Maintain don’t gain (12-11-2013)

This time of the year is notorious for pictures, and, in at least partial consequence, notorious for dieting fads. Everyone wants to drop those last few pounds before seeing their family, because there’s always that one camera-crazed family member (for my family it’s my dad), that wants to capture every kodak moment. All of a sudden we wake up worried about our hair and makeup, are overly distressed about the big decisions in life like “sleeves or sleeveless” and “jeans or leggings,” and we don’t come out of our room until we look like the superstar we know we are. Sound familiar?

I’m guilty of this photo dread as well. I’ll admit my eating habits change ever so slightly right before going home. I only see everyone a few times a year, and I’d better be wearing the same jean size as last year when I see them. While I understand, and have in the past participated in this holiday adjustment, this year I’m focusing more on “maintaining not gaining” rather than “drop for no photoshop’.” If you already have a good diet and exercise routine, there’s  no reason to do drastic changes for a week or two. It’s much better to hold true to as much of your routine as possible through the holidays.

Exercise isn’t a hoarding  activity. You can’t exercise more one week to make up for a completely sedentary vacation. Your fitness starts to decline after just a few days without purposeful exercise. So rather than racking up “bonus” exercise sessions the week before, make time during your vacation for little walks, body weight exercises, or even just some core work. Don’t sell your soul for four slices of pie and some bread pudding.

We all splurge a little when we reach the holidays. It’s only natural. We are around good people and delicious food, and how can you not eat Christmas cookies when “frosty the snowman” is playing in the background? I’m not suggesting to compromise your enjoyment of the festivities and all that they entail. I’m simply saying that it’s a lot easier to maintain habits than it is to change, indulge, change.

Give it a try and let’s really focusing on maintaining, not gaining this Christmas! 🙂 Happy Holidays

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