I get asked all of the time, especially with the holidays just passed, how I staymotivated through all of the social gatherings, dinners, homemade desserts and deliciously tempting gifts. I have learned through trial and error what works best for me when it comes to staying on track during the holiday season. In past years I have made it through without so much as a second glance attemptations, and others I have indulged in everything I could get my hands on, welcoming in the New Year with the feeling of guilt and a larger dress size! Here is what Ive learned.
BE REALISTIC If you set your expectations for yourself too high, more often than not, you will fail.Expect to slip-up. Allow yourself to indulge every once in a while, accept it when you doand move on. No one is perfect, no one eats 100% healthy all of the time, and if they do Id like to meet them! When we set unrealistic goals for ourselves we tend to beatourselves up, and become discouraged and disappointed when we do have the occasionalslip-up. This usually leads to giving up altogether and turning that one slip-up into days,or even weeks, of unhealthy choices. This was the case for me, the hardest thing over all else has been learning to give up the "all or nothing attitude I carried with me for so long. Eating healthy isnt about punishing your body, but respecting it. Dont deprive yourself, enjoy your favorite treat every so often, and get right back on the horse when youre done!
CONSISTENCYIt is easy for us to become distracted by all of our holiday duties and forgetabout going to the gym or finding the time to always prepare healthy meals.During these busy times it is important to stay consistent in your exercisingand eating clean. If you can find half an hour out of your day to go to the gym, go. If you cant leave the house, have a quick 15 minute at-homeworkout while dinner is in the oven! Any bit of exercise you can fit in willkeep you on track until you have more free time. Again, when it comes tofood it is okay to have the occasional cheat but be consistent and continue to eat the way your body deserves at your next meal.
FIND A ROLE MODEL This could be a celebrity, fitness personality, friend, acquaintance or personal trainer. Whoever you decide to be your role model, it should be someone whose choices you respect. This person should live an all-around healthy lifestyle; the same kind that you strive for. I use Tosca Reno. When I am tempted at a dinner event I think of what she would do in a similar situation, or I imagine her there watching my choices, and that isenough to make any temptation quickly disappear! I have seen some people even carryaround a picture in their wallet of their healthy role model or have a poster of them on their kitchen wall. It reminds you of what you are working towards, even when othersaround you are making negative choices without a second thought. Find out what works for you and use your role model as a guide to making the right choices for your body!
SET MINI-GOALS Make mini, short-term goals for yourself over the holidays or when you know ahead of time that there is going to be temptation. Instead of making the goal "I will not gain any extra weight this holiday season", break it into more specific goals such as: “When faced with my favorite chocolate desserts, I will have just one instead of the usual five", "I will make it to the gym at least three times per week", or "I will have a saladbefore every dinner instead of going for seconds". When we make smaller, reachable goals, we gain the feeling of achievement and are less likely to continue on with bad habits.