The holiday season is upon us as I’m sure you are all aware. There are about 7.5 weeks until Christmas and from now until then you should be prepared to get bombarded with the evilest of temptations that exist in our society. Whether it is snacking at the office, overindulging at company parties, or going to happy hour after work you must RESIST THE TEMPTATION the majority of the time! Constantly giving in to these temptations can lead to bypassing your scheduled workout and cause your balanced meal plan to spiral out of control. The end result is all of your hard work up to this point will slowly diminish and you will be back at square one come January 1st.
Every person’s situation is different, but let’s take a look at the person who goes to the gym after work. On the drive home, the couch and a pair of pajamas are calling your name and so is the In and Out restaurant that you drive by every single day. The easy, comfortable thing to do would be to grab a burger and milkshake and head home to watch this week’s episode of American Idol. Additionally, people tell me things like, “it's no fun to be the odd person out at the office when everyone else is eating ‘Sally's’ birthday cake.” Similarly, when everyone at work goes out for happy hour on Friday, it's not fun being the only person drinking a diet soda. I've gotten this kind of feedback more times than I can count over the past ten years and believe me, I understand that initially it is uncomfortable to feel like you're an outsider, but if the people you're surrounding yourself with genuinely care about you and how you feel about yourself, they should be first in line to congratulate you on having the willpower to make a decision and to stick to it! The people who give you a hard time are the ones that have low self-esteem and are just looking for a way to bring everyone else down around them. Cut them out of your life or just ignore them. Try to look at these temptations as small challenges and every time that you resist a temptation it gets you one step closer to the look you are aspiring towards. Eventually, you will start to have more satisfaction from resisting the temptation than you would have received if you had actually given in to it. Continue having positive thoughts and adequate effort and establish small goals for yourself.
With that said, I am not so naïve to think that a person can be perfect on their food choices and workouts 100% of the time. This is okay. Extremism in any aspect of life usually isn’t a good thing. Balance is the key and I am fine with a person giving in to a cheat meal or having a drink of alcohol once or twice per week but you have to strike a balance otherwise you will find yourself 10-20lbs. heavier come the new year. 80-90% of the time you should try and stay disciplined but should you choose to selectively indulge I recommend consuming your empty calories on days with high activity levels (legs and back) or adding in 20-30 minutes of cardio post workout. Have a great holiday season and keep this Keith-ism in mind the next time your co-worker brings in doughnuts and coffee for breakfast. ;-)
“If you continue to do the same thing and give in to the same temptations, you WILL get the same result! Your decision making has got to change and this will be a several week and even monthly (yes, it will take several months to make a lifestyle change) process.”
About the Author
Gym Owner and Personal Trainer, Keith Diedrich has a B.A. in Exercise Science and has been professionally involved in health and fitness in various capacities since 2005.
"My initial thought about Keith was that he seemed very casual and not as frenetic as other professionals. I quickly learned that he was gauging my stamina, movements, and technique. He wasn't after a fast burnout, but he wanted to exhaust every muscle every time. He said we were working on a "mind to body connection." With this connection I'd be able to gauge whether a set was 15 reps or 20 reps regardless of the initial "goal of 15!" I believe much of my gains came from Keith always seeing my potential even when I couldn't." ~ Saul "Mr. Biceps"