Jake's Wednesday Musings: The Holiday "Freeze"
I’ve shared before the great affinity I have for my friend and co-worker, Jake Vandergriff, at Haka Fitness. He’s been pumping out some great blog posts that he calls his Wednesday Musings. I had to share this one with my readers! While it made me (literally) Laugh Out Loud, it also kind of lit a fire under my excuse-making ass. You can read more of Jake’s Musings on the Haka Blog.
It’s that time of year! The temperature is dropping (lol no it’s Florida), the leaves are changing (lol no, it’s still Florida), and holiday spirit is in the air (kind of, hard to feel it since it’s FREAKING FLORIDA)! It’s a time when we come together to celebrate, be thankful, and spend time with those we love. It also turns into a time of stress, overeating, and the age old excuse of “I’m just so busy!”. Often one of the first things to go by the wayside is the gym. Then it’s the diet. Then the sleep. All just because it’s the holidays and dammit, that’s just what you do this time of year!
I call bullshit. You have worked too hard over the past year to settle into a routine and take control of your health to just throw it away over the next two months because of holiday “tradition.” Gross. No, no, no! This is the time for you to take some semblance of control in your life, put the pedal to the floor, and work through those holiday blues! For today's musings I present the argument why taking time off during the holidays is actually the worst thing you can do.
1. An Object in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion
Calm down nerd, we aren't talking physics here, rather I’m going to delve a little into my anecdotal coaching experience. Gyms, like most businesses, have client turnover. Also like most businesses, once a client is gone they tend to stay gone. However unlike most businesses, when we lose a client we rarely lose them to another gym or trainer (I mean obviously, I’m way too funny to leave). Instead we lose them to the undefeated champion of excuses, time. Not enough of it, needing to focus it elsewhere, needing to figure out a better schedule. And nowhere does this become more of a factor than during the holidays. “Oh, I just have so much going on right now, I’ll be back in January I promise!”
Yeahhhhhh probably not. Maybe like, 1 out of 10 people actually do it? And why is that? Because of routine. Your first few weeks going to the gym probably sucked in part because it was shaking you from your routine. But once the gym became part of your routine, not going to the gym actually became the bigger inconvenience, right? Taking two months off to go on an emotional and physical holiday bender is plenty of time break your healthy habits and settle into hitting the snooze button and throwing back a few more glasses of wine each night. So just don’t do it. Don’t even give yourself the chance! Just grind through and make it in, stay in motion!
2. Treat Yo Self
Don’t you just hate that the holidays are about giving and celebrating others? Shouldn't there be a holiday that’s just about pampering yourself and doing what you want to do? No? That’s just me? Whatever, you’re all thinking it.
In all seriousness, a lot of times we can get caught up in the holidays doing things we don’t necessarily want to do. Whether it’s an office holiday party, driving to your in-laws for Thanksgiving, or volunteering at your kids school party, there's a whole lot of we time and an astonishing lack of me time. If only there was a place you could go to 2-3 times a week where you could do something to take care of your mental and physical health at the same time...but that would just be too good to be true, right?
The gym is that place. An hour out of your day to get your body right, flood your brain with endorphins, and build positive momentum for the busy day ahead. With all the chaos that the holiday season brings, this is a chance to truly take control of your time and your decisions and do something that can help you and help you help others. I mean really, is their any better gift to give than your healthy and happy self? Me thinks no!
3. Because Eating Like an Asshole Sucks
This should really be titled, eating like an asshole and not exercising for two months sucks, but Becca wrote an article about not eating like an asshole so I’ll stick with that for Haka continuity sake. You know how it seems like it’s super hard to sometimes see progress in the gym and like results take forever? Man is that frustrating. You know what’s even COOLER? How FAST you can totally screw up a lot of those changes you made by sitting on your butt and eating like crap. It harkens back a bit to the first point but is it really worth it to kick it into low gear and cruise through the holidays? Absolutely not.
Now I get it, a little time off to visit family and eat some sweets can occasionally be just what the doctor ordered and is often times unavoidable. But that’s cool to do for like a week, MAYBE two. Not 20% of the fuckin year. So feel free to get a LITTLE bit loose on the dietary and exercise discipline for a few weeks but always keep in mind that calories count the same and muscles still need some attention during the holidays.
As I’m finishing this blog I don’t know if I’ve shamed, motivated, or done a little bit of both. But what I do know is that I’ve provided some truth. Time and progress don’t stop for anyone and they definitely don't care about what season it is nor what your obligations are. Time and progress only care about effort and consistency, so instead of spending the holidays spreading yourself thin and putting health to the wayside, fight like hell to keep a bit of that time to yourself. Because no one else can give it to you.