Hey Hey! I wanted to talk today about the craziness that is this time of year. We all know it and sense it in the air when it’s coming. The commute becomes longer, people get a bit edgier, stores get a bit crowded and stress presents itself in all forms. It is certainly hard to take time for yourself around the Holidays when we are so focused on giving and being with others. Don’t get me wrong-I love surrounding myself and making others priority, but we can’t forget to take care of ourselves.
Many of you have experienced the downward spiral that is ‘the Holidays’
When we talk about the holiday season, we all know that this is a very vulnerable time for us to go completely off the deep end when it comes to our health. The holiday parties, the endless treats and candies in the office, the flowing alcohol, family commitments that may take precedence over your workout time, the travel, the stress and holiday shopping. It’s as if this time of year is here to set us up to fall off the wagon.
It may seem this way, however, it is actually very easy to stay on track during this time of year. I LOVE helping my clients stay on track which is why I make it clear that their workouts should be as important as business meetings.
My clients put in so much hard work and dedication every single day. I am so thankful that I can wake up and help them feel better, move better and know that the 1 hour I spend with them during your workout may be the highlight of their day. I do not take this for granted one bit and am so proud of the amazing efforts that I see in and out of the gym. Everyday, I am inspired, motivated, and always learning something new when I work with my clients.
My true belief is that exercise is not only physical but mental as well, and it is so important for you to get in touch with yourself. Dig deep-find what what triggers you and what makes you work hard, give it all you got and never look back. Whether its working out to lose weight, gain muscle, get healthy, fit into that little black dress or pair of jeans or make a lifetime commitment to a lifestyle change–I want you to ensure that you are doing this for you. I love working side by side with you and can’t wait to have a phenomenal 2015!!
With that said here are some HOLIDAY TIPS! To ensure that you don’t fall totally off track this Holiday season.
FINISH 2014 STRONG! I know that with so much travel and family, work events its easy to have the all or nothing approach to exericse. “Well, if’ I can’t make it to the gym at all then I may as well call it a total failure for the month. I will start fresh in January!” Try not to have to have this attitude and rather, use this time to destress from the craziness that comes with the Holiday season. Through the season, you should always have your goals in mind. Those who are most successful in any endevour are so by forming habits. These habits shouldn’t change because of the Holiday season. Pack your running shoes, ask me for a hotel or ‘at home’ workout. There is always 30 minutes in your day.
FOCUS ON HIIT TRAINING. I am sure if you are reading my blog and exercise on the regular, you are familiar with the term HIIT. (High intensity interval training) With time constraints, you need an efficient workout and arguably the most efficient type is HIIT. HIIT workouts tend to be full-body workouts and are certainly anerobic by nature.
The benefits of HIIT are extraordinary. When you are performing steady state cardio, you are puttin yourself in a catabolic state in which you could acutally lose muscle mass. Yes, some of that hard earned muscle may in fact get lost in your goal to shed fat.
HIIT will help to accelerate overall fat loss and improve your body composition.
You don’t need tons of time or equipment to do a HIIT workout – 30 min max. One of the huge benefits to HIIT, besides efficiency of time and the amount of muscles used, is the calories burned. You might not burn tons of calories during thirty minutes of exercise, but if that exercise is anaerobic, your body will burn excess calories for 24 to 36 hours after the fact.
TRY THESE WORKOUTS!
STAY POSITIVE: This is an amazing time to reflect on the past year and see how far you have come and what you have accomplished. It is a beautiful thing to truly think about how amazing your body is and what it allows you to do everyday. Too often I see and hear people complain about their bodies rather than praise them for all they provide. Who would you be without your happy and healthy self!? You wouldn’t be able to workout, you wouldn’t be able to push yourself. Take a moment and be grateful. A positive attitude is such a powerful tool that allows you to reflect on all of the progress you have made. Try not to get discouraged and let that take you off track. I am telling you to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest and make your health a priority!
DON’T SKIP SLEEP! Sleep deprivation can increase cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Take this time during the Holidays to get in some extra ZZZ’s. Lack of sleep can also effect energy levels and exercise. Exercise significantly improves sleep patterns and will keep you focused and productive!
WORK TOWARD YOUR 2015 NOW! There is no time like the present and as I mentioned earlier, you want to try creating long lasting habits, not just quick fixes-as you will be the most successful in your goals! We all see the craziness in the gym occur after Jan 1st, so stay ahead of the pack and START NOW!
STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT! Lets be real here, there is nothing drastic that is going to happen during the holiday season (unless you get out of control) unless you go absolutely nuts! But in reality, your body will not change during this time. What may seem like an indulgent time that can wreak havoc on your body, just keep in mind that most of this is probably all chaos you have created in your head. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, stay active and practice moderation, you can enjoy some treats here and there. Give yourself a break. Its the holidays!
SKIP THE FADS: We all know that fitness and nutrition ‘diets’ don’t last. Try a juice cleanse and guaranteed your body will not change in the long term and you will just feel miserable while doing this cleanse. When it comes to nutrition, watch the portions and eat in moderation. You didn’t put on the weight overnight, so you certainly can’t expect it to come off the same way. Before starting any diet fat, ask yourself WHY you are doing it and IF you know anyone that has followed this regimen and see long term results both mentally and physically.
As far as exercise, I will always say find something you ENJOY. When you look forward to physical activity you are more likely to stay on track!
With all of this said, lets not let the holidays take control of you and your life. You are in 100% of your choices, your fitness, your health and your happiness. Start with the 2015 goals now and you will be on a path for success!
MY 2015 GOALS!
I love taking this time to reflect on the past year, as I mentioned before. I start to think about the new year and what I want to accomplish. I have competed in 5 Bikini competitions and as many of you know, work as a coach for Cathy Savage Fitness. I feel so humbled to work for such an incredible company and not only teach and motivate other women looking to get in the best mental and physical shape of their lives, but also learn from these women and become inspired myself.
I have taken almost two years off from competing. (My last show was at Foxwoods for Fitness New England in 2013) This was a personal choice because I just wanted and needed to focus on other aspects of my life. I love competing to the utmost extent, but there is no doubt that it can take a toll on other aspects of your life when you are so focused and committed. I needed to take a full year off and simply turn my focus elsewhere. Did I miss it? Of course I did! But the thing about competing in fitness shows or anything for that matter is that they will always be there. Life is happening NOW. There is no slow motion and there is no reversing. I had to take some serious thought and not think about shows or dieting or posing for a bit.
My mom recently asked my why I love to compete and why I want to do the Fitness New England show in May 2015….I compete because I love having a goal. I love my team. I compete for myself. There is no one I want to beat, no one I want to do better than, I want to do this for myself. The amount of dedication and focus it takes close to show time is definitely the most challenging and the one part that I do not love. It’s hard having to reschedule dinners and drinks with friends. Its hard not being able to eat 100% freely what I want when I want in the weeks leading up, but you know what? This is the choice that I make. I never put my choices on someone else and in the end—it is all worth it. I try as much as I can to focus on what I know and what I can do best. Like I tell my girls and new girls stepping on stage, HAVE FUN. If you take away anything from the entire weekend it is to DO WHAT YOU HAVE PRACTICED.
Stick to the plan and beyond anything-trust the process.
So why do I compete? It is not for the $20 trophy and it is not to see how I placed or who I beat. Sure, I do care to see how I did and always give my 110% up there, but this is a sport and just like any other, I am aiming to do my personal best. I have learned from every single show that I have taken part in. I don’t let the show run my life. I run my life. As of now, I am planning on taking part in the Fitness New England Pageant in 2015 (May 2nd) is the date that was just released. This is not set in stone, but mentally, I am envisioning myself and prepping now. It is going to be tough, but it is going to be such an accomplishment and I can’t wait to get back up there with my team. I do this for ME.