The Holiday Season is Here…and It’s Gut Check Time (Literally)

It's make or break time...don't let the holiday season break your determination!

We’re entering dangerous territory. In fact, we’ve already entered it.  There’s no turning back now.  You’re about to enter a struggle for survival.  The decisions you make now will stay with you for the rest of your life….

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but let’s get real for a second.  In case you weren’t aware, we’ve entered the holiday season.  With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, we’re coming into that in between season, those roughly 6 weeks until New Year’s hits.  The next six weeks are chock full of holiday parties, drinking, excessive gorging on foods you’d normally shun the other 46 weeks of the year.

But hold it right there…before you click that little X at the top of your screen in an attempt to avoid more preaching from yet another fitness blog about how you need to not eat this or that during the holiday season, l want to tell you something: go ahead and eat whatever you want.

I’m not here to tell you what you shouldn’t be doing at Christmas dinner or at your holiday pot luck your office holds every year.  There’s enough of that going around all of the other blogs, magazines, and fitness sites on the web.  You’re all big boys and girls, you don’t need to be told what you can and can’t eat.

Hold That Towel

What I’m trying to do today, is help you from throwing in the towel on 2012.  With just weeks remaining in 2012, and a new year on the horizon, we all get that “clean slate” feeling.  A new year, a new beginning, a new start at changing bad habits.  Am I right?

There’s a reason gyms are emptier now until the new year than at any other point of the year.  With that clean slate so close, we allow ourselves to lose a little of that discipline; a little of that drive.  We tell ourselves, “Starting January 1st, I’m getting down to business!”.  That’s all well and good, but does that really mean you need to give up on yourself now?  You’ve still got a month and a half ahead of you…do you really think quitting on your training routine now is the best idea?

Find Your Pride

You’ve got a decision to make.  Do you pack it in, take the next six weeks off, and wait for the new year to going hard at the gym again?  Or do you do something a little different this year, and keep up with your fitness routine?  It’s gut check time (literally), and there’s no pride to be found in spending the next six weeks planning the most awesome, intense, and maniacal fitness routine known to mankind…..that starts on January 1st.

Find some pride in being one of the dozen or so people still banging it out in the gym.  Notice all the empty treadmills as you’re doing your HIIT sprinting routine?  Those people are quitters; but you are not.  YOU are going to be the one people enviously stare at in the gym next year.  It’s raining, it’s cold, and you still have to make dinner for three screaming kids….but you’re at the gym.  Yeah, it’s okay, go ahead and call yourself a bad ass.  Everyone else is quitting, and you’re doing work.  Take an opportunity to pat yourself on the back for what you’re doing, and beating that holiday dead zone will become so much easier.

Comes Slow, Leaves Fast

There’s a cold, hard, truth about fitness (and your bodies) that many of you probably already know.  It takes a long time of hard work to make any visible progress, but no time at all to watch that progress vanish beneath a pasty, jiggly, and soft, layer of fat.  You’ve worked so hard all year.  You’ve managed to keep up with your training even when summer ended.  Daylight savings hit, and you still managed to keep going to the gym, even when it was cold, dark, and rainy at five in the afternoon.  You’ve made serious progress this year…are you ready to throw a good chunk of that progress away?

Remember I said to go ahead and eat whatever you want this holiday season?  I meant it.  We all need “breaks” from the standard routine.  If you’ve been living on brown rice and grilled chicken 90% of the year, go ahead and let loose a little.  You really won’t have anything to worry about as long as you keep up with your training.  It’s the combination of bad eating and little to no exercise that puts people in a huge hole to start the year.  You can easily get away with some extra sweets and foods you wouldn’t normally eat as long as you’re offsetting them with regular exercise.

Kick 2012 Right in the Ass

This year, make a decision to finish things strong.  Don’t end 2012 with a dud.  The 2012 holiday season is out to get you.  It wants to slow you down.  It wants to eat away at all of the hard earned progress you’ve made.  More times than not, it wins.  Don’t let it beat you this year.

Go as hard as you can to finish the year, and set yourself up for even greater successes in 2013.  Rather than spending the first few months of 2013 getting yourself back to where you were, keep yourself on the level you’ve set, and work on moving beyond that.  When it’s May, bathing suit season is right around the corner, and you’re staring at some insanely fit person and telling yourself you simply don’t have the right kind of genetics to ever look like that, you’re making excuses.  The choices you make right now, and over the course of the next six weeks, will determine if you’re actually looking at yourself in the mirror come May, amazed at what is looking back at you.

Don’t allow the holiday season to sap your determination and will power.  I’ll admit, it’s hard.  There is temptation abound, hectic schedules, and a million things to do….but if you make a committment to yourself and your fitness now, you’ll be in such a better position to meet and exceed your goals in the new year.



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