Halloween is now over – maybe you were like me and just ate your body weight in fun size Snickers (or whatever you kryptonite is). My belly is full, and as much as I’d like to blame falling off the healthy lifestyle bandwagon on Halloween, I can’t. Ever since mid-August, I’ve been slowly derailing all my handwork from Jan 2nd through the summer. I can pass the blame around to a lot of things, but ultimately, it’s really my fault.
Well, it stops now! I am going to set myself up to get it together and STAY together. Winter is coming. And that means…the holidays are coming. We are OFFICIALLY in the holiday season, like it or not. So from here until Jan 2nd (I always start my New Year Resolutions on the 2nd), there will be many obstacles trying to derail you and your healthy lifestyle. Today I am going to outline the tips I use in order to get on track and stay on track. This gives you a solid 3 weeks to work on it before T-Day (Turkey Day aka Thanksgiving). The week of T-Day, I will create a holiday survival update. But today is about putting yourself in the best position before we get into the thick of the holiday season.
1 – Just like with anything – the first step is always actually admitting you have a problem and identifying the causes to the problem. This may be easy and obvious like eating all of the left over Halloween candy, or things can be more subtle, like adding cheese to something when you didn’t used to or skipping the gym because you didn’t feel like it. For me lately, it’s a combo of the obvious and the subtle. On top of recognizing what bad habits you have taken on, it’s even more important to figure out what is causing these things. People change their habits for all sorts of reasons…You may have reached your summer bod goals and now summer is over. You could be stressed as fuck at work and so busy there you don’t have time to workout or prep/plan your meals. Something could be happening with your home/social life. Family and friends can be drivers from anything as major as an illness or minor as your friends wanting to go out more. Even the weather can cause you to want to eat differently and affect your energy levels for working out.
Figure out the bad habits, write them down, and then figure out the causes, write those down too. I’m not one of those “burn” the piece of paper or hang it on the fridge people, but I do think writing this stuff down is important. You can see it in black and white, maybe connect even more dots, more cause and effect. What you do with this list is your choice. But now you know, so we can start moving on to getting rid of those habits!
2 – Now that you figured out what is going on with yourself, DO NOT beat yourself up over it. This step is important because you don’t want to get down and defeated before you even start. Sure, you had a little, maybe too fun, much like that Pooh up there, but you can get it together again. It’s really important to stay positive. Without being positive you are giving yourself a 10 yard penalty before you have even snapped the ball.
3 – Come up with a game plan! On a Saturday or Sunday, sit down and write out your meals for the week and make your grocery list. Write down what work outs you are going to do on what days. Set yourself up to win! If you plan it out and write it down, you have a better chance of following through with what you do. Same with if you have a grocery list. You will be more successful at the grocery, less likely to be crap food and waste time walking down the aisles. Then you have healthy food and planned out meals to stick to instead of Thursday rolling around saying F it, I will just make butter noodles because I don’t have anything else and I’m tired.
4 – This one kind of goes along with the planning aspect, but I think it merits its own bullet point. KNOW YOUR OBSTACLES! Do you have a work lunch coming up? Drinks with friends? A family dinner? An appointment after work? Figure these things out and plan accordingly. If you know you have something after work one day, workout on in the morning or at lunch (if you can). Look at the menus ahead of time for healthy options. I like to check out menus ahead of time anyways because trying to figure out what to eat and catch up is always annoying, so this is great to do no matter what. Make sure everything else you are doing that day (and maybe the day before and after) is on point healthy-wise. If you know it’s coming, you can plan for it, and it won’t derail you, sending you into a spiral. Sometimes there will be things you can’t plan for, so definitely take action against the ones you can. For the obstacles you can’t plan for, do the best you can in the moment and try harder the next day.
5 – PREP!!!! PREP!!! PREP!!!!!!!! Obvious, I cannot stress this enough. You planned your week out, you got your food, but now you have to prepare it! Cut up your veggies, make your breakfasts – check out my quick healthy egg bite recipe here (and pictured below) that I eat every weekday morning at work for breakfast! We cook our protein for our lunches for the week on Sunday and pack the veggies or salads for a few days (not all because they get soggy). But this is VERY important. You have to set yourself up with healthy food for the week succeed. Not only that, but pack your gym bag and lay out your work clothes (or pack them if you are like me and get ready at the gym). This will make your mornings run smoothly, giving yourself more chances to succeed. Having your laundry done and put away helps this too. You would be surprised at how much easier the week is with all your clothes clean and where they should be (I am just learning this after 29 years of living FYI).
5 – Follow through that first day, and then treat each day as a new one. Everyday is a new day, and each day you are creating stronger habits. Some studies say that it takes 21 days to create a habit (the length until before T-Day week). So, keep it up – stick with it! If you don’t do awesome one day, you can start fresh the next, but reinforcing these practices like eating healthy, going to the gym or being active in your home or outside will create lasting, long term habits. The first week will be the hardest. Your body is going to CRAVE that crappy food you’ve been eating. You gotta fight it. Chug some water, eat more veggies. stick to lean proteins. Once you get past the first week, it will get easy. You just have to stay accountable to yourself and your goals. You have to stay strong so you can create long term habits to get you through the holidays coming.
6 – Last but not least, it does get easier. Like I said above, the first week is the hardest. You have power through that week, get a healthy weekend in and then keep going. Overtime, the decision of side salad over tots will almost be second nature. You just have to persevere through when it’s hard like your alarm going off at 4:30 am to get up for the gym and you are dead tired. You will be happier in the long run. It’s hard to find the balance enjoying, relaxing and indulging with sacrificing, committing and working hard. Sometimes I ask myself – will this actually make me happy? I think it’s important to identify what will actually make you happy and go from there. Like will shoving a fun size Snicker in your mouth as you run out the door to do errands cuz the Halloween candy is still sitting out make you happy? Probably not. Would enjoying a piece of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine while you are relaxing make you happy? Most likely. Do what makes you happy and if it’s something that really isn’t going to make you actually relax and enjoy, don’t waste your calories or time on it.
So this is what I got! I plan on following through with all this. Hopefully, I can get back on track and stay good through the holidays!!! Look for a post the week of T-Day for a holiday survival guide! Also, at some point, I would like to outline my fitness background, what programs I have done and what I’m currently doing right now. Comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in seeing on Wet Hair, Don’t Care. Good luck homies!
Wet Hair, Don’t Care