It is crunch time for the holidays, but the last thing you should do is stress yourself out. Stress often leads to making poor food choices, being sedentary and ultimately making you feel really bad about yourself. I typically go into the holiday season with a game plan on how to ward off temptations of unhealthy foods, festive cocktails and too many social engagements to keep me from exercising.
This year, I will honestly have to say I am doing better than I’ve ever done. You see, I set my sights on reaching a certain fitness level by a certain time. I knew that if I let the holidays get in the way or “waited until the New Year” like the majority, I would not get to my goal. I have by no means sacrificed enjoyment by avoiding the above temptations. Instead, I have found a sort of peace or calm with my decision and of course less stress!
To me, holidays are about the people I love and giving. I love to find the perfect gift for someone, but I also find enjoyment in taking the time for me. Exercise is my time and “all about me” for that hour or two during my workouts. I give through exercise as well, when I teach my classes. There is nothing more pleasurable than seeing the smiles on the members’ faces during my class or when they come up to me afterwards saying how much I made their day better. This is especially true for those that make it to class during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. If you feel like you’re giving too much and overdoing it, an hour of exercise where it is “all about you” will help you feel better about yourself.
Traditions are important to so many people during the holiday season, but it is ok to modify those traditions. I am 100% Italian and I love my heritage, but even my family has simplified traditions. For example, over the years The Seven Fish Christmas Eve Italian Feast has been cut down to four fish. Yes, there are still two pastas, the antipasto (this means before pasta not a movement against pasta), but still its progress for my people and an example on how to scale back to enjoy more!