Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Holiday Conundrum

     The Holiday Season is here! It starts with Halloween and ends somewhere around Valentines Day for most people. The weather gets colder, the sweaters get pulled out of the closet, the food gets heavier and more abundant. People. We are not whales! We don’t need to pack on the pounds to stay warm… get a thicker coat! I understand it, you start to wear more layers and you don’t see your bikini hanging in the bathroom from that beach trip last weekend. Halloween candy shows up at the office, and then you have the thanksgiving dinners, the Christmas parties, the New Years Eve bash, and then more candy when V-Day rolls around. Staying inside and baking becomes more appealing than going to the gym or outside to be active, and it gets dark at 4pm and your body is ready for bed. FIGHT THROUGH IT! The days are not actually shorter, the hours have not changed, it just feels that way. There is no law that says you have to eat soup instead of a salad or that you have to indulge in every piece of candy you pass.

    Think of it this way, you have approximately 5 months to kill your workouts and really fine tune your diet so when bikini season is back, you can amaze and wow everyone that much more! Because not only is yo-yo weight gain awful for you, but it makes it that much harder to shed the pounds a mere few weeks before that beach trip. Here are a few ways to stay on track and motivated.

1. Get a fit friend! Hold someone else accountable, and make them hold you accountable as well. Whether you go to the gym together or just send reminder messages, it will help.

2. Change your goals. Maybe over the summer your goal was to be active outside for 30 minutes a day and you rewarded yourself with a new pair of sandals. Obviously when it’s 20 degrees outside, that’s not realistic. Instead, make your goal to try a new gym class or wake up a half hour early to do an in home sweat session before the sun comes up for that boost of energy. Reward yourself with a pair of ear muffs or a manicure… or even a tropical vacation!

3. Take advantage of the nice days. You know the random days throughout winter that you get a warm or dry day, and it isn’t completely miserable to be outside; take advantage! Getting some sun on your face will help remotivate you and fill you full of feel good feelings! You may still have to bundle up in seven layers but you will still be getting fresh air.

4. Keep your diet on point. There’s no reason this has to dramatically change just because the weather has. While some of your favorite fruits and veggies may no longer be in the stores or in season, try new ones. Maybe you will find you really love pomegrante or eggplant. Use frozen berries to add to a fruit smoothie as a snack or add them to your oatmeal. You have options! Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you should only be eating hot & heavy foods.

5. Monitor your food and alcohol intake at the holiday parties. Keep your portions in check, and avoid the dessert table if you can. If you are the one doing all the baking, bake for other people. Take what you make to friends houses or work so that you aren’t tempted to eat that whole pan of brownies for yourself.

    Thinking that winter is a time you can slack off is not even close to true. A healthy lifestyle is year round, and requires you to work at it everyday. I’m not saying don’t enjoy yourself, but don’t think oh I will just get back into the gym in January or use it as a new years resolution. Don’t set yourself up for failure when you have already worked so hard to get where you are.

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