The other day I saw an article about ways to avoid eating at a holiday party. One suggestion was to eat before you go to the party. Please! If I do that then I will just eat two meals. I mean who wants to avoid eating during this time of year. Part of the fun this time of year is getting together with others and getting together usually involves food, drink, and staying up late. None of these help diet or your athletic life at all.
Avoid the guilt and just enjoy the season. Eat what you want, drink what you want, and sleep in the next day. Don’t stress about it. Enjoy family and friends. My sister throws a great Christmas party every year. She is an amazing cook and always has new appetizers and desserts for us to try. Am I going to avoid trying them just because they might contain a few (okay a lot) extra calories? No way! Will I be that person who stands there watching everyone eat while making comments about my early morning run. Who wants someone like that at the party?
I consider this time of year my off-season. While I’m waiting for USAT to call and ask me to be a professional triathlete (I talked about that here) I need to act the part. (That’s what they say to do right? Dress the part, act like the position you want to have, fake it till you make it…) After the competition season has passed, professional triathletes switch to their off-season. It’s a time to relax a bit, try different activities, and get a little fat and lazy. Yes, it’s hard work but I must practice every part of the triathlete!
Now I’m not saying to stop exercising or training completely. That would set you back too far. What I am saying is be more flexible with your workouts. I still hit my winter gym, aka my basement, most mornings and run on the treadmill while watching the morning news (painful on so many levels) or hop on my road bike that is now in a trainer, but my workouts are more laid back and I don’t stress about missed days. This off-season time is the rest needed because soon all will change.
I enjoy the off-season, in part, because I have a plan. My first race of the season is already scheduled. In March I will be running a half in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in DC. I will be running with my brother-in-law who is in his mid-20s and very fast, so basically I will see him at the start and then the finish line. Having a race already scheduled allows me to enjoy the month because I know, come January, my training will begin!
I encourage you to do the same. Set a 2013 athletic event now. The earlier in the year the better. It can be your first 5K , a marathon, a team relay, or joining the town softball team. Find a friend to sign up with you if that helps. With a goal already in place you can relax and enjoy the party season. Then, come January you will be ready to start training because, in part, you have no choice. The date is set and it will then be fast approaching. Plus training for something is so much more fun than just “working out” or dieting.