We all know what time of year it is. It is the time of year that we work hard to keep from messing up the healthier you that you created the rest of the year. It is a lot easier to get out of bed and go run or walk after you have lost 15 or 20 pounds. If you are like me the idea of getting that back is pretty scary. It seems like what you have worked so hard for from January -October can just disappear in November and December. The idea of going through the holidays, with all those family dinners, can be enough to make you give up and just ignore your body.
Throwing in the towel and giving up on your healthier lifestyle isn’t necessary. More importantly what also isn’t necessary is punishing yourself by not being a little more lenient during the holidays. If you are currently losing weight maybe your goal for November and December should be to not gain. If you are currently maintaining then maybe your goal should be to not gain more than 5 pounds. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are supposed to celebrations. When we celebrate the rules can be changed just slightly for a small period of time.
I for one love food and this time of year is extremely dangerous for me. When I decide to ignore my diet I can eat some massive amounts of food. There are a lot of foods that I love and I have a hard time choosing which ones to ignore. This year my plan is to do things a little different than in the past. I am going to concentrate on the amounts of each food not the actual foods themselves. If I eat a little bit of everything I love and maybe even a little more of the best thing then I will be able to do some extra runs and work those calories off again. If I limit myself to eating only healthy and trying to make sure I stay true to my new eating habits I will eventually just get aggravated and go devour a pumpkin pie.
This theory of having a little extra and trying to work it off will work pretty good if you realize two things:
#1 You can’t go to 15 family dinners and pull this off at each one. If you have a large family and need to go to many different meals then you probably need to try to stay pretty true to your diet on most of them. Pick a couple that are most important to you and live it up a little at them, but be deliberate about your choices on the other meals.
#2 If you are going to eat extra food you may need to put in extra miles. If your are at a point in your life where a few extra pounds isn’t acceptable then you will have to make up for those calories. If you normally get 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week maybe during the holidays you could make that 45 minutes 4 or 5 days a week. It really comes down to deciding what is more important to you; not stressing about the extra food or not having to up go a little harder on the exercise.
I know I am going to eat more than normal for the next two months. I also know that I am going to be forced to get back out on the road and get some morning runs in to make up for it. It will be cold and sometimes wet, but that sweet potato casserole is worth it.