The ball is on your 20-yard line, you are down by six points, the clock has just stopped due to the 2-min warning. The only way to win, complete a near perfect 80-yard drive culminating in the end zone. This is “gut check” time, completing this 80-yard drive will not be easy at all, but you know it is possible and most importantly you know you possess the talent and the skill. But first you must ask yourself, “do I have the heart to win this game”, and “how bad do I really want this”? Win this game and you are in the playoffs, lose and the season is over.
Losing can no longer be an option, you have been playing this game for a very long time and people are starting to doubt your sincerity, because every year when the “season” starts you say, “this year we are going all the way”, “this year I am not stopping till I get that championship ring”, but as soon as the season starts to get hard and as soon as a little adversity happens you quickly give up and say, “next year will be better”…
This scenario reminds me of life, on January 1st (season opener) you say, “this is my year”, then right around Thanksgiving you get dealt an enormous challenge, a challenge so big that it derails nearly everyone, except for the dedicated few. This challenge is known as the holiday season. Starting around Thanksgiving and ending on January 1st, this span of only a month and a half, has caused many people pack on as many as 15-lbs!!!
The holiday season can be devastating to your health and fitness goals. Everywhere you look there is a “holiday party”, there is the office party, which can last for many days, your friends parties, family parties, church parties, and this is just for you, if you are married or have a partner you might have to deal with some of their parities as well. The food at these parties is horrible, candy canes, cookies, ginger bread people and their houses, plenty of alcohol, eggnog, cakes, hot chocolate, and carbs, carbs, and more carbs!
What about the stress of the holidays? We have become consumeristic zombies flocking to malls and shopping centers to buy, buy and buy! Traffic around major shopping centers is a nightmare, the stores are crowded, people are rude and some how you are supposed to navigate this ridiculousness and buy your friends and family members the “perfect” gift?!
So the holiday season has the potential to be the perfect storm of too many parties containing bad foods, stress about money, stress about travel, stress about time, cold weather making you feel lazy and the fact that the new year is just around the corner giving you the an “out” by declaring, “on January 1st I will get my act together”!
It is no wonder many people don’t survive the holidays, it is easier to give up and give in to the pressure, it is easier to quit and sit on the sidelines than it is to push through the difficulties and win the game. The odds are not in your favor but the same is true for life in general, it never is nor will it ever be easy but the strong will not only survive they will thrive!
5 tips on how to survive and even thrive during the holiday season:
- Make time for yourself – I know easier said than done but if it is important to you, you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse. Make a priority of working out at least 3-times a week. Is there a better way to deal with the stress of the holidays than punching and kicking a bag? Remember successful people workout when others won’t.
- Be a party pooper – You don’t have to go to every party just because you are invited and if you do attend you don’t have to eat like you are a 5-year old with no self-control. Believe it or not good food can be found at most parties, there is usually some sort of meat, salads and veggies. So choose wisely and don’t fall for peer pressure!
- Plan ahead – Don’t show up to the parties hungry. Besides making time to workout this might be the best piece of advice. Eat some healthy food before you go!
- Limit your alcohol – I am not saying don’t have fun, but alcohol is empty calories that will lower your inhibitions and before you know it you are eating candy canes, making out with the ginger bread woman, doing shots of hot chocolate, and streaking through the dessert table. Again there is nothing wrong with a few drinks, but here is a great piece of advice, DO NOT DO SHOTS (we are not amatures)! Every drunken story starts with “So we started doing shots of Jager…”. Keep it classy, sip and have a few drinks. One more tip–It is amazing what some sparkling water with lime will do, you have the sensation of “holding a drink”, no one will ask you want you want to drink, and you won’t wake up in a ginger bread house with a pounding headache 😉
- Be a trendsetter – Why do you want to fit in so bad? Why do you want to be just like everyone else? Bring healthy options to your parties, do not eat sweets, and remember what the holidays are all about–friends and family. It is the experience that is fun, not necessarily the food and definitely not the crap you buy.
I challenge you to finish what you started, 2013 is not over yet! It is the 4th quarter and the game is on the line and I challenge you to step-up and fight! I challenge you to stop the cycle of being a victim. I challenge you to get a head-start and not wait for the “new year” to get healthy and fit. I challenge you to thrive during this most challenging time of the year.
No more talking, It’s time to walk!