Gain Fitness, Not Fat Nine-Week Holiday Challenge


We are about to enter the busiest time of the year. Often, it’s the time of year when people let go of their health and fitness goals with the self-promise to start over in January. Part of the fun of the holidays are the parties, desserts, and drinks, we definitely don’t want to miss out on that! Besides, we’ll be dieting in January anyway, might as well have fun now.

But the truth is that you can enjoy the holidays, the parties and all the treats while gaining fitness, not fat this holiday season.

Gain fitness, not fat 9-week holiday challenge. save to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

Gain fitness, not fat 9-week holiday challenge. save to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

Forget All-Or-Nothing

Forget all-or-nothing thinking for the holidays. It’s not if you’re on your diet or off, or if you’re following an exercise program or not. If you always make your best effort to do the best you can with what is reasonably available, you’ll do great all through the holidays.

If you can’t workout for an hour, do five minutes of body weight exercises in your living room. If you don’t have time to run five miles, walk or run a mile instead. Something is always better than nothing. It’s more about building the habit of daily exercise than it is about the five or 10 minutes you spend exercising.

Do what you can when you can. Forget perfection and aim for good enough. This mindset allows you to make healthy choices most of the time without feeling like you failed yourself when enjoying a holiday treat. The best you can with an honest effort is always enough.

It’s a Healthy LIfestyle

Healthy living is more than what you eat and how much you exercise. It encompasses your whole life including the strength of your relationships, your stress levels, and your sleep quality. There are health benefits of bonding with Grandma over her special holiday pie and laughing with Uncle Steve over a glass of wine. If you’re stressing about eating certain foods, or not attending parties to avoid temptation, that’s not healthy either. Healthy living is about finding balance.

Don’t Make This Mistake

The mistake that a lot of people make is that they try to rearrange their entire lives around their fitness goals. This can work when life is calm, but that plan falls apart when life gets busy, and there’s no more hectic time than the holidays! We want health and fitness to work within our busy lives, not rearrange our lives to make health and fitness work. Can you see the difference?

Your fitness goals should work within your busy life so that when life gets crazy (is it ever not?), health and fitness is already built in. Developing healthy habits helps keep you on track no matter what life throws at you. When the foundation of healthy living is established, you don’t need to rely on willpower or motivation.

Someone at work once said to me “Do you eat a salad every single day for lunch?” When I responded that I did, he said “Wow, I admire your discipline.” The truth is that eating a salad every day requires zero discipline because it is my habit. I eat a salad every day because it’s part of my routine to pack a salad each night to eat it for lunch the next day. In fact, I’ll often get upset if my routine gets shaken up and I can’t eat my salad. No discipline required when it’s a habit.

The Perfect Time Is Now

No one is suggesting that you forgo the holiday parties, pass on the sweet treats or completely avoid temptations over the holidays. You can have the best of both worlds and gain fitness, not fat this holiday season.

In fact, the holidays are the perfect time to refine and build new healthy habits, so when January 1st rolls around, you won’t need to make resolutions to lose those extra holiday pounds, because they won’t be there.

Nine-Week Holiday Challenge

To help you stay on track over the holidays, starting on November 5th, I’ve put together nine mini-challenges to follow each week leading up to the new year. The beauty of the mini-challenges is that they are easy to execute, won't take up too much time or mental energy, but when repeated and developed into habits, will make a significant impact on your overall health and fitness over time. Use these nine weeks leading into the holidays to cultivate habits that will pay dividends well into the new year.

These challenges don’t involve any extreme dieting, food restrictions or exercise programs. They are appropriate for all fitness levels who want to improve their healthy habits. With a commitment from you, they can easily fit into your busy life.

There are nine simple habits over the nine weeks that can help you stay on track this holiday season and build the foundation for the start of a successful new year. There will be a virtual 5K (run walk or crawl) the week of Thanksgiving to give you additional motivation to get moving. Are you in?

Starting on November 5th, each Monday on the blog, I’ll share the weekly challenge with tips to stay on track. Stay motivated by sharing the challenge hashtag (#2018LGFholidaychallenge #gainfitnessnotfat) on social media as you complete your habits. The best part? It’s free to participate, just check back each week for the new challenge, all the way through the holidays. Consider it my holiday gift to you. Are you ready to finish the year strong?

Did you like this post? Know someone who might like to join the challenge? It helps me when you share with your friends and followers.

Lea signature.jpg