Fall is in the air. Tailgating, Thanksgiving, Christmas. The leaves will start to fall from the trees as temperatures drop. The holiday nostalgia will start to take over. There will be gatherings and parties. There will be food, but here is something you may not know…..your fitness goals start now.
We have two classifications of athlete, the competitor and the novice. One desires to push themselves to the brink, with the culmination of their effort ending in the Open. The other wants to just get in shape and maybe look good in a bathing suit. The Open is in late February and Spring Break shortly after, so “What’s the rush right.”
First, the competitor. Summer is grueling in the south. It seems there is a competition every week. They are typically outdoors, hot and each one seeming to be more difficult than the next. I caught myself last week just wanting to rest. Therefore, I did and immediately the bad eating came. The night of Charlie’s Angels I ate five slices of pizza and a pint of ice cream. I passed out shortly after. Monday at work was more difficult than usual. The thought crossed my head to go home….I went to the gym anyways. I felt sluggish, out of breath but at least I was back. I immediately saw how quickly I would fall off. I then knew that if I slacked through the new year I’d never be ready come February. Deep down you know the same.
For the novice, gaining extra pounds during the holidays will make it that much harder when summer comes. It would feel that now would be the time to rest up, but let me be the first to say that thought and mentality can leave you in a deficit you can’t get out of in a healthy manor. Fad diets and quick fixes never yield sustainable results. Statistically there isn’t much correlation, typically most people gain 1-5 pounds during the holidays. The question then becomes of the people who gained, who had the dedication to lose that weight again. From my seat as coach, I’ve seen many go out at Christmas and not return. Best policy is to enjoy the holidays in moderation. Have fun, enjoy food….just not every party, just not every night. We all want the work we put in the gym to show on the outside, don’t blow it. The holidays are stressful and at times emotional, which can heighten the urge to medicate with food. Its proven that those who regularly exercise have a lower level of stress and therefore an easier time combating this urge.
Have fun but stay focused. It’s easy during this time to take a break. It’s easy to rationalize that this break is deserved. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track:
For the competitor:
1. Plan deload or light weeks around the holidays. If you know you’re going to visit grandma for Christmas structure your training around this required break.
- Plan cheat meals around office parties and gatherings.
- When at parties make sure to adorn your plate with fruits and vegetables making smaller places for heavier dishes.
- When traveling make sure to ask one of your coaches for various travel workouts.
- Find time while away to schedule activities outdoors.
- Minimize your mistakes by not taking the on the wagon/off the wagon approach. Just because you have a bad day or couple of days does not mean hope is lost, get back in the gym and don’t stay gone.
Great effort by everyone at Charlies Angels, Thanks for making it a success. Keep that momentum going and God Bless