Holiday Weight Loss — The Anti-Guide

I know this is one of those topics that gets written about again and again. I really look at most of the articles on this topic and they are just a rehash of the same stuff — eat less, avoid alcohol, don’t eat alone, etc. And to tell you the truth, I didn’t see myself writing about this topic because it is covered so well and so often by other people. But then I had a change of heart when this comment came in today on my Body Image post from a couple of weeks ago:

26.2ismycooldown.com

It was left by Stephanie, who is also my neighbor. She is also a runner and works hard to reach her potential as a runner. As a side note, she has come very close to being a contestant on Survivor, a goal I think she will reach before too long. Now Stephanie in no way looks like she is pregnant. She is in excellent shape and I do not know why someone would congratulate her for running long when she is pregnant. Regardless, when someone takes the time to say something like this to you and you know it isn’t true, just know that you will be passing them in your next race. And if they pass you, trip them as they go by. There is little excuse to say something like this to someone you don’t know. Perhaps the person was just trying to be friendly — but there are other ways to do it.

Some of the other comments generated by that post were interesting as well. Here is another of my favorites…

26.2ismycooldown.com

This great advice was left by my friend Terri at Our Big Fat Greek Marathon. She is spot on with her short analysis of advertisers and their motivation. They want to motivate you to purchase their product or service, so their goal is to make you feel fat and slow. While there is nothing wrong with the people they use in their ads, the way they use them to produce feelings of inadequacy in you is wrong. I started out in advertising and producing feelings of inadequacy is one of the strongest ways to motivate people to action. That is why I love this comment…

26.2ismycooldown.com

Confidence is what we should be striving for as athletes. This comment was left by Karyn from MarathonMaiden, who will be running the Dallas White Rock Marathon this weekend. I talk about mental training a lot (my hometown and kick butt place to run a marathon). When you get into the last 10% of the distance of a race, the effort you produce can be directly correlated with how mentally tough you are. Body image is the same way in some aspects. You need to retrain your mind to think along the lines of confidence instead of focusing on the body parts that you feel do not meet some arbitrary standard. Believe in yourself and know that you are a great person. Confidence always shines through.

When you have that confidence, with hard work the rest will take care of itself. Por ejemplo…

26.2ismycooldown.comCaroline from Journey to a Half Marathon wrote that comment. I think she is right on the money. If you look at her blog you will see she looks amazing, and her performance in her races is fantastic. Stop comparing yourself to others and the confidence will come. And remember, that regardless of our size, these feelings of self-doubt impact everyone..

26.2ismycooldown.com

This comment was left by Katie from Run for the Bikini. While you may look at her and think she has little to complain about when it comes to body image, you have to remember that advertisers and marketers sometimes want us all to feel inadequate. We all have to build our self-confidence in a healthy and meaningful way so that we can be confident long-term. Life is about being comfortable in your own skin and people of all sizes have the same challenges. Here is the last comment I wanted to post…

26.2ismycooldown.comAhh my pal Scott. We love you buddy and I miss you everyday. We are watching over your family and hope you will do the same for us. For those of you who are new to this dance, Scott passed away two weeks ago in a tragic accident.

My Guide To Holiday Weight Loss

I may be alone, but as endurance athletes and especially during the holiday season, we should worry less about small weight gains. My suggestions would be the following:

Eat a little less. Sounds pretty intuitive. Don’t be such a glutton at holiday dinners. Eat fatty foods and desserts, just eat a little less. Decrease your portion sizes and you will automatically decrease the number of calories you get.

Keep your workout routine. Try and keep your running, biking, or swimming schedule together. The holidays are a time for family and friends, so if you need to skip a workout during this time of the year, do it. Don’t skip two weeks worth of workouts, but don’t put your workouts in front of your friends and family.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you gain a pound or two over the holidays, so what? Don’t worry about it. We are endurance athletes and you can burn those pounds off in January. Don’t beat yourself up because of small gains in weight or a missed workout or two. Enjoy the time with friends and family.

So there is my Anti-Guide to holiday weight loss. Remember to have a good time this holiday season — there will be plenty of time to workout starting in January! And here is my last Nike ad that I thought we could all appreciate…

26.2ismycooldown.com

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...