The Holidays

The Worst Thing You can Do Over the Holidays

The absolute worst thing you can do over the next 6 weeks is to throw all of your health and wellness to the wind, assuming that “it’s the holiday season! I’ll get refocused again in January when it’s all over!”

The second worst thing you can do over the next 8 weeks is to shun your family and the holiday celebrations that are so common this time of year.  If you hole yourself up and meal plan your thanksgiving according to your strict macro plan, you’ll probably end up ripped but alone on your deathbed someday. 

Somewhere in the middle lies the best path forward.

You need to recognize that you have a lot within your control and a lot that is probably going to be out of your control, and that you need to both give yourself the grace to indulge, but also know that indulgences should not compromise your everyday existence.  

What does that mean in practice?

It means: 

  • Keep up on your fitness routine.  Keep attending the gym, even if it is a little less frequent.  I shudder when people put their memberships on hold and tell me they’ll be back in January.  
  • When you are unable to make it to the gym, do something.  Just because it’s not your normal hour of workouts, you can still intentionally move your body.  

Go for a run, a walk or a hike.  

Or do some bodyweight workouts, of which there are hundreds online.  My personal favorite is to just do 100 air squats, 100 push-ups and 100 situps, breaking those up however you want.  If I’m away and don’t have any equipment, that’s my go to.  You can do that 3x a week, alternating days and actually make some progress.  Modify as necessary.  Maybe 50 of each is appropriate for you.  Maybe 200 of each is better.  

  • Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years represent 3 days.  Even if you include the day before all of them and a handful of parties/festivities, it is still less than 15 total days out of 60.  That means that by eating appropriately on the remaining 51 days, you’re still at 80% good.  

So if you give yourself permission to celebrate on the holidays, but remain disciplined on the others, that you’re doing fantastic.

  • Know that it’s just a season of life, and that we’re all going through it.  If you don’t quite adhere to what I advise above, it’s a-ok.  

You aren’t a failure if you gain a couple pounds.  It doesn’t reflect on you as a person.  It might be harder to ger started again in January, but it’s harder for all of us.  

The only way you fail is to quit altogether.  

Decide to get back at it and do it.  A few weeks in, you’ll be good as new and you’ll have an increased sense of confidence knowing that you can slide backwards, but eventually go forwards again.