Thriving Through the Holidays
By: Nicholas Sarruda
The holiday season is rolling around and for a lot of us it reminds us that there will be much merrier times ahead of relaxation and extra time to be spent with loved ones; but much like your first semester of college, a lot of us tend to accept the fact that gaining a few extra “LB’s” is inevitable. As a trainer, gym owner and someone who refuses to accept bullshit excuses- I just cannot allow myself, or those who come to me for help, to use this as an excuse. So let’s look at how this mindset can be restored with a few useful tricks.
First off, we all want to feel ‘normal’ at family parties, work events, social gatherings etc. This cannot be discredited, we are all human, and struggle to fit in internally. The stress and pressure of continually saying ‘no’ to every treat offered, beer outing suggested or piece of pie shoved in front of your face- can just be overwhelming this time of year!
By this time you should have strengthened up your “saying no muscles” but if you did not, do not worry, you can still thrive this holiday season. I suggest to opt instead for a yes; the trick is to be conscious of your ‘yes’ muscle and how much you are using it. If your balance of yes’ vs no’s is getting out of sync- watch out because extra weight gain is coming next!
Choosing to give yourself the freedom of indulging occasionally during this holiday season does not mean that you are a bad person; and it certainly does not mean that you cannot still look good when it is over. When you choose to indulge, do so happily, freely, but be ready to do and know the work required with this type of decision.
That means making sure you wake up and get back to your routine of fitness success each and every day. If Friday you opt for a slice of cheescake, Saturday wake up early and get an extra workout in. If on Sunday you know there is a family party and you will probably have a few too many glasses of eggnog, reduce the amount of sugar and carbs you have prior to the event in order to do some ‘damage control’.
Be aware of your progress and where you stand this holiday season. Don’t be afraid to do things like: weighing yourself regularly, tracking your food, counting your drinks, etc. Sooner or later we all have to face the music, so regularly(weekly) doing these things will ensure that you can stay on track and notice quickly if you start to give into your indulgences too much.
Finally, find an accountability partner or goal. Book a vacation for the first week of January to a tropical area (that will help you make sure you don’t showup to the beach looking like Santa Claus). Hire a coach or place a friendly wager between you and a friend to see who can drop the most pant sizes from now until the New Year. Choosing to excel and thrive during a time of year that most people are just trying to survive will push you to work harder and ignore the outside noises telling you that, “it’s fine to put on some winter weight” or that “it’s bulking season”. Yea, there’s nothing wrong with putting on some weight, or bulking up… if that is your goal….if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight though, that mindset is cancerous.
With the holiday season upon us the talk will begin to grow and people who have continually never gotten to their fitness goals will once again start to remind themselves and us, that now is NOT the time to worry about how you look or how you feel. Don’t listen to that crap! You can choose to make a few ‘wrong’ decisions and still prove them wrong. It comes down to your effort and making the decision to thrive when everyone else is trying to get by. You don’t need to become the boring friend or the outcast of the family party either. What you need, is to find balance. Have a slice of pie, enjoy an occasional night out or family get together, this time of year is special and you should enjoy it! Just also remember that with every indulgence or ‘celebratory’ choice, there will be an increase in the amount of work needed to counteract, and then overcome that decision. Never be afraid to put in the work!