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How to Keep Your Progress During the Holidays!

As we are entering the holiday season many of us will be taking trips to visit family and friends and maybe even some new places. A vacation around the holiday are always fun but they can also be stressful, especially when you are trying to focus on your physical health by eating healthier foods and prioritizing exercising. Trips, especially around the holidays, can seem to throw a wrench into your progress. So, let's go through some of the challenges you can expect as well as ways to tackle them while still enjoying your trips!

Some winter essentials such as berries, tea, and acorns

The biggest thing for most people is the temptations around the holiday. Here in America where Thanksgiving and Christmas are only a bit over a month apart and New Years the week after it is easy to fall into the rhythm of going out to celebrate, eating all the delicious food in front of you, and overindulging in alcohol. Because of this many of us find ourselves out of our routine and seeming to be losing all the progress we made throughout the year.

So, the first thing you should do is realize it is ok to eat all of these foods, but, if you have been working on your physical health you should lean into your knowledge of portion control. Work by grabbing a small bit of everything you want to try/ eat and then if you are still hungry go back for more. Set yourself up to be able to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty and still apply those boundaries you have created.

Speaking of boundaries. Many of you may be thinking that even if over indulgence in food or drinks isn't what you want you hate to say no to people you don't see often. But this is where you need to hold your boundaries for yourself. Haven't been drinking much or staying out late? If you want to keep those routines establish this and create the boundary and work to do what is best for YOU not what those around you would like.

Still, we all know we are going to fold a time or two or eat more than we're happy with so before you even leave, set realistic goals! If you know you're going to want to be around everyone constantly don't expect to be at the gym everyday, if you're not cooking don't expect it to be the way you would make it. Give yourself and those around you grace.

Plane flying in a blue sky with some clouds

To help with these goals try and set up all your workouts before hand. Talk to the friends or family who you are visiting about maybe setting up walks or hikes in the mornings. Discuss if there is a gym close by you can use and even bring some simple equipment, bands, jump rope, light weights, etc, so you can have things to do if you have some downtime but no where to go.

These workouts and meals will not be like the ones you naturally have at home so you need to look at it all from a different angle. It is not going to be as rigged and strict, the workouts might not be as challenging, but you need to realize you are on a trip and not in your "normal." The faster you can separate these the easier it will be to deal with these changes that will happen. By trying to hold yourself to the rigid standard of the rest of the year you may find you are constantly missing that goal and get in the mindset of "well I can't do that so I'll do nothing at all." That will only make you feel worse come the end of the festivities.

Are you starting to think of ways you can implement these ideas in your next trip? Great! Now, the challenge does not end simply when you get home. You must now switch your mindset back. After trips and holidays it is easy for us to fall into old habits and the way we act with family and friends. It is important to hold yourself accountable by knowing this is a temporary arrangement and it is your job to see that once you are back home you are able to jump right back into your lifestyle.

The best ways to do this are 1. Immediately get groceries when you return so you do not fall into the habit of going out as you may have been while on vacation, 2. Jump back into your workout routine, this is where determination will take precedence over motivation. Even if it is only 20 minutes put yourself back in that mindset, and 3. While on the vacation consistently hold your boundaries as stated above and do your best not to slip into temptation. The closer you stay to your normal the easier it will be to get back into it at home.

The holidays can be a tricky time for all of us on our health journeys but just know you are not alone. Hold on, keep pushing forward, and everyday work to be the best version of yourself.


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