November 22, 2020 Jacob Watts

I feel like writing about this is a rite of passage for every fitness influencer out there. And since being famous on Instagram is the ultimate goal for my career, I might as well dive head-first into the game, son!

I also feel like if I were to truly write about how to survive the holidays it would be about how to avoid getting into a political discussion with that relative that starts off their rant with “Look, you’re an intelligent person…”

But I will sidestep that topic and just focus on health and fitness. First of all, I don’t love that everyone uses the word “survive” like it’s some terrible ordeal that they aren’t sure they’ll be able to make it through. What is actually happening is that you are being faced with more temptations than you normally would be. More opportunities to stray from whatever habits you try to keep during a normal week. On top of that everyone has that aunt that is offended if you don’t help yourself to seconds of her mac and cheese.

Before I say this I want to make sure you guys understand that I’m giving this advice to myself and not just you. I have well-documented struggles showing restraint for anything related to indulging in food. But when I have been able to resist opportunities to splurge or skip workouts it’s helpful to remind myself about how I’ll feel afterwards. When we go to Leasa’s parents (they have bars, plates, squat rack, KB’s, medballs, DB’s, all in their basement) and I don’t get up early enough to do a workout, I know I’ll feel poopy later in the day. When I’ve already eaten a meal (or two) and I really want more dessert I have to just remind myself what I’ll feel like later. Sometimes I decide that the enjoyment of the moment is worth it. But most of the time if I really pay attention to how I feel after not working out or indulging in a bunch of extra less-than-healthy food, I regret it.

Other than keeping your priorities in mind along with how you’ll feel at the end of the day, I think one helpful piece of advice you’ll see in many blogs and lists is to limit the indulgent behavior to the actual day of your celebration. So if you get together with your family on Thanksgiving and you know Grandma is bringing her famous pie, have a freaking piece of that pie! But when people ask you to take it home with you, politely decline. I hate wasting food and I love being handed food so it’s taken years for me to get to where I tell people no. I feel bad but I know that I’ll feel worse if I just carry that eating into the next day or even week.

As far as getting workouts in, you can find a billion at-home workouts on the interwebz. If you’re lucky enough to have some equipment or even hit up a gym while you’re on break or traveling, make sure it’s a workout you actually enjoy doing. We want to help build strong relationships with exercise and food both. So if you have the chance to do something we don’t do in the gym, do it!

If anybody has any tips they use that are helpful, feel free to share them! But that’s the gist of what I would do to help keep my habits intact. Enjoy yourself but keep priorities and long-term goals in mind and limit the damage to a day.