Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fitness for Dummies - Holiday Edition

Would you rather start the New Year off with regret over your December glut, or begin 2012 admiring the work you did in December to help trim your big ol' November butt? 

Everyone always talks about New Year's resolutions, and starting afresh in the New Year.  You can see evidence of this everywhere you look, but especially at your local gym.  In December, the place is dead. 

Come January 2nd or 3rd, however, and you can't get a parking space outside, you have to wait 15 minutes to get on an elliptical machine, and the dumbbells are being occupied by, well, dumbbells who don't know how valuable your time is!  It is ridiculously frustrating, and, if you're like me, it gives you just one more excuse to slack off and stay at home, munching and watching the tube like a zombie. 

Here are some thoughts. 

First, you can do what I did, and hit the gym hard THIS month.  That's right.  Live in the present, and kick some tush NOW, not later.  While everyone else is out at Christmas parties, drinking and noshing their waistlines away, or vying for a parking space at the local shops, you can do the smart thing and hit that deserted wasteland that is your gym in December.  (Not that you can't go to Christmas parties or shop... just don't forget fitness while you gleefully prepare for your favorite holiday). 


There are a lot of benefits to hitting the gym right now.  Because it is not crowded, you don't have to wait in line for machines or weights, you can feel comfortable trying out a new routine or technique because you won't have an audience to observe if you mess up/fall off, and the likelihood is that you may actually get to have some quality time with knowledgeable gym staff who can teach you some cool tricks, or show you how to use a particularly daunting weight machine. 

As well, because you are being mindful of your fitness, you are less likely to treat yourself with the carby delights and alcohol abondanza that are pressed upon you this season.  So, the likelihood is that you will maintain your weight or even lose weight during the holiday season, instead of digging yourself into a nutritional and fitness hole that will be hard to climb out of next month. 

Second, you can start learning fitness techniques that you can do outside of the gym NOW, so that when the inevitable January gym rush hits, you can supplement your gym routine with activities that you can do in and around your home.  

Here's my recommendation: Check out these videos on body weight exercises by Mark Sisson of marksdailyapple.com and the Primal Blueprint fame, and give them a try.  In my life, I've never been able to do a single pullup.  Mark Sisson's videos show techniques that fitness neophytes like me (and maybe you) can use to work our way up to doing pullups, increasing the intensity of the exercise as we develop in upper body strength.  There are also videos for doing squats, pushups and the plank.  Best of all, these are exercises that you can do in the privacy of your own home, whenever the feeling strikes you.  To my family's amusement, I've popped a couple of wall squats (they look a little bizarre) while watching cartoons with my kid, and done some pushups off the kitchen counter while waiting for water to boil. 

Making the commitment to fitness, whether at home or at the gym, is something that you can absolutely do.  In my experience, taking control of my diet and my activity level has been an empowering experience.  
My LCHF 1 year anniversary arrives on January 24, 2011.  I have come a long way since then.  Today, I weighed in at 197 pounds.  I started this way of life at 231.5 pounds.  That's is a total loss of 34.5 pounds to date. 

Thanks to the changes I've made in my diet and fitness over the past year, I've said goodbye to heartburn, IBS, recurrent back pain, feeling dizzy when I bend over to tie my shoes, and wearing size 20W clothing.  I have said hello to being healthy, being able to run around with my kid, looking better (in clothes which are a size 14 regular now), and feeling more confident and accomplished.  Most of all, I have a hope for the future that I will never be fat and sick again, and I can see myself trim and healthy.
My interim personal goal is to hit my 40 pound weightloss milestone by January 24, 2012. 

What's your goal?   

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