Christmas is a great time of year to spend with family and friends. There are those who do not know how to enjoy Christmas time. Humbugs would rather complain than share in the spirit of the season.
The truth is it lifts the spirits of the vast majority of the many. It makes getting out of bed in the morning easier. People are verifiably kinder and more generous so it really is a special time of year.
Suicides do go up at this time of year as well. Christmas has the effect of exaggerating what is already present. Any negativity must be tempered by facing it before it grows too large.
It is also a special time for food and drink. There are treats of both sweet and savoury stocked in abundance. Due to all the variety it can be difficult to stay on track diet-wise.
The holiday period can provide a stumbling block between an individual and their health goals. It can also be the catalyst for a January lifestyle alteration. Gyms everywhere become so full in January due to the excessive indulgence of the previous month.
I am a firm believer in enjoying yourself when it is deserved. Staying on track with your goals while making lasting memories is possible however. It just takes some more effort and preparation.
Today I will be showing you how to do exactly that. This will allow you to get the best of both world’s. One shouldn’t have to be sacrificed at the alter of the other. They both can share in the gifts each one provides.
Firstly let’s look at what benefits Christmas time can bring to ones life. Spending time with close ones can bring out the best in us. While everyone is together inside, forgotten interests can be rediscovered from years gone by.
Older relatives can remind us of when we were young. They can show us our beginnings through stories and memories. Often times they can know our previous self more than we do. Through this process our actions in the present day can begin to make more sense. What was once assumed to be a random coincidence may have a deeper meaning.
Learning about one’s family is hugely important. Our roots go back further than we know. Paying homage to our ancestral line enables us to bring out the best in our life. We would not be here without their will.
Without family and friends what good is success? It is still good of course but a lot of the sweetness would be lost. With no one to share in our riches (both in financial and experience terms) what is left? An image of a king alone in a room full of gold comes to mind. While still an appealing image, valued company would make it even better.
Christmas time can remind us of why we do what we do. It may be to support an ageing relation or a young child. It may be to give that young child what you never had. Or to show them the virtue of work and dedication. You may want to stand on the cliffs and become a shining pillar for what is possible. The radiating light could help lost ships to shore. Whatever your motive, those around you will be greatly affected by your actions. Make sure they are positive ones at that.
Down time is important in building something great. It can provide an opportunity to rest and recharge. Periods of reflection can enable the future to be much clearer. When it comes time to return to work, you can hit the ground running. This is much more preferable to running out of steam and crashing. In this scenario the return can be turbulent.
With a planned period of relaxation, performance stays consistently high. Results will speak for themselves. With anything like this, discipline is essential. Don’t be the man who takes a “break” only to never return to the fight. If you say you are going to take a two day break, take a two day break. Going against the internal word of your conscience weakens it. Should you ever call on it again (and you will), it may not come as fast as before.
2018 is fast approaching. This is the perfect time to start planning and executing on your future goals today. Begin instilling good habits before January and you will be far ahead of others. Use the time off work and school intelligently. When you aren’t enjoying quality time with others, start building for your biggest year yet. Sitting by the fire with eggnog is the perfect environment for deep thinking. Let thoughts flood your head and prepare to bring new ideas to life.
Christmas is all about gift giving but it doesn’t have to be in the material sense. Although our consumer driven society would have you believe this is the only route. In fact, there are other ways gifts can be given. Bestow upon yourself a gift you will never forget this Christmas. Allow yourself to become enthralled in creating the life you want.
Finally stop saying “If only” and start saying “Yes” to what you have been putting off. There is never a perfect time for anything. If you keep waiting for one, you will return to the earth sooner than perfection arrives. Perfection can paralyse. Those who fall victim have an ideal in mind that can rarely be reached. They fail to see the rugged prototypes that came before.
Give yourself the gift of saying “No” to time sinks and irrelevancies. If something serves no beneficial purpose, get rid of it. Streamline your methods on the way to success for faster results. Figure out what you are dedicating your time towards everyday. Decide what is important and what is not. Prioritize what matters and what aids in your ascension.
Sometimes being ruthless is necessary to breakthrough the bounds of stagnation. Deadwood serves no purpose only in slowing you down. It makes it more difficult to accelerate and change direction. Imagine an anchor preventing any forward movement towards your goal. These are the monkeys on your back, the leeches drying you of your life blood. Avoid these at all costs and waste no time in removing them.
I mentioned earlier about how this is a special time for food and drink. While I am a proponent of discipline, I would never try and deprive someone of their mother’s pudding or trifle. Unless you have some sort of bodybuilding show or a photoshoot approaching, there is no need to be so dogmatic.
Another exception is for those struggling with dietary adherence and who are overweight. If you think taking a break will ruin your whole diet then it may not be the best idea. In this case try improving your adherence for a future occasion.
Holiday Diet and Exercise
One day of bad eating will not make you fat and vice versa. Changes in body composition are made over an extended period of time. The 25th of December will not make or break you. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing either. There is a middle ground – a place where indulgence can occur but where binge eating is not found. This place is full of sensible decision making and wise choices. Here I will show you some of my favorite tips in regards to diet and exercise over the holiday season:
Sweet Tooth Control
Ever notice how the first bite of cake is always the nicest? There is a point of diminishing returns. With each slice of the same cake consumed, you enjoy it less and less. Your cravings become satisfied and your taste receptors desensitised. With this knowledge, tactically decide what desserts you will eat beforehand and limit it to a select few. Now you should enjoy these foods with all of your being. Do not feel any guilt whatsoever and smile like you mean it.
Meat and Vegetables
Protein is the most satiating (filling) macronutrient there is. With that said, eating plenty of turkey or other lean meats can help with feeling more satisfied. Consuming a lot of vegetables can also do the same trick. They are low on calories but high in volume. In this way they will give the feeling of fullness with little calorie cost. When it comes to dessert time, you will be less likely to go overboard if no feelings of hunger remain.
Beware of the high calorie drink. Liquids can contain a lot of calories. There is nothing wrong with this for one or two days a year. It does help to be aware of it regardless. Drinks like wine, beer and sodas are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation. If you are seeking to limit your daily intake, drink consumption could be the answer.
Put the extra calories to good use and hit the gym hard if time allows. It isn’t unusual to have some of the best workouts around this time. The reasons being we are well rested, under low stress and full of energy. This makes it the perfect environment for gaining muscle. Doing forms of cardio can also be a great way to stay in shape. It can prevent excess weight gain and reduce the daily calorie surplus. Keep the machine ticking over and it will thank you later. Remaining active will also allow your relaxation time to be more profitable. It will lower your resting heart rate and help your nervous system relax.
There is no need to go completely overboard and eat everything in sight. Enjoy good food in moderation and resume your diet after.
Here is Jason Blaha giving his opinion on eating at Christmas:
I hope you have a great time over the holiday period and the approaching new year. 2018 is set to be a huge year and I can’t wait for what is in store.