Up Your Holiday Pre-Game

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I’ve been in the health field for 9 years now. I’ve watched the cycles come and go, and I’ve got a pretty good sense of how things go down right about now…

As we wrap up Thanksgiving, that almighty holiday of feasting and gratitude, we officially enter the season of debauchery and indulgence.

Health goals go out the window (that’s what New Years resolutions are for, right?) and commitments slide, gyms empty out. Maybe you move that belt buckle over on your pants one more notch, maybe you don’t, but I’m going to bet that with this season of celebration and endless holiday jingles, attention to your self care slides.

Now, I’m not against indulgence. In fact, I’m a big fan of it. And mindful, conscious indulgence at this time of year is a beautiful thing. But mindless indulgence combined with a lack of self care is a slippery slope pulling you off course with your health goals.

I know because I’ve been there myself. More times than I care to admit.

I like a good party just as much as anyone else, and I’m no fan of willpower probably because I have so little of it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Do you own the holidays? Or do they own you? ” quote=”Do you own the holidays? Or do they own you? “]

A couple of years ago, I started a cleanse in December. It felt like an odd time of year to be cleansing but it was actually brilliant. It forced me to make much better decisions throughout the season of indulgence and I came into the new year feeling, frankly, fabulous. Not to mention seriously ahead of the game.

I am currently in the middle of an aggressive protocol (healing up this post-partum body) and my foods are fairly restricted. I have many clients in the same boat: doing deep healing work and on temporary restricted diets.

Now this can be a big ol’ pain in the arse when it comes to holiday festivities. OR, you can use this to your advantage. I’m a firm believer in the latter approach.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrapped up a self-imposed 30-day challenge to get outside and move my tired postpartum body every single day. I used the public accountability of Facebook to share my goal and report on my progress, and it was such a great success, I’m deep into another 30 day challenge – not just in spite of the holidays, but because of them.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Recommit to your health not in spite of the holidays, but because of them.” quote=”Recommit to your health not in spite of the holidays, but because of them.”]

Now, I’m not saying you need to go into mad restriction mode over the holidays, but I wonder what you CAN commit to doing to offset the damage of the extra debauchery and keep your health on track?

My current 30-day challenge is to get back into the gym. I’m 10 days in and feeling great. This way even if there is some extra debauchery, I’m committing to upping my movement intensity to help offset the damage.

What can you commit to doing for 30 days before the new year to head into the 2017 with your best, healthiest foot forward?

Here are five strategies for enjoying yourself without losing your health along the way:

  1. Commit to eating 2-3 cups of vegetables three meals a day. Yup, that’s a lot o’ veggies, and that will go a long way to (a) filling you up on good stuff and (b) offsetting the damaging effects of holiday foods.
  2. Commit to daily movement. I’m not a big fan of the whole calories in, calories out approach to health and weight management, but it is a piece of the puzzle. If you’re going to be eating more, commit to moving more.
  3. Commit to enhancing your workouts. Even better than simply moving more is to move smarter. High intensity interval training (HIIT training) will crank your metabolism and keep it revved for up to 24hrs post-workout.
  4. Commit to a daily meditation practice. Why wait until the new year to start de-stressing? If ever there’s a time to incorporate more calm in your life, it’s over the holidays.
  5. Start that cleanse you’ve been thinking of doing BEFORE the holidays. Sure this is for the truly brave but there’s a solid 30 days between thanksgiving and Christmas this year. You could fit a good 2-3 week cleanse in there!

Will you join me?

Please respond in the comments below if you are going to get a head start on your health and beat the New Year’s resolutioners to the punch!


  1. Ratika Hansen


    Super great suggestions, I love it! Thank you!

    • Kate


      Yes- I’m with you! 🙂 These 5 steps are gold- and the linked HIT article is amazing.
      Thank you Margaret!!

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