want it, you don’t want it. Be grateful they brought their treats and kindly decline. And they will be fine! However, if you do want it, take a small serving and enjoy it. There is no sense in stressing out about it. The best part is, your body can burn it off quicker if you are working out regularly!
The third tip is to be prepared. If you know you are going to a holiday party and know you’ll be tempted to eat everything in sight; eat something before you go. Eat a meal or snack with healthy fats and protein before heading to the party so that way you can still enjoy the party but aren’t so hungry you sample the entire buffet. Family dinner and you usually stuff your face with a full plate of food? Use a smaller plate. Seriously! Fill it up and then don’t go back for a second helping. If you are prepared, you can succeed. It just takes a little grit!
My fourth tip is to get accountable to someone. Find a supportive friend or two that will commit to keeping healthy habits with you. Strength in numbers! Get a FB group going and share best practices, struggles and encourage each other.
Tip number five is critical—don’t miss your workouts! Yes, life is out of sync and maybe you can’t make your regular 4 or 5 classes per week. But don’t skip a whole week (or more) just because you have relatives in town or you have an office party to attend. One or two workouts in a week is better than zero! I promise, you won’t regret it! Plus, those accountability friends are probably at the gym – so that’s a double win!
The moral of the story; you are in control of your own destiny this holiday season. You aren’t a victim of office parties and family gatherings. You are in the driver’s seat and with a little grit and creativity you can navigate this holiday season healthy, happy, and improving your health and fitness!