Worried About Getting Through The Holidays?
“What is your biggest fitness challenge during the holiday season?”
You shared ~ I Listened!
After browsing through more than 500 responses submitted for this survey question, I made a list of the most common challenges and created a list of 7 holiday survival tips to help busy moms and busy women successfully navigate this holiday season to stay on track with their body shaping and fitness goals.
1. Keep It In Perspective
This is #1 for it is most important.
Your expectations can make or break your ability to stay on track.
One of the most common fitness headlines Busy Moms see during the holidays centers around WEIGHT GAIN – stating that the average person gains 5 to 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. While weight gain is a logical concern, the amount of weight gained would take a LOT of effort on your part to achieve.
Within 6 Weeks you would have to make an focused effort to overindulge on an almost daily basis and take part in little to no movement.
Likely for those who are readers of this mommy fitness blog? Not a chance.
You see the time between New Years and Thanksgiving has a FAR greater impact on your results than the time between Thanksgiving and New Years.
Those who have made an effort to change for the better have already started the momentum to keep moving forward.
Those who are waiting until NOW – The Holiday Season- to suddenly make a change that causes a drastic drop in weight or expecting to see amazing definition to arms, legs and tummy are setting themselves up for disappointment. If an effort to make changes did not happen between New Years and Thanksgiving – why all of a sudden would they happen during the busiest season of the year?
Point is, to keep things in perspective and avoid falling into the victim mentality that you cannot escape weight gain.
You will be far more successful this holiday season by adjusting your goals.
My suggestion to you is to either CHOOSE to Continue to make progress on your body shaping goals or CHOOSE to simply Maintain the progress you have made up to this point. Those who survive the holidays make this choice. Those who do not end up set unrealistic expectations and fall into the downward spiral of negative self talk and low self esteem, thus feeling as if the answer lies in starting all over again in 2013.
2. Have a “BACK ON TRACK” Plan
The Fit Yummy Mummy’s who take on Transformation Challenges know this as setting “BOT’s”. This is what you will know to DO if and when a slip up occurs. Being prepared is half the battle.
What I want you to do is make a list of all the things you can do to immediately get Back On Track after a slip – the very next BEST Step. List out Action Steps that you can take ASAP rather than falling into the trap of – “Oh well, this day is ruined, I may as well start tomorrow” mindset.
BOT’s might include – going for a walk, drinking a big glass of water, chewing on some gum, do a 4 minute Tabata workout, writing about what just happened in a journal, etc. You will want this to be a list you write out and keep with you.
3. Holiday Workouts
Wow ~ the list of excuses for workouts was pretty long.
Unable to get to the gym
Not enough energy at the end of the day
Not enough time to get all the Cardio in
Makes me realize we need a quick pep talk about what an effective workout is all about.
Your workouts must focus on full body, strength training exercises.
This is NOT about doing more and more cardio thinking your are doing yourself right by burning off all those indulgences – this is not how fat loss works and your workouts should NOT be seen as Punishment. So if MOTIVATION is your excuses – time to stop putting all your efforts into cardio.
When you workout with intensity – your workout takes a mere 15-20 minutes.
NO More Time Excuses. NO More “I’m Too Busy” excuses. Its just 15-20 minutes, 3 days a week. Get your workout in 1st thing in the morning, you feel amazing, you feel proud of sticking to the commitment to get your workouts in, you feel motivated to KEEP doing what works.
The Fit Yummy Mummy workout protocol teaches moms how to workout AT HOME.
NO More “I can’t get to the gym” excuses.
Space is also not an issue – whether you are in a hotel or having to workout in a relatives guest bedroom, the FYM at home workout system allows you to successfully complete your workouts.
This is Dave The Band Man and I performing a Hotel Workout and as you can see – space was VERY limited – however he had me sweating and barely able to talk within 10 minutes.
Once again, strength training must take priority.
These types of workouts are quick, challenging and intense. They leave you feeling energized, happier and stronger. They are the PERFECT stress reliever.
**BONUS ~ Strength based workouts rev up your metabolism to help you burn more fat and calories 24-7!
The biggest obstacle when traveling is being out of your normal routine. As mentioned above, when you have the right workouts plan, there is no excuse however, when traveling it is even more important to get it done first thing in the morning.
Call it your Morning Mover.
Make it FUN!
This will allow you to kick start your day, give you a burst of energy and help stave off the desire to overindulge, plus if you are on someone else’s schedule while traveling, you at least carve out this small fraction of your day for YOU. YOU deserve this.
5. Holiday Meals
This category had many different concerns. From staying committed to clean eating to knowing when to stop while enjoying a holiday feast. What and how you eat accounts for 75% + of your results. So when it comes to enjoying holiday meals you will be successful by Planning Ahead.
Use a calendar just as you would when mapping out your workouts. Star the days where you will be attending a holiday party, dinner or event that centers around feasting on a meal. Over a 6 week period determine the number you will attend. If this number exceeds 6 or more, then decide out of these meals which you will use as a “Cheat Day” and which you will practice moderation. If less than 6, then your goal is simply to stay on track practicing the 80-20 rule. Eating clean about 80% of the time while the other 20% gives you more flexibility. Yes different than the 90-10 rule, but this is the holiday season where you can allow more flexibility.
The second part of this is to simply be realistic.
Using words and phrases such as ~ “staying away from” “avoiding” “walking away from” “feeling deprived” “only having ONE cheat meal” “willpower to say NO”, etc.
This is just an All or Nothing approach that will get you into trouble. It’s the Holidays – you SHOULD allow yourself to enjoy your favorite once a year meals and sweets. You just canNOT do it Every Single Day…otherwise you will end up as part of the Stat shared above.
The key to holiday eats is to practice Awareness and Moderation.
6. Holiday Sweets
Giving in to the sweet tooth – unable to resist homemade baked holiday goodies…I am right there with you. BUT I plan on having my share of sweets WISELY.
Make each indulgence count by eating with intention. How much of it will satisfy a craving or holiday memory you have. How much do you really need? This is not the type of food that has fat burning qualities – remind yourself of the consequences and keep the indulgences in check.
This is a Biggie.
If no one is looking, will you really stick to your plan? Will you be able to make a better choice? Will you get right back on track? This is why having a support system is essential, especially over the holidays when it can feel overwhelming and exhausting to stay on track when it seems temptation is all around you.
What’s good to know is how helpful staying connected online can be. From posting progress and choices made on sites such as Facebook, Twitter or InstaGram (follow me here –> HollyJoi).
As a Fit Yummy Mummy I hold transformation challenges that provide this and more. They are typically 10-12 weeks long – but over the holidays Busy Moms just need something simple and fun to keep them motivated and on track.
Keep these tips in mind and be sure to ENJOY the holiday season!