As the Christmas carols start to ring out in the halls of David Jones and Myers, the pressure of work parties and catch-ups become all the more pressing as people begin the cramming that comes with work, shopping for presents, balancing Christmas Parties and letting go of the motivation of the eating plan and becoming subsequent to over indulgence and celebratory behaviour.
So how do you balance this with your lifetstyle choices? How do you maintain your motivation when all about you are imbibing and celebrating?
The solution - YOU DON'T HAVE TO. December is the time when it gets frantic. The schedule starts to heat up as everyone starts to devote time to a 'catch up' before the feast that takes on Christmas. All of a sudden department stores are getting you heated up because you simply can't move through the throng of consumers that are hogging all available exits to the escalators that is normally your shortcut from George St to Pitt St Mall through the perfume section of Myers!
Understanding and embracing the fact that this is when everything goes out the window is a positive outlook to the frantic rush that is pre-Christmas. You can have all the best intentions of 'doing it strongly' and committing to gruelling summer training schedules and restricted eating plans so that come January 1, you are able to strut your stuff on the boardwalks of Bondi and not feel intimidated.
We all know that as the party season hits, we will have at least 2-3 obligatory engagements that herald merrily partaking of what is on offer and that is going to impact on lifestyle choices and eating food and drinking champagne that normally doesn't exist in our dietary plans.
I say GO FOR IT.
Why restrict yourself? Know and allow yourself that little bit of freedom that allows you to enjoy and be part of the fun and frivolity without feeling guilty about the pleasure. January is the time to make up for lost causes and post festive partakings. This is the one time of the year when you should be 'cutting loose' and having fun.
Downtime and 'off season' is so much a part of every athlete's and weekend warrrior's schedule. You need to have the time away from your routine and from your schedule to be spontaneous. Live it large and go for it with abandon! So January rolls around and you have the time to be focussed and targeted towards your goals once more. Don't give up on them during December but understand that the festive season brings with it the festive celebrations of catching up and being relaxed with work colleagues, friends, family and those people that you do only contact at this time. Revel in the luxury of knowing that this is the time to be free.
Don't discard everything. Maintaining a normal, daily and weekly routine of exercise and activity is the best way to stay on target and keep motivated so that when January comes around, you don't have to crank the continuim of momentum too much because you have kept it up during the December period. BUT DO - cut yourself some slack. Allow yourself to revel in the freedom of indulging - after all, its summer in Sydney and what better time to party late into the evening and spend the morning recovering on the beach as you glow in the sunshine and gorgeous weather.
So when you do wake up slightly the 'worse for wear' on that Saturday or Sunday morning - don't let it leave you in a frump. Challenge yourself to commit to completing that one task that is your normal routine. Much as my yogi teacher used to tell me, "a daily practice is all about what you can achieve on that day at that point. It doesn't matter that you could hit 180 degrees in bow pose yesterday, what is your limit today? Accept your limitation for today and work with that" Just by being there and being present at the track, on the beach, in the gym, on the mat - you are committing to following your plan. But you just know that you also are committing to having some fun and that means you aren't going to hit a PB on the day. Is anyone taking times at this date?
Good health is all about balance. Be mindful that this is your time to relax. Allow it's space in your head and your mind and be accepting of it. And you may just find that in doing so, you don't overindulge, but instead actually maintain a certain balance between being the life of the party, and yet still keeping your head about your health!