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Surviving the holidays - XL Fitness

Surviving the holidays

It is that time of year again! Time for being thankful, time to be with our families, time for presents and yes…time for an abundance of feasts and treats. The holidays are here and although this is a time of happiness and joy for so many of us, it can also be a time that tests our willpower on a level like no other time of year. I lost that battle year after year causing me to have serious issues with my self esteem and confidence. Looking back, this was one of the main reasons I became obese. I would typically gain about 10 pounds every year around the holidays. Seriously, how many years in a row can you gain 10 pounds before you are 80-100 pounds overweight??? About 8-10 seems right. So what can we do about it?

I have a plan and I will share it with you. First I want to tell you a little story about me, my history with holiday weight gain, and what I did to nip it in the bud.

It would all start for me in the first week of October, right about this time of year. I would tell myself that I was being proactive by buying a bag of candy for the trick-or-treaters early before the stores sold out of the “good stuff”. Of course, I would sample a little bit here and there, but how can you resist those little fun size morsels? They are just little pieces anyway and don’t have that many calories so no real harm, right? After eating the entire bag in the first week, I would go get another and promise myself not to eat it all…this is for the kids. The third week I would buy another bag because I did eat the second one, but I didn’t buy my favorite candies so it will go better this time. Halloween morning, I would buy the bag for the kids since I had eaten every piece of candy I had brought home so far. As if I had not already indulged enough, the day after Halloween I would take a 10% candy tax on my son’s haul to teach him about life and taxes. You know, life lessons (sarcastic font). That was an easy 2-3 pounds to gain, and I did it every year.

I would start November feeling a little defeated from my recent weight gain. Thank goodness there is just one feast day this month. I can do this. But as the month moved along, I would remember that there was also the extended family Thanksgiving on the Wednesday before, the annual soup party that I absolutely must attend, and a few friends who invite me over for mini feasts. All said and done, I easily gained another 2-3 pounds.

After gaining as much as 6 pounds in 2 months, I had given up on trying to do well for the holidays at this point and would just go for it all December. That may not sound too daunting for some, but I have a huge family and a lot of celebrations. I would have 2 parties at my place, Christmas dinner at home, Christmas breakfast at my Dad’s, Christmas Eve with my extended family, Christmas with my wife’s immediate family, Christmas with my wife’s extended family, and…how many Christmas parties is that??? Add a few friend gatherings throughout the month and it was easy to gain at least another 5 pounds. But that’s okay, I have the New Year to get back on track and start a new diet. I will lose all my winter weight then.

I averaged about 10 pounds each year. Each January 1st I resolved to make healthier choices, start exercising, and lose those 10 pounds. Except I had no clue how to actually lose weight so, like many of my New Year’s resolutions, my motivation was short lived. Some years I managed to lose a pound or two, but I never once lost all the weight I gained over the holidays. A decade passed and I found myself trying to recognize the class II obese person looking back at me in the mirror.

In 2012, with a lot of hard work and determination, I finally broke the cycle and lost 75 pounds. But that first October after I lost my weight, I didn’t want to take that same road and slowly gain it all back over the next decade. So I came up with a plan, several of them actually. Before every event, feast, and celebration, I would come up with a plan for that event. I didn’t just go to a party and hope that I wouldn’t over-indulge, I had a plan for each party.

I also knew myself well enough to know that I was not perfect and would fail at times and gain a pound or two even with my carefully laid out plans. So my biggest plan was to lose a few pounds before the holidays, that way the few pounds I would gain over the season wasn’t such a big deal. That plan has been working for me the last several years and it can work for you too.

To help you implement your own plan for surviving the holidays, I am giving you a FREE copy of my Holiday Survival Guide
With a solid plan in place, you will greatly improve your chances maintaining and not gaining this year.

Set a goal to Maintain and not Gain this year. If you want to lose the weight before the holidays, like me, join my Weight Loss Jump Start plan today and lose 10 or more pounds in 4 weeks.

To your health,
Jake

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