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Get Fit with Britt: A Holiday How-To

Is it already that time of the year again? You know, the one we either dread or get really excited about? The holidays are right around the corner and the crazy is about to be in full swing. From the stressors of holiday shopping and hosting family to the countless dinner parties — and the alcohol and desserts that come with them — your mental, physical and internal health are about to be put to the test.

My job is to assist you in avoiding that annual holiday mindset of giving up on your health and giving in to the yearly weight gain.

Let’s put this in perspective.

Brittney Pereda (Photo by Easterday Creative)

Thanksgiving starts us off. There’s your mother’s warm apple pie with ice cream on top, your mother-in-law’s mouth-watering and extremely sugary sweet potato casserole, and don’t forget Grandma May’s famous stuffed turkey, with all the fats you could possibly add to it. It’s inevitable, you are going to get down on this damn delicious meal. Oh, and don’t forget the friendsgivings you’ll be invited to before the actual holiday because, you know, one day dedicated to stuffing our faces with the people we love just isn’t enough.

From there, we move into Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and the whirlwind we put ourselves through trying to find the “perfect” gift for our loved ones. We plan, stress, plan, stress; you get the point. This happens all the way up until Dec. 25 (because the procrastination is real).

Christmas Eve hits and dinner one happens. Candy, cookies, the whole nine. We go to bed, wake up, eat a big pancake-and-mimosa Christmas Day breakfast while opening the gifts we worked so hard to find for one another, then we prepare for our Christmas Day meal which entails even more of an abundance of food, alcohol, desserts and leftover candy from our stockings, etc.

At this point, we have fed ourselves with leftovers for so long, skipped so many workouts and already gained 5 or more pounds, so what is the freakin’ point of putting in the effort when the New Year is so close, when I can just enjoy the party, then get right on my new resolution to lose the weight I just gained, right?

It’s a constant cycle we put ourselves through, and one that a lot of folks are unsuccessful with. Let’s change this.

First and foremost, don’t starve yourself in preparation for a holiday meal. A huge mistake people make is to say, “Oh, I’ll just save all of my calories for the junk I am going to be throwing down tonight.” Not a good idea. You aren’t able to trick your body. Stick to your regular diet and exercise plan, deviate from the plan when you need to, then get right back to it.

One meal won’t kill you, as long as it’s one meal. Pick your battles. But, when it comes time to wrap up the leftovers, instead of taking all of the food for yourself, buy some cheap Tupperware and evenly distribute meals to all of your family and friends to take home. The less temptation sitting on the second shelf of your fridge for the next two weeks, the better.

If you really want to do right this holiday season, wrap it up and bring it all (yes, *gasp* every single bit of what’s left) to a homeless shelter to provide a meal for those who haven’t been as fortunate to enjoy a meal like that in a very long time or ever.

Don’t let your fitness fall behind. It’s just that simple (unless you’re one of those people who like to make everything more difficult than it needs to be). Just like every other day of the year, you will have to continue making it a priority. Not only will it help you physically, especially as you indulge, but it will keep you sane mentally & emotionally.

Working out boosts your feel-good endorphins and is a good distraction from daily worries. We tend to let our mind run wild during this time of year in particular, so you will need to take that minimum 30 to 60 minutes each day to shut it all off and sweat.

I’ll wrap this up with a pretty little bow by granting you total and complete access to eating whatever your little heart desires during your big holiday feasts without having a guilty conscious. You also don’t have to sit there and explain to everyone at the table about why it’s acceptable for you to eat this much. You don’t owe them a single explanation nor the reverse. You can thank me later. (If they’re really sweating you, tell ‘em Brittney said so.)

Disclaimer: A little bit of discipline and self-motivation is required for success. Happy Holidays, friends!

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