I’ve been struck recently by the amounts of posts on social media around Christmas from fitness professionals. Many of these posts contain the words: “Guilt”, “Good food/bad food”, “Overindulgence”, “Regret”, “Losing all the hard work”.

Seeing all this, I wonder, are these fitness professionals so far gone that they expect everyone to follow their dogmatic views?

Most people reading this blog, and other fitness posts are adults.

You then surely deserve to be spoken to as adults. Not treated like some inferior sub-species that can’t understand how to behave over Christmas or at any other time of the year. Yes, coaches and fitness professionals should serve as a guiding light and a knowledge source for the general population, but certainly should at least try to speak to people at a human level.

(What boils my blood more is those “professionals” who link self-worth with the number on the scale or how you look, but more on that later!)

 

So CHRISTMAS.

The sad reality is we’ll only get 70+ (hopefully more) Christmas days in our lifetime. I wish we got more, but we don’t. You might be lucky enough to live beyond 100, but the truth is, most of us won’t. 

Christmas is the one day of the year where you should relax and enjoy time spent with loved ones. 

If you’re more worried about your macro intake or calories consumed on Christmas Day than actually relaxing and spending time with family and friends, then you’re either a professional athlete, have a stage competition coming up or you need to set a better relationship with your health and fitness.

Your health and fitness also incorporates your mental wellbeing, and if you spend 365 days a year worrying about what you eat and what you’re doing then eventually your mental health may suffer.

Of course, Christmas should not be a week plus long bender of overeating and drinking, see my point about treating people like adults, you already know this.

To that end, here are a few rational thoughts around nutrition and exercise over the holiday season:

  • First and foremost, enjoy your Christmas.
  • Relax and surround yourself with the people who matter most to you.
  • Get rid of stupid labels around food like “Good” or “Bad”, “Cheat meal”, “Guilt”.
    • Food is food, some of it is higher in calories and lower in nutrient density (That box of Celebrations or tin of Roses), some of it is lower in calories and higher in nutrient density  (Brussel sprouts and carrots). Try to eat more from the latter type than the former.
  • Try to eat a decent breakfast each morning. If you can at all, try to maintain your normal breakfast routine.
  • Remove “I can’t have X food” from your vocabulary. 
    • Saying “I can’t” automatically sets your mind to think you’re missing something and then you might actually start craving that food. Have some chocolates, enjoy a few drinks, have the trifle or pudding on Christmas Day. See the next point.
  • Be kind to yourself. Don’t berate yourself for something you ate over Christmas. This garbage of a “moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” is complete and utter sh*te.
  • The only truly simple equation when it comes to weight gain or loss is: Calories in Vs Calories Out (Expended). (It’s a little more complex than that, but in broad terms, this is as simple as we need to make it for now)
  • HAVE FUN.
    • This is the most important one for me. Life is for living. Live it.
  • Get a walk/jog or three in over the holidays. Most peoples houses are cluttered and busy over this time of year anyway, so a nice long walk will help clear your head and help you relax whilst also getting some exercise! Try to get to the gym during Christmas week if you can. (This isn’t possible for everyone with busy schedules and kids off school etc)
  • Ensure you set a date to resume “regular service” and stick to it. If your routine revolves around work or the kids being in school. Ensure you get straight back into your regular routine when you can.

It actually is possible to enjoy food and drinks and still be fit and healthy.

Health and fitness, just like life, isn’t black and white.

At Activate we’re not here to make you feel guilty, ashamed, anxious, or deprived. 

Instead, we’re here to help you think through any questions you might have. To help you choose more consciously, with awareness and intention and above all to support you in making your life healthier and happier.

I truly hope you have an amazing Christmas, and we’re looking forward to a massive 2018 in Activate. 

I really hope you can be a part of it.

 

“Have fun, train hard, belong”

Ro & Brian