The holidays bring stress from social pressures, financial pressures, the feeling that you need to have accomplished something spectacular by the time the new year rolls around. It’s an event filled, alcohol consuming, schedule ruining, and sweets overloaded time of year.
With all that said, the holidays can be great and you don’t have to be laden with guilt regarding your health and fitness.
There is no magical workout plan or diet that’s going to help you. This post is quite the opposite of extreme. But it will help you find some sanity through consistency and mindset shifts leading into the holidays.
Not any specific plan. Just one that you are familiar with and that won’t ADD stress to your life and body. It needs to be something you can feel good about rather than guilty about. If three days of lifting is realistic, then make sure you only plan to lift three days per week. I have a post on Aligning your training season to your season of life if you need help determining a realistic plan.
Maybe you need to cut workout time down, 45 minutes in and out including warm up. Whatever you’re actually going to do, is what you need to plan for. But do have a plan. It provides something to look forward to and an opportunity to be accountable to yourself – which always feels amazing during the holidays.
How often have you stuck to a workout plan you didn’t enjoy? Now how often have you stuck to a workout plan you didn’t enjoy DURING THE HOLIDAYS?! Yeah. Ain’t gonna happen. Don’t lie to yourself. If you like yoga, freaking do yoga! If you love crossfit, do that, if you need to just walk and lower your stress levels, do that! Whatever it is, you need to make sure it brings you joy.
Remember the holidays are collectively stressful even if we love them, see to it that you’re bringing more joy into you life through your exercise regime.
Please for the love of all things holy, don’t white knuckle it. I am not you. You are you. You are in your body. And you know your relationship with food better than I do. So take this with a grain of salt. But take it none-the-less.
You should know your schedule, how many events you have to attend and what types of food will be there. Be aware and have a realistic plan.
My suggestion? Eat protein first. drink water for every alcoholic beverage, and have a plan going in as far as what you want to consume. If my mom makes rhubarb pie, I’m having a slice. Guilt free, end of story.
The point with all of this is that an extreme mindset will not get you what you’re really wanting during the holidays. If you want to be consistent, then you need to have built these habits. Because we revert to habits in times of stress and when will power has run out.
The underlying message here is to be realistic and joyful. In the words of my friend Steph Gaudreau, do what is kind for your body. So maybe in the back of your mind you can ask “is this me being kind to my body?” I think that speaks so well to the holiday season and the topic of health and fitness.
Whatever your holiday plans or stressors are, I hope this was helpful and that you’re able to find some consistency through having realistic plans and doing what you enjoy.
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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