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Surviving The Holidays

I can’t believe it’s almost December. Seriously where did this year go? I LOVE Christmas! It means time off to relax and recover, time with my family (yep, I like spending time with my relatives, they’re all just as nuts as me!), time for catch ups with friends and the chance to sleep in past 5am (though in saying that my body clock doesn’t always follow that plan). The entire period keeps a smile on my face and me acting like a five year old for the entire month.

Unfortunately this is also the time period where everyone’s Health and Fitness can go out the window and by the time the New Year hits, they have taken five steps backwards. Christmas day itself is not the problem. One day of indulgence isn’t going to cause you to gain 5kgs and lose all of your strength. Everything in the lead up to Christmas is the issue, there’s work Christmas functions: for your work and then your partner’s work, then maybe even a friend’s work! There’s the dinners with every circle of friends you have, the Christmas dinners for the family that you won’t actually see on Christmas Day, there’s the Boxing Day BBQ which can lead into more BBQs and before you know it’s New Years Eve and well that’s just one giant party.

But do not fear, here’s some tips to help you survive the holidays and come through with your Health and Fitness Goals still intact:

1) Don’t use this time as an excuse to just not train. Keeping up with your exercise regime is VERY important. Make time for the gym. If you know you have dinners on, then get yourself out of bed earlier and train in the morning. Drag a friend along if you want company for motivation. If you know for sure that some sessions will be missed, ensure that every time you can get to the gym, you train HARD! Don’t use the holidays as a time to relax on training.

2) We tend to eat out more often as we catch up with family and friends. Make smarter choices with your food. You don’t have to have bread at the start. Do you really need that entrée? If you do, can you share it with someone? Choose a main that is protein and vegetable based. Avoid creamier sauces, go for tomato based sauces instead. Skip dessert, or again share if you really want to have one. I’m not saying you can’t have a few treats, but spread them out and you will enjoy them more. If you know that you are going to have the creamy pasta or dessert that evening, then make sure your nutrition for that day and the day before is spot on, that way you can somewhat counter balance the calories. Have a treat meal, not a cheat day!

2b) Function finger food can be loaded with crap that is not good for you. You tend to pick off every plate that comes around and you lose track of how much you have actually eaten. Try to have a meal before you go out so you don’t need to pick. Then if you do have a little bit of the finger food, choose the healthier ones that have protein and aren’t deep fried.

3) Alcohol. To be perfectly blunt, you should just skip it entirely. I’m only allowing myself a drink on Boxing Day this year as there is a wedding on. I have a figure comp that I’m aiming for in March and I’m determined to get there. Alcohol just isn’t going to help me so I’m saying no. But I know that every person is different. Remember you don’t have to drink at every function. You can say no (yes you can!). When you choose to have a drink then make smarter choices like red wine or white spirits with soda water. Avoid soft drinks like the plague! If you do drink, you don’t have to right yourself off completely. A hangover just encourages you to skip training and eat junk food the next day.

4) Water, water, water! Keep that intake up to keep the toxins flushing out.

They’re my tips to you. Do you have any others I can add that may help other people out? I’d be happy to have them added!

Remember to enjoy Christmas Day, have that piece of pudding/cake/in my case, Mum’s pavlova and ENJOY it! Depriving yourself is not fun, a little bit of indulgence is!

D

What motivates you?

I’ll admit that one of the hardest parts of my job can be keeping my clients on track with their Health and Fitness goals. I can give someone a great program and great nutritional advice but if they lose motivation the best plan can be completely derailed. I’m constantly told that the first few weeks are great and then they just lose the motivation to keep going. I look at this as my responsibility. People pay me their hard earned dollars to help them and I take that responsibility very seriously, I will do my utmost to keep them on track, bring them back if they fall off and get them to their end result. I will call, text, email, talk face to face, harass on Facebook, just about anything to help someone get back on track. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t-that’s something I want to change,

This post is to look at what motivates a person and perhaps give you some ideas to help you with yours.

So firstly, what motivates me personally to train and get the correct nutrition? Well it’s a combination of things. The first one (and probably the biggest) is vanity, I want to look good, I want people to comment that I look good and I’m not afraid to admit that. When I have that little bit of my ego stroked, it keeps me coming back for more.

There is also an expectation in my job that I need to look good. I’m ok with that expectation. This second reason is close to the first. Seriously would you hire a trainer that didn’t look healthy? How can I be expected to have clients take me seriously if I don’t lead by example? So for me this is business-if I want to succeed then I need to exercise, eat well and look the part.

Third is for health reasons. In my family diabetes and heart disease are common and I have no desire to get either one of them. Cancer also scares the beejesus out of me, if I ever have to fight that disease I want to have the healthiest body possible for that fight. I want to get to the age of 90 and be one of those older people who get around by themselves, who still train (there are women in my gym who are almost 90-they are freaking awesome!!!) and lead active lives. I have a MASSIVE fear of ending up in a home, incapable of doing anything for myself.

And finally, it’s just a part of my life, a second nature. I cannot imagine not exercising or eating well. Don’t get me wrong, I still fall of the bandwagon every now and then (I’m human remember???) but I always get back on. For the above reasons.

They are my reasons. Are they perfect no? Are they in the order they should be? Maybe not. But they are mine and that’s what keeps me going.

What I also did was open this question up to my Facebook friends to see what they had to say. Here’s their responses-none have been edited.

“The fear of not looking good. As a PT/Coach need to look the part.”

“I feel crappy when I don’t eat well and I feel good when I exercise. Simple as that.”

“Vanity, health, state of mind, and knowing that its much harder for me to be motivated if I’ve gained any weight!”

“I think you could sum it up as a fear of becoming complacent with my current life and not constantly pushing the boundaries of what you can achieve. When you’re driven to physically perform then your much more driven to succeed in other aspects of life too.”

“Seeing how far I can push my strength, taking on the best in the country to see who is strongest and this time next year taking on people from all around the world.”

“Hm, there’s a few
– to look good
– to feel good (physically and mentally)
– to be strong (again both physically and mentally)
– to be a better father (when that eventually happens)
– to better enjoy my sunset years (when they eventually happen)
– to just generally kick ass?”

“I wanna look good naked!”

“As a nurse I see people’s bodies fail them all the time, often prematurely because they didn’t look after themselves (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases etc). This obviously motivates me to look after myself… and bonus you look good too :)”

“Ok so seriously I turn on the music channel and look at all the girls on the videos and that makes me want to exercise harder cause I want to look like that!”

“…. The ladies…”

“For once in my life I want to have a bikini body for summer so my husband is like dammmmm that’s my wife ;)”

“Being competitive and seeing that everyone else is talking online and offline about their exercise/gym session/routine and feeling crap if I have nothing to share!”

“To stay alive and feel alive. And what Rod said….” (Side note: what Rob said was for the ladies)

“Probably sounds stupid but I find myself motivated by the ones that love me! Feeling loved pushes me through that negative phase. Makes me want to eat well and have more energy for everyone that surrounds me! My state of mind only works from my surroundings of good well adjusted people. Weird I know but the more I surround myself with healthy happy people, I want to be glowing just like them from in and out:) so that works for me maybe not others! Good music always helps too..”

“I eat well because it shows in my hair & skin etc. and because I feel full but ‘light’. I train because I like the physical release & feeling strong. On a purely vanity level, I like the gratification of seeing the numbers on the scales go down the day after a clean day or a big session.”

“As a personal trainer, I train for many different reasons.
1. Mental health.. Shit gets ugly if I don’t release the daily stresses
2. Physical health.. Longevity and quality of life
3. Role modelling to my children, friends and clients that it’s not a 6 week 12 week 1 year challenge it’s a way of life for life.
4. Vanity… 100% y wouldn’t u want to look and feel ur absolute best?? My partner is 7 years younger so I want to appear younger vibrant and energised and I love that my teenage sons friends think I’m MILF..
5. Avoids becoming complacent .. I love the mental, physical and psychological challenges wit a new programme new exercise or new group fitness regimes, they never end.. And conquering them never stops feeling good :)”

“I train because I find that it helps me deal with the day to day stresses. If I don’t train I notice that my tolerance level is not as high. I also enjoy exercising (I have been involved in sports since I was very young) and it has just become a part of my life. Whilst my exercising is good I still need to work on my diet, but I am slowly getting there :)”

Every single response is that persons intrinsic reasons as to why they exercise. You may agree with them, you may not. Does it matter? Not to you. What you need to know or figure out is what motivates you. Find that reason (or reasons) to get you exercising and eating properly. Keep a hold of that reason. Write it down or take a photo or record it. Whatever works for you. Copy some of the above reasons if you want-I know some of them have even given me another reason!

Hopefully what has been written above will give you some inspiration, maybe there was something you hadn’t realised yet and this will get you started towards your Health and Fitness goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way either.

If you want to connect with me (and my awesome friends!) here’s the link to my Facebook profile. Come say hi!

To everyone who responded to my question-thanks so much for helping out!

I”ll look forward to hearing about your journey.

D