Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 3:52 am | Fair 57º


Traver Boehm: Coming Up with a Fitness Plan That Fits with the Holidays

Goals should be simple and easy to stick to, and not deprive you of indulging in the joy

Today is Dec. 23. Well, it’s actually not here yet, but guess what? It will be here tomorrow. The time between early and mid-October seems to be the calm before the inevitable holiday storm that overtakes us all each year. By now if you’ve ventured into any mainstream store, you’ve seen not only Halloween decorations for sale, but also Thanksgiving and, of course, Christmas garb on the shelves as well.

Let’s be honest, the next 10 weeks are going to fly by and with them will come a heavy increase in all of our social obligations. Friday and Saturday nights with nutritious home-cooked meals give way to Halloween parties, Holiday drinks with work and then again with friends, and then again with someone else. All of our free time slowly begins to get eroded in the next few weeks and is replaced with shopping trips, family gatherings and the like.

What’s the common denominator in all of these gatherings? Food and drink! The holidays are one of the most challenging times to stay healthy for a variety of reasons. With the decrease of free time comes an increase in stress and then inevitable lack of meal planning. As one of my clients just told me, “The holidays are similar to getting caught on the inside when you’re surfing. You can paddle all you want, but you’re not really going to get anywhere.”

So how do you combat the dynamic forces of alcohol and merriment that want to increase your waste line and decrease your immune system? How on earth do we stay healthy for the holidays?

It’s a great question and one that everyone should be thinking about and planning for right around now. At Crossfit Pacific Coast, we implore all of our clients to come up with a Holiday Health Plan. The plan should not be intricate, hard to implement nor should it disallow you from enjoying this time of year.

Step 1 in creating a plan for the holidays is to realize that the deck is definitely stacked against you — so don’t shoot for the moon. Losing 20 pounds, dropping 5 percent of your body fat and training for the best marathon that you’ve ever run is a great holiday goal — if you want to set yourself up for loneliness, misery and failure.

So first and foremost, sit down with yourself and be honest. Do you have 12 holiday parties to go to? Does your mother-in-law make the world’s best apple pie that you just have to have? Are you going to be happy with not going backwards for the next 10 weeks or do you want to see a positive improvement? Then make your plan.

Eric and I advise all of our clients to take a deep breath and decide how they want their holidays to go. We actually close down CPC for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve so that people don’t have the stress of our challenging workouts hanging over their heads when they have so much else to balance.

When we’re working with weight loss clients, we ask them to follow one golden rule that Eric created and seems to work extremely well during the holidays. That rule is that if they are going to sit down and eat a meal by themselves, then that meal has to be healthy. That’s it. That’s their holiday goal.

We’ve found that instead of asking everyone to try to paddle against the surf or swim upstream, simply sticking to this basic outline works wonders. If you’re going to be home by yourself and not out at a gathering, then cook yourself some lean meat — chicken or fish — a lot of vegetables, throw in some healthy fat and you’re good to go. You’ve now stacked the deck a tiny bit in your favor at a time when you do have control over the menu.

It may not seem like a huge accomplishment at the time, but it’s something to build upon and something to fall back upon when you find yourself staring at a butter-laden holiday casserole and no other options.

Stay tuned next week for some more quick and easy workouts to keep that holiday waistline in check and keep you out of the doctor’s office.

Have at it.

— Traver Boehm is co-owner and coach at Crossfit Pacific Coast, has a master’s degree in Chinese medicine, is a licensed acupuncturist at Alki Wellness, and a nutrition specialist. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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