Nope – this isn’t a super late post about Halloween.  I’m taking about the holiday season and the endless party that kicks off at Thanksgiving and goes until January 2nd.  Fake blood and ghosts are nothing compared to the terror that lurks in these weeks.  It seems that this time of year there is no shortage of the pitfalls that await people (ok, me) who are trying to stick to nutritious eating and an ambitious workout schedule.  Between the cold weather, the busy schedules that just beg you to skip the gym, the gluttonous and delicious treats that pop up everywhere,  and the “it’s the holidays – who cares?” attitude, it’s like the perfect storm of weight gain.  Throw in those heart-warming holiday moments like your second-cousin twice removed (or something like that) stating that you have (and I quote) “fat legs” and then asking why you aren’t married and frankly I think it’s a miracle that I don’t just spend the last part of the year in a dark room with a box of wine and multiple packages of raw cookie dough (luckily for the offending relative, he happens to be a super cute four-year-old who also made me a car out of construction paper and wrote “I love Jen” on all of his drawings – but still!).  I read somewhere that the average American gains something like 6 pounds in the last two months of the year.  And frankly, I have above average talents in this area.  This all leads me back to my original point:  the potential for backsliding on my fitness goals at this time of year truly frightens me-  give me zombies and vampires any day!

In an effort to combat this fear, there are a couple of steps I know I need to take right now and I’m putting pen to paper (metaphorically, of course – but cursor to word document just doesn’t have the same ring) to make sure I follow through.

  1. I need to make sure I have a workout schedule in place.  I do very well when I know I have to go to the gym for a particular class/task/workout/etc.  I’ve been struggling this with September (I’m slow) when I lost my Wednesday and Friday workouts with Shauna.  I still have Making the Cut (which I erroneously always call Boot Camp) on Tuesday and Thursday – but I need to fill the gaps.  I either need to write out a plan for my non Boot Camp days every week or enroll myself in another class (I’ve been trying to work up the courage to take Spin classes and I also have my eye on those TRX contraptions they just put in upstairs at Healthworks Back Bay).
  2. I need to limit the holiday parties.  This one won’t be that hard because there really are not that many people who want me to come to their parties.  But my work party is a perfect example of something I should probably avoid.  It’s huge and loud and I never talk to anyone – I just eat my way around the room (whilst also skipping the gym) and then go home.  Now I know there are people that would tell me that in a perfect world, I would be able to go and limit my food choices to healthy options (or at least healthy portions).   I don’t think that’s true.  In a *really* perfect world, I could eat whatever I wanted and not have to worry about it.  And I would also have a job that somehow paid me to travel and read books – so I probably wouldn’t even have an office Christmas party to attend anyway.
  3. As kind of an addendum to point two, I also want to pick out a few events that I *do* want to attend and maybe allow myself a small splurge.  Keeping these in mind will make it easier to say no to the other temptations.  I’ve already got my eye on my friend’s Parisian-themed Christmas party and dinner at my favorite restaurant at my parents’ house (because nothing says Christmas like tacos in Omaha).  Of course, I’m not taking about going crazy – I just want to know where there a few occasions where I can indulge just a *tiny* bit.
  4. I need to make sure I continue to make time to do all my food planning and preparation on Sunday nights so that I have a week’s worth of healthy food ready to go.
  5. And perhaps the most fun….Find the joy and celebration of the season in places *other* than the bottom of a vat of mashed potatoes.  Even if it is just putting up some lights in my living room!

Stay safe out there….

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