“That is the way I run, with a clear goal in mind. That is the way I fight, not like someone shadow boxing. No, I keep on disciplining my body, making it serve me so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified.”
– 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 ISV
Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pies, cakes, mom’s famous cookies… Christmas parties, holiday gatherings, and New Year’s celebrations. All of these things can derail your fitness goals if you let them. That’s why you need a game plan!
The holiday season is upon us, so keep your goal in mind. Discipline your body and practice self-control so you are not punishing yourself in 2017. Here are a few tips to get you through:
- Do not go to a party on an empty stomach. Eat a well-balanced, satisfying meal 1-2 hours prior. This will fill you, but also prevent the anticipation and excitement that could tempt you to grab the first food in sight. Without an “urgent” sense of hunger, you can be more selective about making healthy choices.
- Bring a healthy dish to share. That way, if the clean-eating choices are limited, you know there is something nutritious you can eat. This an also serve as an opportunity to share with others the pleasures of eating clean!
- Hang out AWAY from the food table. Give yourself an advantage so you are less likely to find yourself mindlessly noshing on chips or other finger foods. Focus on quality time with family and friends, rather than food being the highlight.
- Plan your meals around the family gathering. If you know you can’t resist Grandma’s apple pie, make Christmas Eve your “cheat meal,” so you can afford to stray a bit from your normal eating patterns. Just remember portion control:)
- Stay active. Take extra walks to get some fresh air, maintain your exercise schedule, continue with stretching, and get plenty of sleep.
- If you are traveling, look up a gym in advance, or take resistance bands with you in your suitcase. There are plenty of travel workouts you can do to keep moving. No excuse!
- Keep a water bottle handy at all times. Not only will this ensure you don’t get dehydrated, but you will be less tempted to guzzle those calorie-laden holiday drinks. You will also make sure you’re not misinterpreting hunger for thirst.
- Take healthy snacks with you when you are out Christmas shopping, traveling on the road, or via airplane. This will help prevent the temptation to grab fast-food or some other readily available unhealthy snack.
- Remember this is YOUR journey, so don’t be swayed or offended by family or friends urging you to “live a little” or “just try one!” You are responsible for your own health, and they may not have the same goals/metabolism/self-discipline/motivation. They may not understand. Just politely let them know that your health is important to you and that you hope they can respect that. Let the Holy Spirit take care of the rest.
- Pray for God to give you self-discipline, self-control, and motivation in this area. He wants to help you keep your Temple healthy, so seek Him and He will give you all the tools you need to succeed!
Here’s to you health!