November 20, 2019

Aesop wrote, Our mere anticipations of life outrun its realities.”  When we worry about the future, we spend a lot time in turmoil. And although we likely sense the futility, we still cannot stop that hamster-wheel churning—the holidays are coming! I’ve got three days with in-laws, party at Jones’ on the 14th, one week with nothing, but then it’s Christmas, and the week between that and New Year’s is a joke, so I’m screwed. I’ll start on January 2nd.

If you’ve been tracking for a while, you’ve likely realized by now that every season comes with its own set of challenges—summer barbeques, fall football, Halloween candy and, of course, Thanksgiving which is literally a celebration of The Feast! And if you’ve been on point, regimented, focused, and successful, you’ve undoubtedly made a lot of lifestyle changes and broken long-standing habits which feel much less avoidable outside of a regularly scheduled week.

Or maybe, you’ve lost a bit of footing in recent weeks and are hoping to regroup, but already feel defeated by the upcoming parties and dessert spreads and cocktails, where planning and programming and weighing seem daunting and extremely un-festive.

It is very easy to anticipate failure. But not only is it a waste of energy, it is a waste of time.

Thanksgiving is a day. Christmas is day. New Year’s Eve is another one. But chances are, if you’re a social person in general, your calendar likely doesn’t veer far from this distribution of events regularly. It’s the anticipation of temptation, and backwards progress, and FAILURE that make it different. So change your mindset.

The holidays do not start today because there is a Christmas Tree in Wegmans. Do NOT cancel your workout tomorrow and grab an eggnog at the kiosk. Keep those sessions scheduled. Book a Turkey Trot if you can. You are much less likely to sabotage a day or worse, a week, if you continue to exercise and move. And even if you do go rogue, at least you’ve burned an hour’s worth of calories to keep you honest.

I don’t recommend you track on Thanksgiving. Or Christmas, if you celebrate. Because, as I’ve blogged in years past, these should be about family and gratitude, not macros. Eat without guilt, but don’t stuff yourself silly. Make the day about family (and only a little about food ;). And get to the gym on Friday if you can. 

So do yourself a favor: pull out that calendar and mark the days that are not holidays, that do not involve travel, or theatre tickets, or Time Square. These are the ones to dedicate to wellness, so you can feel good heading into this season, and better about splurging a bit, with a lot less work to do on January 2nd.

Anticipate SUCCESS. PLAN for it. And for heaven’s sake, Happy Holidays!