Although we’re already into the month of November, I thought it would be worthwhile to do another Monthly Challenge post because this is the start of the holiday season, and with that typically comes colder weather, shorter days, more extravagant foods, and often less movement. So a challenge could benefit us all!
But first, some seasonal thoughts for you:
- Media reports say that most people gain between 5 and 10 pounds of body fat in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. According to research from the New England Journal of Medicine, the average amount is much more modest – just over a pound.
- Nevertheless, even modest holiday weight gain may be cause for concern: A study by the National Institutes of Health found that this seasonal weight gain – even just a pound – is usually not lost after the holidays; it simply adds to the “weight creep” that sneaks up on us as we get older.
- Whether the weight gain is 1 lb or 10, why do you think people gain weight in the first place?
“I’m too busy to stick with my workout plan over the holidays.”
“I just give up over the holidays – it’s my ‘free time’ and I know I’ll get back on the wagon later.”
“I have so many parties to attend, it’s impossible to eat well!”
These statements lead us to believe that we have two options: stay fit but deprive yourself of holiday fun, or have fun and gain weight. But this type of “either/or” thinking is very limiting, and certainly not balanced. All the above lines are actually excuses for not prioritizing the important things in life – like giving yourself 20 minutes to relieve stress, to have some down time, to workout. It’s a challenge for everyone as there are only 24 hours in the day no matter what! There are kids to take care of, parties to attend, work to keep up with, healthy meals to plan, and workouts to do, and it’s a balancing act that’s a struggle for everyone.
So…why not try to get in better shape over the holidays? Why not set a fun goal – the worst that can happen is that you maintain where you’re at right now! What if you decided that your health and your body were the highest priorities in your life, because you realized that can’t enjoy anything else in life, including family or holidays, if you don’t have your health?
What are you expecting this holiday season? Why not expect to enjoy the festivities while getting in shape? Do you expect to get to your goals, or do you expect that you will fall short of them? With these thoughts in mind, let’s move onto the monthly challenge before us:
I challenge you to be in better shape on January 1st than you are today! I challenge you to be healthier and more balanced in your concept of what it means to be “fit.” Why not step up your expectations to enjoy the holiday season while still reaching this fitness goal? Step your nutrition,your training, your daily movement, your motivation. What actions will you take to get you in better shape in a few months than you are today? It doesn’t mean saying “no” to every decorative cookie or never enjoying a glass of wine at a party. And this goal will look different for each individual (make your goals and expectations realistic for your where you are in life). Maybe it means making healthier choices in your normal routine and not letting your workouts continue to slip by. Over the next few months, I’ll be posting workouts to try and tips to keep you moving and eating well. Expect good things, work towards good things, and see what will happen come January 1st, 2011!
So…are you in?! I am excited about this challenge because it’s something we can keep each other accountable to and because it’s truly possible to see the results of eating better, moving more, and living well by January 1st. Let’s see what can happen when we expect great things and live with not only good intentions but good actions on those intentions. Until next time, live well and be well,
*Thoughts and tips taken from this great article.