If your life is anything like mine, then you have been bombarded with (and you have been succumbing to) holiday candy, cookies, and other treats for weeks now, no matter if you are at home, at work, or even at church (sorry)! I was even at the eye doctor’s office the other day and there was actually a bowl of holiday candy there to resist while waiting for the doctor!! Every year millions of people start their “diets” on January 1, because they have spent the last two or three weeks filling up on holiday “joy” aka holiday sweets to the point where the new clothes they received as gifts are simply too tight to wear.
The holiday season is the absolute worst time of the year for those of us that do not have a wall of willpower built up to keep any kind of health and fitness goal. Even though tomorrow is the weekend before the week of New Year’s Day, I am going to jot down a written list – a plan of attack – to keep myself from falling off the top rung of the fitness ladder this next week or so. Maybe this post will inspire you to join me.
The first thing on my plan will be to remind myself of my goal. If you haven’t thought about what your actual goal is, maybe you can give this some thought and write it down as Item #1. My goals are (1) to get back to healthy eating, (2) increase the mileage and be consistent in my running, and (3) complete a minimum of 14 half marathons along with other shorter local races in 2014. Yours can be just as big as mine, or maybe you just want to start out small. Either way you choose, write your goals down so you have to see them to remind yourself because, as I am sure you know, we all have a built in “forgetter”!
Item #2 is very important: DRINK MORE WATER. Eliminate the soda, cut down on the coffee/tea, and increase the water intake. We all know that water helps flush your system and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It helps remove toxins and dead cells from your body and helps carry oxygen and nutrients to your body.
Item #3 is equally as important as #1 and #2 above: PLAN, PLAN and then PLAN. Plan your meals for the week and write out your grocery list, or download an app on your smartphone. If you work outside the home, make sure you plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, no matter where those meals will be taken. If you have a lunch with you at work, it’ll keep you from joining the crew at the local fast food restaurant or diner. It’ll also keep you away from the vending machines and convenient stores. Don’t forget to include some healthy snacks so you are covered all the way around.
Item #4 should probably be added to my goal list above as number (4) as well. Change your recipes. Try to find replacements for some of the things you normally use when you cook. Try using whole wheat flour instead of white refined, or maybe use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. There are a ton of websites out there to find these substitutions, and who knows? Maybe you’ll actually be able to improve upon a family tradition.
Whatever your goal, lifestyle change or challenge is for the upcoming new year, I wish you all the best of luck!