The holidays are over. The presents are unwrapped, the tree is put away, the champagne bottles are empty, and the Christmas cookies are gone (thank goodness!) Only not quickly enough, right? Did you overindulge in sweets, treats, feasts, and booze? Is your body a little more soft; your clothes a little more tight; and your mind a little more tired? After overdoing it for the last few weeks, you may feel down, but you are not out. Here’s how to bounce back into healthier living, to make you look and feel better as the New Year begins.
First, forgive yourself. Things happen. No one is perfect. So, stop feeling ashamed. It does you no good, and, if you are an emotional eater, it can actually make matters worse. It is time to regroup mentally and emotionally and move forward. Change your attitude from feeling negative and defeated by the past, to feeling determined and excited about changes for the future. Mindset is key here and the only who can change it is you. Go ahead, forgive yourself (it’s OK!) and then get excited because great things are going to be happening for you.
Second, start now. You have a Pinterest board full of workouts, healthy recipes, and inspiring photos. You have a positive outlook. You are feeling energized and ready. Use it. Take action. Do something that will help you move forward; something that will help you become the person you want to become. (Go here to get my FREE Weight Loss Checklist to get started!) Not tomorrow, not Monday, right now. There is never a perfect time to take on a new lifestyle. But, the fact is, that if you don’t do it then you will never change, so start with something that you can do right now and go from there. Take a walk, do a Yoga video, lift some weights, make a healthy snack, get groceries. Do something right now.
Next, make a plan. Decide when you are going to workout which program you are going to use, and what you are going to be eating for this week. Also, enlist a partner and make a pact to go at it together. All of these strategies will help you to stop skipping workouts, eating junk, and making excuses. Write that plan down and put it somewhere that you will see it every
day: on the fridge, on your computer’s background, or wherever it will grab your attention each morning and make you stick with it. A visual representation of your plan will help you tremendously in implementing it and sticking with it.
Strength train. Hopping on the treadmill will certainly help burn those excess calories from overindulging, but don’t forget to lift weights, too. Strength training can utilize the extra carbs you consumed to create stronger, more toned muscles, while having a longer post exercise caloric burn than cardio alone. So, use last night’s Christmas cookie debacle to get leaner, stronger, and more toned by incorporating resistance training into today’s workout. Wondering where to start? Try lunges.
Finally, learn from your mistakes and keep trying. Even after the holidays,something may come up that temporarily derails your progress. Learn from it, figure out how to plan for it in the future, and try again. The truth is, life happens. So do your best most of the time, learn from the times that you can’t, and keep moving forward. Health and wellness is journey, sometimes the path is easy and enjoyable and sometimes it is rocky and difficult. Wherever you may be in your journey, keep going and keep fighting.
For more info on setting realistic and achievable goals, read this.
About the Author: Mandy Skinner is the author of the Soccer Mom with Muscles blog as well as the book PB&J and Push-Ups: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Diet and Exercise. She is also the Fitness Editor for Healthy Moms Magazine, as well as a contributor to Big City Moms. Mandy is the proud mom of two, Sean and Sarah, as well as a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach devoted to living healthy and happy. In addition to her athletic endeavors, Mandy is a constant advocate of healthy and active living.