Don’t dig yourself into a hole this Christmas – but just in case you do…
As the silly season descends on us it’s easy to take your foot off the gas and let your fitness and health start to slide through less training and shitty food choices
Burning the candle at both ends – trying to wrap up work before you go on holidays, combined with Christmas party commitments make it easy to put training on the back burner and throw your diet out the window
As every missed training session elapses you’ll tell yourself that you’ll make it up ‘tomorrow…’ or ‘the day after…’ or “when I come back in January…” but deep down inside you know things are starting to slip – But the instant gratification (self) overtakes the thoughtful future-focused you and the “I-owe-you’s” keep on stacking up
I’ve seen people spend an entire year working on their fitness only to lose everything they’ve worked so hard on in as little as 4 weeks over the Christmas/New Year break?!
So how does one stay the course over the silly season and hit the new year ready to take their health and fitness to a new level?
I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ll be committing myself to over the coming months so I’ll be ready and operating at full capacity, ready for the 2017 CrossFit Open in February
#1 Commit to daily exercise
If you’re staying home these holidays, stay committed to training and schedule exercise. every. single. day.
Make a commitment to starting each day with an 40 mins to an hour of exercise – Get it out of the way first thing and then you’ve got the rest of the day to do whatever you want.
If you’re travelling then find out what local training options are available – Where’s the closest box? Are they even open? Can you get away with a weekly pass at a local 24hr gym? If you can’t, does the local park have some monkey bars – could you do bear crawls and squats on the beach? -> Go search Google for “Travel WODs” The options are endless!
#2 Eat & Drink ‘mindfully’
When it comes to food and drink there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ choices – Just choices that move you closer to your health and fitness goals or choices that move you further away
The best way to practice mindful eating is to…
- before you put food/drink into your body – ask yourself the question “Does this move me closer to my health & fitness goals or further away from them?”
- when you’re eating – eat slower than you normally would, chew for longer, savour every single bite – no, I mean you’ve really got to enjoy it
- if you’re drinking (especially alcohol) ask yourself “is this drink beginning to numb my senses or am I actually enjoying sipping on this mighty fine Lord Nelson Pale Ale?”
Mindfulness requires that you ‘think about’ what you’re actually doing/consuming (in the moment) as opposed to operating on autopilot – something that’s very easy to do – eg. chugging soft drink and chips and/or chocolate while watching TV or youtube – As it turns out, that whole multitasking thing is bullshit -> do one thing at a time #enjoytheprocess
#3 Don’t beat yourself up when you (inevitably) get it wrong
Remember there’s no such thing as good or bad food – it’s just food – but let’s just say that you’ve chosen to avoid things that move you away from your health and fitness goals and in a state of low energy, you reach for the chocolate and end up finishing the whole block in one sitting…
Congratulations, you’re human and falling down is part of the learning experience – it’s about what you do after the fall that presents you with the opportunity to learn and progress in life
Deep down inside we all know that if someone else came to us, experiencing deep shame you’d tell them that it was going to be OK – You’d tell them to not be so hard on themselves and you’d encourage them to get back up and on the horse – yet when we speak to ourselves, the self talk can be horrific – No leniency is ever given to self. Phrases like “I’m such a screw up…” or “I’m a failure…” bandy about in your mind and the resultant shame spiral can lead to more negative behaviour and poor choices
Self compassion is the key to moving through life in a happier state but it takes time to develop. You’ve got to practice it on the daily. Treat each day like Groundhog Day – and see every day as a new day and an opportunity to get ‘it’ right and realising that if things don’t work out the way you planned – it’s OK – you’re OK and that you’ve always got tomorrow 😉
#4 Embed yourself in a community of like minded individuals
I say this a lot and I’m quite sure I’m resigned to saying this for the rest of my life: “Life is better with others… You can’t do this shit alone and you were never designed to…”
It’s easier to make better nutritional choices when others know about your goals and can hold you to account
It’s easier to train every day when you share the experience with others – the shared vision, this shared suffering, it builds camaraderie – Sure every day is a battle but it’s much easier to go into battle in the company of your mates than by yourself
I wrote a newsletter a while back describing the difference between Adapt and the 24hr gyms across the road – Got Community? – and I also wrote something after last year’s Smash Clash Do You Have A Tribe? – both these posts outline the benefits of community and my thoughts on what makes a great one – please check them out 😃
If you want to succeed this Christmas/New Years than it’s absolutely essential that you
- embed yourself into a community that supports your goals and believes in the things your trying to achieve.
- Train every day.
- Hang out with others heading in the same direction.
- Be mindful when you eat and drink – heck, practice mindfulness in every aspect of your life; Oh and
- Practice Self Compassion when you get it wrong – you’re a human and that’s going to happen. Enjoy the journey.
If you’re visiting Canberra over the coming weeks – drop in and check out Adapt – you can find out Xmas schedule here – otherwise we’ll see all our rad peeps in the gym 😉
Coach & Owner