Will you gain 7-10lbs this December?

December 1, 2012

Welcome December 1st. The month when the average American gains 7-10lbs  during this holiday season. It makes a lot of sense of course…people are baking homemade cookies, cakes and muffins. People are gifting chocolate covered popcorn, see’s candies and food baskets. You’re invited to holiday luncheons, parties, happy hours and family events. Amongst all the celebrations, there’s the shopping…oh, the shopping! The shopping that makes you crave a Cinnabon or pretzel at the mall. The shopping that makes you want to sit down and the closest Cheesecake Factory and reward your shopping efforts.

I get it.

Because regardless if I’m a fitness enthusiast – I’m also a person. I live through this season…I get lazy when it gets rainy. I get tired when the sun goes down sooner. I get stressed when all the events and shopping overwhelms my already busy life.

And let’s not start talking about the food! I am a dessert connoisseur. If you are like me, then this is NOT the season for you. There are sweets simply everywhere, from everyone, all the time! Even from myself! I am KNOWN to be the baker in the family and if a year goes by without my toffee cookies or my husband’s hot pecan sticky buns, then it’s definitely not Christmas time!

SO – the big question is, how do you NOT interrupt your success in a month when many will falter only wishing they had some discipline come New Year Resolution time?

This is what I do:

1)      I make a plan. I use my calendar, which the template is available for download. I CHOOSE the days that I will splurge (usually once a week) and I don’t ‘cheat’ outside of those days. When it comes to this time a year, sometimes I would not have a whole day to splurge, but perhaps just two meals. One in the middle of the week and one during the weekend.

2)      I equip myself. I often feel less motivated to go to the gym so I work out at home more. This means I need to have my best workout DVDs out for me to use in my pajamas, in my warm house and barefoot. Often I will also run on my treadmill.

3)      I try to stay as routine as possible. That means ordering salads at get-togethers, even B.Y.O.S. (Bring your own salad) to parties (as I will be doing later today!  Other routine things I do is eat small meals throughout the day, bring nuts, fruit and water with me when I go shopping and trying to get enough sleep at night.

4)      Prepare yourself mentally. When I attend a party, I prepare myself beforehand by envisioning the process. I already envision myself saying ‘no’ to alcohol, skipping the dessert table and focusing on maybe fish and salad with a bit of bread.  Envisioning what you wish to complete is a VERY important part of my success process.

5)      I constantly think of my long term goals. Which is: I don’t want to screw what I’ve worked so hard to accomplish in these past few months just for some indulgences during the very short month of December.

Other tips:

– bring healthy potluck dishes to parties

– stay  hydrated throughout the day to keep your palate clean and your tummy full

– if you enjoy some alcohol, I often nurse a glass of red wine

– if you must try a dessert, share it with a friend

– if you receive an edible gift that will go bad, share, share, share!!!!

I have 2-3 parties every week of December and will be utilizing these top 5 strategies I just shared with all of you. Enjoy this holiday season and always remember the ‘reason for the season!’ It’s not about food…it’s about family, about your faith and about fun!

Here’s a great article I wrote about “How to write an Effective Fitness Plan”

This photo was taken 2 years ago with my 2nd child!

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