The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!
As we all know, the holidays are coming. Thanksgiving, as I write this, is about a week away. I am diligently inviting friends and family. I am developing a menu. I am getting ready. And then, it hit me. The holidays are coming. I can play Christmas music in October (yes, I am that person). I can buy gifts all year long (and actually get wrapping done before Christmas Eve). I can bake and cook. Wait!
Holidays are a known time for all of us to add a little to our waistbands. I’m not saying some of us may not need a little cushioning but I, myself, have plenty. Last year I added three pounds over the November to February timeframe. That is less than the normal amount gained through holiday gatherings and parties and meals but it is more than I have gained over the holidays in years.
Two years ago, I was kickboxing three mornings a week, swimming three mornings a week and training for my first full marathon in February. There was little I could do to not eat constantly but I did not gain an ounce that holiday season. Last year, I started my holidays early – part of the weight gain issue – by being at my mother’s for her 70th birthday at the end of October and kept going from there. Those three pounds may not seem like a lot, but add them to an injury that stopped most working out for over two weeks – before I found bicycling – in the summer and I was doomed. You see, graduation is another weight gain time here for me.
This year the holidays are coming and I am prepping. I have committed to running a full marathon in April so training starts mid-December. While early weeks of marathon training do not burn huge calorie stores, they burn more than my current base maintenance program. I truly am not as committed to running when I do not have a training plan or challenge in place. That is why I am prepping to not incur any holiday weight gain.
I hear you all laughing. How do you not gain weight when all you are doing is eating and drinking? Well, I have several plans in mind. First there is that ever present marathon training. Once the actual training starts, I get myself going. I have distances already on my calendar as I know I will be busy. Then, there are races. I have a bunch of local races on my calendar for the winter months. I schedule these just like I do work. If they are on the calendar, I will not skip them. I may, at the beginning of a week, rearrange when what is being run, but no skipping.
Then, there is the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak. I am going to attempt a run streak again. This one will be much more difficult than the one that would have lead to at least one mile of running from Memorial Day until July Fourth. This will start on Thanksgiving Day – when I have a local Turkey Trot on my calendar – and go until New Year’s Day. It will encompass three of the busiest holidays in my world. Some of those days, even a mile will seem like a marathon.
Finally, there is the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. This challenge assigns points to fitness activities and gives out prizes. I remember people doing it last year but I was not one of the participants. This year is the fifth year and I think I am going to participate. This one has a monetary cost – just an FYI – but I am still doing it.
How do you keep from putting on weight over the holidays?