Stay On Track

Hey guys! I loved all your feedback on yesterday’s post! I am gathering more science, articles, and am in the midst of writing several posts focusing on sweets and what the implications are for us. No worries though, it will not damper any holiday spirit, as I am ALL for eating sweets :) It will just be informative and give you something to think about (hopefully. hah).

{p.s. I did just get back from vacay, so I will answer emails today if I have not yet gotten back to you! So sorry for the delay, but I’m sure you understand that a girl’s got to breathe sometime! hah}

bought this. Amazing way to enjoy the holidays. Thanks Linz for the idea!

Onwards. So as more of a health-related post today I am following up to a post I wrote back in September on SMART goals.

As we know goals are important. They give us something to work toward, they give us something to measure against, and they help us see our progress and achievements.

Goals can be frustrating though too.

Any health goal can be sidelined by injury, family matters, personal issues, or plain disinterest. Health goals can also be place by the wayside because it may not be super important to the person at the time OR the goal was unattainable or unreachable or unreasonable (aka not a SMART one).

Whatever it is though, there are SOME ways to stay on track for good.

And how appropriate at holiday time, eh?!

(I mention the holidays being difficult because we all know how the equation of family+parties+celebrations+cheers+appetizers+caloric drinks+desserts+stress+shopping+lack of sleep all adds up, right??)

hello holiday time!

Stay On Track

SMART goals were already defined, so let’s use an example and say a person’s health goal is to eat only while sitting at the table. This person may find it easy to do this while at home or while on a ‘normal’ schedule, but once the holidays hit, say good-bye to normal!

During the holidays the following usually happens:

  • stress increases
  • sleep decreases
  • more food is consumed
  • less gym time happens
  • more parties are attended
  • lots of appetizers, ‘fun’ foods, and desserts are available (and are usually consumed while not sitting at a table)
  • binge eating, social eating, or stress eating probabilities increase

So HERE is the attack plan: Have a PLAN, a backup Plan, and give yourself a small bit of wiggle room.

Every goal will fail if there is NO backup plan! No one’s life goes perfectly (trust me on this. I know all too well. Hah), so it is crucial during a time like the holidays when life is a bit more *cheery* and different, to have a game plan and then to have guidelines for that game plan if it doesn’t go as planned–in essence to stay on track no matter what.


For example, for the person who decided to have a goal to eat only while sitting at a table (I have had several clients who eat only when standing, do not realize how many calories he/she consumed because it does not register so well when not sitting, and he/she couldn’t figure out why he/she wasn’t losing weight), that person would have that goal and then make a plan around it.

The plan could be:

  • I will eat breakfast at the table while reading the newspaper or checking blogs.
  • I will eat lunch with co-workers or at my desk, NOT in the break room.
  • I will eat my snacks while perusing the mail or sitting quietly before/after workouts.
  • I will sit down with my spouse/roommate/friend at dinner time.
  • I will eat any dessert at the table and not in the pantry.

With holiday parties and such, this plan is way harder to stick to. So to stay on track,Β a backup plan could be:

  • I will eat 2 meals and 1 snack at the table no matter what, and if I’m at a holiday party I might eat while standing, but I will only eat the foods I really want to eat, and I will eat them slowly.
  • OR, I will eat my snacks/party foods while sitting and chatting with friends.
  • OR, I will only drink special drinks at parties and eat before going to the party.

See how that works? We all have plans in life, but if we are so stuck on ONE plan, we may make a huge mess for ourselves and come away really unhappy.

I remember once when I was super restrictive, I had a plan to only eat 1 dessert at a certain party I was looking forward to attend (for people who struggle with disordered eating, it is very common to think about the food before the party! –My husband thinks this is nuts. Hah). Well, you can only imagine my distress when 3 of my all-time favorite desserts were there staring me in the face!

I had no backup plan at all. I ate all 3 desserts. I went against my plan and left the party feeling guilty, horrible, and SO not in a holiday mood. Sounds kind of silly, but it really hurt my self-esteem and made me feel worthless–that I could not stick to my guns.

Well, if I had had a BACKup plan, I could’ve stayed on track with whatever goal I had (even if it was an unhealthy goal at the time.) Fulfilling goals and sticking to our plans (and backup plans) help us Stay On Track and can do wonders for our self-esteem and confidence.

and look crazy in photos. heh.

Oh, and then these things can fuel our desire to do even MORE healthy things. Like lift heavy. Or go to the gym extra early. Or prepare a healthier version of a holiday dish. Or try new circuit training workouts out.

“If you fail to plan, you PLAN to FAIL”

“Once the time for decision has arrived the time for preparation has past.” —Thomas S. Monson

Cheers for a healthy holiday season! Seriously, why wait until January to stick to your goals and make plans?! I think that is crazy talk. Let’s kick it up a notch and make plans to stay healthy THROUGH the holiday season. Talking about waiting until January only sets us up for binge eating and thinking (if this has been a problem in the past) and/or unhealthy expectations for the 1st week of January (trust me, I work in a gym and see it every.single.January.!)

With that I am off to take my sore body (taught BodyPUMP and Pilates last night back to back after a 7 day hiatus from BodyPUMP!) back to BodyPUMP. Woot! I seriously love that class. Maybe this addiction can trump any addiction to sugar we might have…… πŸ˜‰

How do YOU stay on track with YOUR health goals?? Any suggestions for those of us looking for extra motivation and/or a cool backup plan?? Who has kicked THEIR workouts up a notch?? ehh? eh?

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  1. Doing your circuit training workout certainly kicked up my workout a notch!!! I usually have MORE time to workout during the holidays, which is a great thing, but I also have more time to consume during the holidays, which is a not so great thing!

    • hehe. I know, I made it hard on purpose :) Kicks my butt too, if that helps πŸ˜‰

      WOOT for more time to work out–that rocks!!

      • that’s good to know! during it, diana kept saying, “how does annette do this??? AND teach all her classes????”

        • Heh. Yes, I am still human. And get really out of breath! :) Which is good to get a major butt-kickin’ once in awhile.

          I currently can’t move much…..2 BodyPUMP classes + Pilates in less than 17 hours….hurts.

  2. Love this post, Annette! Everything you said is so right on, and I couldn’t agree more. I stay on track with my health goals by sticking to my normal workout schedule as best I can, finding new healthy versions of festive recipes that I love, and truly trying to keep everything balanced and enjoy the season. I find that if I stick to my regular exercise routine, it’s much easier for me to stay motivated to want to eat better too.

  3. mmmm the coconut mint looks Amazing!!!!

  4. Eating desserts in the pantry? Wow…how do you know me so well! =) Good example of holiday eating goals. I’m going to go make mine!

  5. I definitely need to set a plan when I get back home after finals. I had a hard time not snacking like crazy on high calorie foods (excessive roasted and salted nuts and m&ms, anyone?) So i need to plan ahead of time to not fall into that trap again, especially since I’ll be home for about 3 weeks!

    • I remember when I was in college and grad school–coming home was quite the event! I swear I left every time with tighter pants. Hah. It helps to make a plan, try it out, and have that backup plan ready. Trust me πŸ˜‰


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