Have you ever heard someone talk about how they couldn’t move after a holiday meal and that they need to work off the food they just ate? Maybe you’ve even heard those words come out of your own mouth. 30 years in the fitness industry has offered me a unique insight into the holiday “boom and bust”. One thing it has taught me is that almost everyone overindulges from Thanksgiving to New Years, and then stresses out over the weight they have gained only to burn themselves out with an overzealous, unrealistic workout routine. Crazy how we overdose on food during the holidays, and then overdose on exercise in the new year.
Two Sides of the Same Excessive Coin
I understand weight loss and weight gain as well as anyone. I wrestled for years, and cutting weight during the holidays was always the bane of the wrestling season. I remember abstaining from holiday meals because I had a tournament the following weekend and I had to “make” weight. I watched people eat and felt miserable missing out on the delicious holiday treats that everyone else was indulging in -- we were two sides of the same excessive coin. Then, post-tournament I would gorge myself and feel miserable cutting weight for the next tournament. Let me tell you, it’s no fun gaining excess weight, but it’s no fun starving yourself either. I’ve done both and watched others do the same during the holidays. Both gorging and starving are forms of self-loathing that come at the expense of a healthy, balanced approach to celebrating with loved ones during the holiday season.
My Two Cents on Holiday Dosage
Here are my two cents on dosage: enjoy the holidays! Either decrease your dosage of food to enjoy without the stress of weight gain, or overdose without judgment, and remind yourself that a month of excess isn’t going to ruin your life. So what if you gain weight? It’s okay. Think of your weight gain as a storage bank of energy for the next few months (When there’s another lockdown, no need to hoard food, you got it on your body! Only half joking...).
Rather than thinking short-term about rushing to reverse the weight gain, think about long-term health goals and a sustainable exercise routine that lasts longer than a month or two beyond the new year. Aim to improve health over time: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Be honest about where you’re at to determine the minimum effective dose of exercise and nutrition based on accurate assessment rather than impulsive or compulsive reactions.
Speaking of compulsive reactions, I recently released my first digital program called Kettlebell Solo and would love it if you felt compelled to buy it and support KPP. It could be an excellent holiday gift for a friend or family member who wants to get stronger in 2021!
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