The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving has already come and gone. It’s that time of year again. For many the next month will include an abundance of holiday feasts and desserts. There may be work parties, family gatherings, and celebrations with friends. The gluttony that follows will lead many to proclaim New Year’s resolutions. After all, something must be done to make up for the holiday splurge, right?
Perhaps, but you don’t need to wait until the new year. I’d rather self-correct a splurge with more immediate action. Doing so doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the festivities that so many enjoy this time of year. It is entirely possible to enjoy the holidays and continue training without interruptions.
Unfortunately, many seem to be confused about how to proceed during the holidays. At this time each year, my inbox fills with questions about what to eat and how to find time for exercise. My response to such questions is always the same. Eat whatever you want. That’s what I do. I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy a Thanksgiving feast. I eat huge portions and finish myself off with multiple servings of dessert. It is always a fun day with family and friends.
Stuffing myself like a pig on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that I’ve abandoned a life of health and fitness however. On Thanksgiving morning, I awoke early and exercised. I pushed myself hard knowing what the day would bring. I did more than I would have on a normal Thursday morning.
Later that day, I stuffed myself full and fought through a food coma as I continued to down slices of fresh apple pie. As nightfall came, I was stuffed and exhausted. I couldn’t imagine living and feeling like that on a daily basis. Eating myself to the point that it was uncomfortable was fun for the day, but certainly not something I could do regularly. I wouldn’t want to live feeling that way. I’d much rather feel energized and mobile.
On Friday morning, I rose early and was right back in the gym. I never skipped a beat. I continued through the weekend with intense workouts on Saturday and Sunday. Nothing changed. One day of festivities didn’t ruin me. It didn’t change me. I am still the same person with the same passion.
Making time to exercise isn’t as difficult as many believe. The busiest person in the world has 24 hours to work with each day. Busy people don’t have the luxury of living longer days. No matter who you are and where you live, you have 24 hours a day.
By all means enjoy the holidays, but don’t view them as a time to throw your body under the bus. No one is too busy to exercise. It all boils down to priorities. We all have time for whatever we deem necessary. I am always amazed that people will wake up in the middle of the night to go shopping on Black Friday. They will jump at the opportunity to buy something (that they probably don’t need) at a discounted price. If it means waking up at 3AM and sitting in line for several hours, so be it. It’s a sale!!!
Meanwhile, many of the same people will complain that they don’t have time to workout. Is it really that difficult to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual to get in some exercise? Imagine if everyone in the world started each day with a few sets of pushups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, etc. A simple 30 minute investment in yourself can go a long way. An added plus is that you won’t need a Black Friday coupon. Working through a series of bodyweight exercises will always be free. And you don’t need to wait for the newspaper fliers to tell you where the sales are. Any room in your house will do.
You aren’t too busy to exercise and you don’t need anything fancy to get started. And if you want to get started, get started. Don’t tell people that you want to start working out. Start working out. The holiday season isn’t a reason to abandon your body. Flip the switch on the typical excuses and turn the season into something positive for yourself.
I always work extra hard during the winter months. I know that I’ll be enjoying time with family and friends. It serves as an extra incentive to push myself to new personal bests in the gym. There isn’t a turkey or apple pie in the world that could slow me down. I will keep moving forward, with or without the holidays.
“Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” – Eleanor Roosevelt