As much as I enjoy the Holiday Season, I must admit that from a fitness standpoint it’s kind of nice when it’s over. The holiday foods don’t bother me as that’s a choice under my control. If I make too many bad choices I have no one to blame but myself.
What I hate are the modified gym hours which can throw my schedule all over the place. During Christmas week I had to condense my normal 5 workouts into 4 just to get everything in. The week of New Year’s was a bit better but too many sessions seemed rushed and unfocused. Not what you want to happen when you’ve also taken in a few hundred extra calories each day. :) But sometimes, that’s just how life’s going to be. I know at this point that just making the best of the situation goes a long way.
The first Monday of the New Year is when it really kicks up in the fitness industry. People who haven’t worked out for months join people who are excited to start a new lifestyle. As I pulled into the parking lot Monday early evening it was packed! I found myself laughing and looking forward to the energy that would be inside.
Here’s the big secret. If you want to be successful in fitness then you have to adopt the attitude that nothing is going to stop you. I don’t mean in a “tough guy” sense. I mean in a “life is too short to sweat the small stuff” sense. If you expect that sometimes things won’t go the way you’d like, and also that it’s still going to be OK, then you remove a lot of pressure and unpleasantness from many situations.
Whether you’re in a gym that’s completely empty or so packed you can barely move, you still can get the same level of training done. You can’t let either scenario bother you. If it’s crowded, then you feed off the energy. If it’s dead, then you create the energy. If you’re not able to do that then you have to mentally shut out whatever is around you to the degree that it doesn’t matter. It’s not fatal if you have to wait a bit longer, do a different exercise than you planned, or change the order of your program. It won’t hurt your training to share equipment or say hello to a few old friends you haven’t seen in awhile. You have to learn to enjoy the journey.
That’s probably my biggest advantage is that I’ve been able to enjoy the process of trying to get better. The anticipation of the workout, that last sip of my pre workout drink, the drive or walk to the gym where I’m putting the rest of the world out of my mind. All those things have become comfortably familiar. This familiarity helps me become more self aware and helps to bring my focus from wherever it was into the workout I’m about to do. Working out is a great way to get centered. To reset your life’s button on positive. To do something physical that balances out how draining being too mental can be.
Training can be hard but doing something that’s hard can give you a feeling of accomplishment. Eating right can be a challenge but overcoming challenges can feel rewarding. Imagine feeling accomplished and rewarded everyday. Now add to that getting healthier and more fit with better energy and lowered stress. That’s what I get from this lifestyle journey that anyone else can also find.
I’m a good 5 pounds up from the holiday fun foods. My body doesn’t shake them off quite as easily as it once did. But that’s ok. I know it’s just a matter of putting enough good days together. No need for self punishment, just better diet focus. Time is my friend. It’s time to refocus on where I want to go and head in that direction, one step at a time.