Only four weeks until Christmas!
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, holiday excitement is ramping up. This means parties with food galore, marathon baking sessions, and no time to exercise.
Does that mean we should throw in the towel and say sayonara to our health goals?
(How’s that for a surprise answer from a wellness coach? You thought I was going to say “absolutely not,” didn’t you?) 🙂
The deal is, as much as you may try to eat 100% clean, wholesome foods and try to get to the gym every day, it’s nearly impossible this time of year.
Instead of expecting perfection, what if you adjusted your parameters a little bit? Instead of eating 100% clean, what if you aimed for 80%? Instead of trying to go to the gym every day, what if you aimed for 4 days a week? Or even 3?
I’m not saying to keep that pattern indefinitely…you’ll want a post-Christmas strategy to get back on track. But realistic expectations will make all the difference in your success during this season. Avoiding the perfection trap will also prevent feelings of failure if you slip up, which can often lead to all-out binges.
How does this strategy look practically speaking?
Let’s say you’re aiming for a wholesome diet 80% of the time… This means if you have a special Christmas dinner one night, you keeps things healthy during the day and give yourself wiggle room at dinner. Or if you’re going to a cookie exchange, instead of gobbling up an entire plate of cookies in one sitting, you choose one or two to enjoy and pack the rest to share with your family.
What about exercise goals? Let’s say you want to get some form of exercise at least 4 days a week. Rather than aiming for an hour-long class at the gym every day, maybe you attend one or two classes and then take a walk or do fitness videos at home the other days. If you can get to the gym every day, great! But just have a backup plan in case you don’t have a full hour.
It really is all about expectations. It’s been said that the average person gains 7-10 pounds during the holiday season. If you aim to maintain your weight, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Understand what your personal goals are. Then set up a contingency plan that allows for Christmas curveballs.
You can do this, my friend!