By Katie Stumbo
Go Conquer Fitness

The holidays are barreling down on us; I can already smell the delicious pie, mashed potatoes and deep-fried turkey. It comes every year and the dreaded weight gain seems to start earlier every year! It used to start with Halloween and that was one day. Now Halloween starts earlier with extra events and activities, trunk or treat, pumpkin patches, costume parties and of course the piles of candy the kids bring home from all these events that taunt and tempt us from the pantry. The weight starts piling on by mid-October!

It doesn’t have to be this way. Take control today and roll into 2020 feeling strong and confident with these simple tricks to stay the course through the barrage of candy, treats, adult beverages and foods laced with bad fats and calories. With a carefully laid plan, a little self control and being surrounded by the right people, you can have fun, enjoy the holidays and even lose weight before the new year.

The first step is to make a plan. Start with your workouts and self-care time. Write in pen into your calendar the days and times that you are going to workout, followed by your self-care times. Do not compromise these times. If life happens, DO NOT scrap all your good intentions. Get over it and keep on going! Ditch the all-or-nothing mind set and when life gets in the way, figure out how to get a solid 20-minute workout in instead of doing nothing at all.

Next, write in the festivities you are going to attend. Make sure they are spaced out and not overwhelming – the holidays cease to be fun when it is a frantic dash from one event to another. It is okay to pick and choose your calendar of events. Look at your social calendar and decide which events are necessary, and which ones can be skipped. Stress is one of the fastest vehicles to weight gain, depression and unhealthy choices. Look at your social calendar; chances are there are reoccurring annual events that you can judge the type and quality of the food you can expect based on previous years experience. Once again it comes down to making a plan. If you decide that the double chocolate lava cake is worth it, then by all means have a slice and enjoy it – just make adjustments for the extra calories and sugar in your diet from there. Like in most areas of life, poor planning leads to poor performance. Chances are, you are not going to accidentally lose weight or have it just fall off (although wouldn’t that be nice!)

Finding an accountability partner – the right one – is priceless. The wrong one however can derail your entire effort and leave you worse off than before. When picking an accountability partner, it is important that this person (or group of people) are not enablers, and they are ready for positive change themselves, not negative. Find someone who has already started the journey to better health, is motivated, will call you out when you falter and is positive. This could be the ideal time to find a fitness professional or group class to hold you accountable during the holidays. It is far easier to maintain a certain weight than it is to lose weight.

Lastly, set realistic goals. It is the holidays; they are meant to be social and fun. Setting lofty weight loss goals during the holidays can set you up for failure. Maintaining your weight through the holidays puts you ahead of 75% of the American population. Don’t set goals and expectations you know you cannot hold to. This leads to a negative cycle of failure and self-doubt that real change is possible. The belief that change is possible is essential to every journey to health and wellness.

For more information or to claim a two-week pass to Go Conquer Fitness small group training sessions, call Katie Stumbo at 480-200-4632 or email at [email protected]