How to Maintain your Weight at Christmas
The Fit Girl’s Christmas Wish
All I want for Christmas is… my weight loss progress! Sound familiar? I feel you, girl. I feel you hard on this one. The holidays are about family, food, and fun! It’s gift giving, gathering around the dinner table, stocking candy and hot cocoa. There’s decadent desserts and Christmas movie cuddles (& popcorn!). Baking traditions, festive cocktails, and once a year events surround us in December! Read on to learn how to maintain your weight at Christmas!
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The Holidays are a GOOD Thing
Let’s stop right there and acknowledge the events and treats as the positive experiences they are. I said it. There’s not one holiday tradition that revolves around food and family that I would give up purely in the name of weight loss.
Make the Memories
Remind yourself of the joy it brings you to watch your children dump bottles of sprinkles onto cut-out cookies, even after you witness them lick the frosting knife and double, triple, and quadruple dip that shit back into the bowl.
Remember how comforting Grandma’s secret recipe, warm, fluffy dinner roll is, as you put one on your plate and pass the basket around the table to your most loved ones who travelled near and far to spend this special time with you.
See your cranberry cosmopolitan cocktail with your friends as a symbol of letting your hair down and rightfully taking an evening for yourself between holiday duties. Because mama there are a LOT, and you are doing more than you know.
Don’t Rob Yourself of Your Christmas Joy
Worrying about the “aftermath” like you’re at war against Christmas or something will only steal your joy this holiday season. Instead, create a way to make these joys, treats, socials, and gifts work for you, guilt-free.
No need for FOMO or YOLO
I don’t mean to wave the white flag and give up until almighty, all magical January 1st. Spoiler alert, it’s just another day. You’ll likely be hungover, still in vacay mode, and let yourself down. So, don’t put undue pressure on new year’s day. Trust me, allow yourself the holiday.
What I’m saying is to do what you can when you can, and let the chocolate chips fall where they may this holiday season. I’m telling you to eat the damn Christmas cookie. Just maybe not a baker’s dozen of them in one sitting. And maybe opt for the more nutritionally conscious choice later on.
Balance is Bullshit
I know what you’re thinking. This sounds an awful lot like all that “balance” BS everyone bores on about in the fitness world. Yup. That’s the BS I’m boring on about, my friend. But I want you to know that “balance,” itself, is bullshit. Being perfectly, effortlessly balanced is an impossible farce.
No one is balanced. Only balancing.
The Balancing Act
The balancing act requires constant tension and focus, and the result is a mix of sturdiness and instability. Balance is wobbly, difficult, and never “achieved.” Teetering back and forth, relaxing for a moment, and reaching for support are as balanced as you’ll ever be.
Give up the notion that you will never succeed because you can’t figure out balance. It doesn’t exist. Move past your limiting beliefs and succeed without it.
Balancing is never ending, and allows you to achieve your goals and not hate life in the process. Balancing is how you’ll successfully maintain your weight at Christmas! Here are my top tips for balancing fitness and festivities this season.
1. Move when you can.
Squeeze in a winter wonderland walk to see Christmas lights, even if it’s just down your street and back. Don’t procrastinate your workout to wrap gifts or do the dishes. You can stay up until 3 am doing that shit, but chances are you won’t find the motivation to workout in the wee hours of the night.
The bare minimum always counts. If that’s walking up and down the stairs a few times, so be it. If that’s 40 jumping jacks before getting into the shower, geterdone. The desire to move snowballs, if you will, with action. Movement begets movement, no matter how small or strenuous. Action is the best motivation.
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2. Eat what you want.
And only what you want. It’s not restriction and you won’t feel restricted by not eating food you don’t even want or particularly care for just because they’re there and “it’s Christmas!”
Pass on sides, snacks, and desserts you don’t relish. But be damn sure to have a taste of what you came for. 1 or 2 candies, cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, or pieces of fudge or pie isn’t going to ruin your progress. Let yourself enjoy them, then fill in the surrounding meals and snacks with nutrient-rich and volume foods.
It’s when you have a free-for-all free fall into the figgy pudding that you dig yourself a real hole to claw yourself out of. Even 1 or 2 shit show eating episodes isn’t gonna make a difference if you don’t let it turn into 1 or 2 shit show eating weeks.
You’re reading How to Maintain Your Weight at Christmas. Keep reading for tip 3 of 3!
3. Give yourself grace.
The holidays are no time for amazing weight loss progress. Is it possible? Yes. But not without big effort and significant sacrifice. To keep up with Christmas parties, cookie baking (& sampling), special casseroles and side dishes, hosting company and traveling, late nights and festive events – and everything else – you need to accept that you are aiming for maintenance now.
Maintenance is not waking up in 2022 the same weight you were before the holidays either. It’s a +/- (but most likely +) situation. If you’re 3-6 pounds up on Jan 2nd, you’ve succeeded! You not only survived the season, you enjoyed it. Not only that, but you CRUSHED it. Congratulations!
Now it’s time to put in the work. This IS maintenance. Gaining and losing a little, over and over, until the end of time. James Smith sums this up perfectly here. You make a mess, and clean it up. This is balancing.
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Instead of beating yourself up when it’s raining men – gingerbread men to be exact – take a chill pill and know it’s Chris-maintenance season. It’ll be time to work soon enough. And guess what? You’ll be revved up in the new year because you allowed yourself the holidays, break, and joy this month.
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Focus on these 3 things over the next couple weeks of this silly season and you’ll feel happy, healthy, and strong to start off 2022!
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How do you handle the holidays? Do you give yourself a hall pass or are you a bit more mindful of your fitness and nutrition? Watch me navigate fitness and macro tracking over the holidays, and every day, on my Instagram grid and stories.
Thanks for reading How to Maintain Your Weight at Christmas! Happy holidays!