The Holidays, Eating, Training, Dysfunctional Families, and Tips to Survive!
I was just kidding in the title of this post when I listed dysfunctional families. I come from a large family and if you put a tent over us at the holidays you would have a circus. So I can’t help you that much there. Although, I know you have to detach from the stress or it will impact the rest of the items listed.
I am going to break this post into two sections. One is strategy and one is tactics.
So many clients come to me with the fear of blowing all the hard work with eating and exercising during the holidays. It does not have to be that hard if you develop a strategy that shores up your defenses to all the things that make the holidays difficult.
* You have to put in a little preparation on the front end. Go buy the nuts, and healthy snacks you like. Find a good exercise venue.
* Look at the holidays as an opportunity to stay true to yourself. Change your perspective from one of panic and fear to challenge and opportunity.
* You have to put a huge amount of value on the work you have done in the past. Too many people do not value all the effort they have put forth in the past and therefore are ok with allowing it to slip away.
* Do not let anyone else diminish what you have done. Be prepared for Comments like ?Health Freak? ?Why can?t you just eat real food?, ?Relax and take a break?, ?At your age you have to take it easier?, or ?Why can?t you just skip it for a few days.?
* Do not let the comments above offend you, or put you in a position of defending yourself. You have to understand that until others have walked the path of great health and energy like you, they do not know what they are missing.
* Recognize that you will be out of your element and you will have slips. Just try to minimize the size of the slip.
* Crab people. I heard a story that crab fisherman take the live crabs they catch and just throw them in a bucket without a lid. They can do this because if one of the crabs tries to climb out of the bucket the other crabs will just pull them back in. Be on the lookout for the crab people. They are disappointed in themselves for not having the motivation and commitment that you have to your health and consciously or unconsciously want to pull you back into the bucket.
* Do not crab yourself. It is easy to diminish the value of what you have done and give yourself an out to have a cheat day, week, and month. ?I will get back on track after the holidays? Prepare for these moments and remind yourself of what you have already accomplished and where you are going.
* Go everywhere full! Eat well when you can control what goes in your mouth. Stock up on some nuts, and if possible go to the store and add some of the snacks you want. These will help bridge the gap. If you are full you will make better choices.
* Intermittent Fasts: There is nothing wrong with not eating for a 12 hour window. Fasts are something that are good for you from time to time.
* Do not beat your chest about how you eat! Do not tell people what you won?t eat, tell them that you do not like a food. They cannot argue with your personal tastes, but they will fight you to the bitter end if you say you won?t eat something. I know you are proud of the changes you have made in your eating, but do not expect others to understand why you do not eat the fried snickers.
* Overeat the good stuff. Lots of Turkey, veggies, salad, etc. Have small amounts of the rest. This also diminishes the pressure to explain why you won?t eat a plateful of mashed potatoes and stuffing. Enjoy the taste but fill up on the better choices.
* Stay Full!! Continue to eat your nuts etc. during the day to stop you from reaching for another bite of pie.
Schedule your Exercise: Get out from the carping about what the crazy uncle did and get outside. Try to find a partner and get out to walk, hike, run, sprint, etc. If not make sure you schedule a time every day to do something. Establish the time the day before based on all of the other festivities. Remember, 30 min can be all you need.
This should put you in a good spot to be successful during the craziness of the holidays!
Train smart, have fun, and you will prevail!
Jacques DeVore, CSCS
President, Titan Sports Performance and Sirens & Titans Fitness