How I Stayed Fit Over the Holidays

Laurieton Lookout, near Port Macquarie

I had a very tiring lead up to Christmas 2017. Working two jobs had left me exhausted and irritable, and I was steadily putting on weight week by week. This wouldn’t have bothered me that much usually, except that I had worked really, really hard to get that weight off for the entire year. It was likely the stress connecting to the mindless snacking coming up to the holidays. I had also gotten a tad too creative with salads and was likely adding too much fat (instead of one fat source e.g. avocado, I’d add two or three – nuts, hummus etc).

Instead of letting this completely derail my holiday period. I decided to take my gym clothes with me interstate and see what happened. I know my psyche, once I get into a routine, a momentum, it’s not hard to keep going as you reap the benefits (more energy, healthier choices, clothes fitting better etc). The most courageous thing you can do is start!

Run Run Run

After a day or two of lazing around, I decided to go for a run, the area I was running in was VERY hilly in comparison to my hometown. This gave me a challenge. It also rained HEAVILY during one of my runs, and all I could think of was ‘rain or shine, rain or shine’. Keep pushing no matter where you are, and, if your surroundings are unfamiliar, make an easy ‘there and back’ style route where it is in a straight line, a square or a circle that is really simple to navigate, especially if you’re like me and do not take your phone with you when you run or walk outside.

Keep to your normal routine when you are on holidays, but give yourself the luxury to indulge in other things. For example: sleep. Sleep more. Find out where your motivation is, and schedule in exercise at the same time, like the morning, the afternoon, after lunch etc.

The most important part was that I still relaxed and enjoyed my time off, however I only over-indulged on 2-3 days the entire time. Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day. Exercising consistently helps to make healthy choices easier.

Boxing Day Challenge and Alcohol Culture

cheers

The odd drink with friends is great, but going overboard too often can make you feel awful 

(Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash)

I decided not to drink on Boxing day as I’d had a few on Christmas day and honestly just didn’t feel like it. Little did I realise how controversial that was as I was asked every five minutes “Why aren’t you drinking?” or “Have a drink come on you’re on holidays”. It was a fascinating look at how deep alcohol culture runs through our veins in this country. I suspect alcoholics would have a very, very hard time staying dry at many family functions. I navigated the gauntlet of alcohol and snacks, however, and felt incredible at the end of it, I felt strong. Like I’d really achieved something.

I read this article at the end of the day and felt better. As someone who enjoys being healthy, I am conscious of alcohol basically being poison.In excess, it poisons your body. Staying away from it most of the time gives me a happier feeling of control, and it also gives me the freedom to enjoy the odd drink when I do want one.

Be yourself. Be YOU. If you don’t feel like drinking or eating that extra slice of cake or swaying from your healthy routine on holidays, you don’t have to! It will be a harder challenge for your willpower, but you will come out stronger at the end of it. Sticking generally to what you would usually do, with wriggle room for a day or two of indulging (instead of a week or two…) will ensure you start the new year or your return to work and reality fresher, happier and feeling fantastic, rather than bloated and needing to ‘start again’. I lost 3.5 kgs in 3 weeks sticking to this mentality, thus shedding all the stress-weight I had gained leading up to Christmas.

Top tips to stay fit on holidays:

  • Stick to your routine.
  • Try a new environment for your exercise.
  • Have allocated indulge days.
  • Don’t bow to peer pressure if you do not want to.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Indulge in other ways than food or drink – have some time to yourself, sleep more, read more books, catch up on your Netflix series, go for long walks in the sun, spend time with your pets, see your old friends, check out the sales, there are so many things that make you feel good that don’t involve alcohol or food.

What will I do differently in 2018?

  • Get Christmas presents and cards sorted earlier. I say it every year, 2017 was okay but 2018 will be even more organised. Getting all of this out of the way earlier gives you far more time to relax.
  • Don’t OVERWORK coming up to Christmas to try and ‘earn’ your break. I’m not doing it this year. If I get organised earlier I will not need to make myself so exhausted.
  • Make sure I am imparting more good vibes on people and not only letting myself be myself, but let others be themselves too. Enjoy yourself, and let others enjoy too, we are all here to relax together, just in different ways, and that’s great!

While living your best life, let others live theirs, no one is the same, and if people wish to enjoy their holidays in different ways, that is their personal right. I had an absolutely wonderful time on my Christmas and New Years holidays, and it strengthened my resolve to make 2018 even better!

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