Here we are again, December first. Gyms everywhere are about to have their lowest attendance of the year, health goals are about to hit the back burner as the holidays frenzy of overindulging begins.
The holidays are a time to rejoice, share good times with friends and family and are more often than not centred around copious amounts of food and drinks. Our best holiday memories tend to include foods, and lots of it.
Lots of eating. Lots of drinking. Lots of indulgence combined with less time spent in the gym.
Now this can bring on all kinds of warm feelings inside. We can start thinking of mom’s famous whipped shortbread cookies or cousin’s to-die-for baked brie. But it can also bring on some anxiety; how in the world am I going to follow my macros and not take a big step back in the progress I have made so far? Maybe you lost 10 lbs, maybe you finally stopped binging on candies before bed, maybe you finally found some consistency and started to feel amazing in the gym. It can be scary to think about deviating from your routine and falling back to old habits.
And finding a balance between being perfectly disciplined and saying eff it for 5 weeks is possible. If you are avoiding social situations because of food or your current program, this is a problem and not a sustainable program.
Long lasting results come from building daily habits that are sustainable in real life. Period. It’s not about eliminating everything for 2 weeks and hitting the gym every day killing yourself on the cardio machine because you are full of guilt over a month long binge! It’s adopting a lifestyle you can keep forever. And it does not need to be weighing and measuring your food forever. That can be your choice too. But success lies in the daily habits you build, like doing something active most days, eating sufficient protein, getting good sleep, managing your stress, having portion control. Year round means through the holidays, on vacation, through good times and hard times. It’s not perfection that brings lasting results, it’s consistency.
Let’s think of this objectively: in the next 5 weeks, you most likely will have an array of Christmas parties, office gatherings, family get-together, New-Years Eve parties, etc. 5 weeks is a long time to stop doing what you know works. We don’t want to start saying eff it and start grabbing a peppermint mocha on our way to work every day (440 calories!!) because our sugar cravings have gone haywire! Go wild now and come January you will for sure be discouraged, unhappy with yourself and look for some miracle quick fix that does not exist.
But if you look at it objectively, there’s maybe 5 weeks ahead of us filled with parties and temptations. At 3 meals a day, that’s 105 meals. Let’s say you apply common sense, continue to work with your program but commit to being flexible and living somewhere in the 90.10. 10% of 105 meals is 10 meals. Wouldn’t it feel better to commit to follow your plan for 90% of the time giving yourself a little more freedom and being kind to yourself. Enjoying your meal on Christmas Day without stress or guilt or meeting your girlfriends for drinks and tapas can all be enjoyed in the right context and with the proper mindset.
Discipline = Freedom
Think of it this way. It is better than the usual scenarios where we give up on our fitness and health goals come December 1st, thinking “in January I will be super strict and get right back on track”. We all know where that leaves us. Also, it’s more realistic (and fun!) than hiding in your apartment for the next 5 weeks avoiding all social situations.
My wish for you over the holidays is that you can enjoy time with your loved ones in a way that leaves you filled with love and memories and at peace with your choices. Treat your body like you love it. Eat and drink and move in a way that supports your health and goals but also fills your soul.
No one will get fat over one meal or even one day. Find balance and free yourself from the guilt. And on the same token, be comfortable and confident in the choices you are making it is okay to say no to that extra drink or second piece of grandma’s pie. Remember if anyone is not comfortable with your health choices it is never about you. Just be you.
On behalf of myself and Kate we wish you all a great month & Happy Holidays!
If you have big goals you want to reach in 2018, take that first step & reach out now. Your future self with thank you.
& For more tactical practical tips feel free to contact me for our Holidays Macros Survival Guide. Members, you can expect to see it with your weekly newsletter.