For the many that have written to me, I thank you for your continued support as well as your questions and opinions. I strive to pen a newsletter once per month and am always-available 1-on-1 for consulting and above all, to help. In my absence these last few months, I was penning my third book, "Anatomy of Core Stability", as well as prepping for the release of my second book, "Anatomy of Exercise for 50 +: A Trainer's Guide to Staying Fit Over Fifty", coming soon to fine bookstores and an amazon.com near you:
Although it was an unusually hot, (and somewhat continual), summer, the fall holidays are upon us. It is not uncommon for many to write off the end-year with their fitness goals. After all, New Year's is right around the corner. You may even think that you'll pick it up come the first of the New Year. But, ask yourself, are you where you wanted to be today in terms of physique as compared to the same time last year?
What we know is this: Of course the holidays are happily upon us. Of course we will all indulge somewhat from now until December 31, 2012. And of course, we must continue on the course and make our gym efforts and eating choices thus far pay off for us.
The human body is our car and as such, requires consistent maintenance in order to run properly. Ceasing to work out until the New Year, is to me, akin to driving around with expired oil. And while it is perhaps unrealistic to expect to run at full capacity year-round, the car is good to no one, especially its owner, garaged for an extended time period. If you lack the requisite motivation as we enter the 2012 holiday season, this newsletter IS for you.
Even trainers can't floor the pedal all the time. In the last year, I had to get my body into shape three times for various projects. And although I do personally train year round, my body fluctuates in both its’’ composition and scale weight. When it comes time to once again return to shape, I clean up the food, perform more cardio and up the weight training intensity by X amount of days in order to peak.
It is common for many to find themselves in a vicious cycle of weight gain and muscle loss come holiday season. Treats at work, (even at the gym), are commonplace and for some, taken in moderation, pose hardly a blemish to one's physique. I am not one of these people and I suspect some of my readers are as well. Place one cookie in front of me and if I indulge with your kind gesture, please be armed with a Noah's arc of goodies because I absolutely will not stop eating until all that remains is an empty plate.
It is often, at this time, that quick fix solutions, in the form of equipment, supplements and unrealistic programs bombard us in every form of media conceivable. And time and experience has shown us that quick fixes never work. It is the bricklayer that places a brick a day consistently that yields a sturdy house. Those that starve themselves on super restricted low calorie diets, workout for hours a day and amp themselves up with stimulants, although clearly not lazy, are doing too much with too little and too late to make any lasting, (and healthy), impact. Indeed, cramming overnight for physical fitness is akin to poor results.
Now, those of you that are maintaining a somewhat regular pattern of healthy eating and exercise, up to, and through the new year, I applaud you. But even those, and I include myself, who are tired of starting over every Monday, looking in the mirror and not loving the image that glares back, this newsletter is also for you.
So the question remains: How can I keep realistically motivated about my body for the much needed remainder of the year? Since, most of us are renewed and ready to really do this every January, it is the last three months - October, November, and December that we must stay on course in order to cross, and not stumble, into the New Year.
What follows is my Top 10 List to brave the year-end holidays and not have to play catch up, (too much), come the first of 2013.
1. Set the Syllabus - Admittingly, the amount of cardio you'll be performing during the New Year will outweigh your current output. Set a minimal work schedule. Perhaps you'll perform weight training your usual 3-4 times per week, (or less for some), and lessen the cardio from 3-4 to 1-2. Set a minimal baseline before revving it up in 2013.
2. Mini Peaks - Use each holiday party to peak, (as best as you are able), for your body so that you can indulge when being social.
3. Maintain the Realm - I find it easier to maintain healthy eating during my Monday through Friday work schedule when I am at the gym and with my clients. It is during the weekend that quite often, fast food enters into my life and digestive system. And so I flip through a fitness magazine, read about new supplements or even perform yard-work with my shirt off; anything to keep at least my eye on fitness.
4. Allow for Fluctuation - Not even striking distance, allow yourself to relax a little over the holidays. If you're used to having 1 or 2 cheat meals normally during the week, and come the holidays, you feel the strong urge for another cheat, indulge and then get back on track. But do not allow one meal to lead to a full day, or days. You've worked too hard!
5. Fat Clothes at Bay - while the holidays definitely allow us to loosen the belt, literally, they should not mean rotating to the extra size or two up jeans and shirts that we all have in the back of our closets. Relax the reigns but don't fall off the boat.
That's great Hollis - all of this positive mind setting but how can I eat cleaner over the holidays and not wreck my body?
1. Simply Indulge - if you're at a party is it realistic to eat carrots and broccoli spears while others dine on fried everything and sugarcoated heaven as well as drink alcohol of every make while you sip water? Not even close to happening. Eat one rich meal until you're feeling good and then get back on track.
2. Give it Away – hoarding, made for you cookies and the like, is not an excuse to indulge. If you are one of those persons who can take a bite out of evil and be done, more power to you. I don't understand your kind.
3. Dining Out - those restaurant calories certainly do add up. Know that there's a healthy choice for you wherever you may roam. Chinese food? Steamed chicken and vegetables with brown rice and sauce on the side. Italian? Chicken breast salad with balsamic vinegar. Mexican? Grilled shrimp over beans and a whole-wheat tortilla with salsa.
4. Fiber - fill up on vegetables and water, which make a dent in the stomach minus the calories.
5. Natural vs. Processed - if you consume food as close to its natural state without processing, chances are it's clean and won't stick around long after you've consumed it.
My Special Pre-New Year Holiday offer to you is a FREE training session to the first 10 persons who have not worked with me before to be used before January 1, 2013. Just send me an email with the subject heading ““Free Workout””. Get a head start on becoming the person you wish to be in 2013!