FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast

Breaking the 'All or Nothing' Cycle This Holiday Season

November 23, 2023 Turo Virta
FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast
Breaking the 'All or Nothing' Cycle This Holiday Season
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of FitMitTuro Fitness Podcast, I dive into a topic that's close to many of our hearts during the festive season – maintaining health and fitness amidst the holiday cheer. I open up about my own struggles with staying motivated during the colder, darker months of December and share how I've learned to overcome these challenges by setting small, achievable goals.

Join me as I discuss the importance of focusing on consistency over striving for perfection. I'll share my personal strategies for planning workouts in advance, which helps in steering clear of relying solely on motivation. I'll also talk about how to manage healthy eating habits during a time filled with tempting treats, including my own battle with sugar cravings and how I handle them.

The episode is packed with practical advice, from overcoming procrastination to finding enjoyable ways to stay active during the holidays. It's all about creating a balance – enjoying the festive season without the guilt and maintaining your fitness journey. I emphasize the power of savoring meals, prioritizing protein, getting enough sleep, and the significance of slowing down and enjoying food.

This episode is not just about fitness; it's about embracing the joy and balance of the holiday season. Whether you're dealing with cravings or struggling to find the motivation to exercise, I provide relatable advice and effective strategies to help you stay on track. Tune in to learn how to break the 'all or nothing' mindset and make the most of this holiday season.

Stay active, stay healthy, and let's make this holiday season a balanced and joyful one!


So it's a holiday season. And in this episode, I'm talking about how to approach your fitness and health journey during this time period period of time, but it's, in my experience, with many, many years, the most challenging time of the year, and especially, I'm going to talk about how to break that all or nothing cycle during this holiday season. So let's get into episode. And, and of course, this is, this is something, something what I used to struggle a lot earlier. And as I thought that when was it was December, and there was a lot of like, we are not celebrating here in Italy, Thanksgiving, but if you're celebrating Thanksgiving, this is kind of that holiday season is starting even earlier. So how I used to approach this earlier was like that December game, it's as it's darker time, there's less daylight, and, and it's a little bit colder. And it's a lot harder to do like some kind of activities, especially what I naturally enjoy, like I love being outside, in summertime playing tennis, going for walks, hiking, and now when it's a little bit colder, it's darker, it's getting a lot more challenging. And especially like I work out at the home team, where is it there is no heating. So it's actually it's a very cold place to work out. And, and I as you if you have listened to or not the person who actually enjoys doing their make my own string training, but that I have been able to do it like past two and a half years, pretty consistently for two to three times per week. And this is always December, end of November are the times when I struggled the most to get myself into the gym. And I talk a little bit how later like how I changed this approach. And as I mentioned earlier, I struggled a lot like and that and this was like December it started all it almost always started like that. I said to myself that ah, this week is going to be so busy. So I just skipped my workouts and due next week and then when I did it for one week, it was so much easier to skip for the next week. And then soon as I realized that oh my god now we are in a Christmas time so there is no point to kind of work out anymore or I'm I would rather enjoy to do something else and then start all over from January when regular routine is here. And up. And this is this is what I see in my clients the most of them are very struggling a lot during this time I do when I do group coaching sessions. It's always it's, it's December is the most challenging month two people do come to workouts. And at first obviously when I was a new coach I thought that because we do we do courses from September to December and then starting from January. And when we started September, it was always like there were many people in workouts and then when time was closer to Christmas we are getting there were less people and when I was new, I was also I was so worried about myself like I was thinking what I'm doing wrong because people are not showing up that am I am I doing something wrong? Or Or am I am I am I really that bad that they don't want to come anymore? And obviously that made me very like a hell and now with the experience I know that this is the time of the year when actually most people and then in January most people are starting again and it's kind of same trend what happens here nearly in in summertime like in summertime people find easier those kinds of excuses it's hot for better or that they do something else than regular workouts and then it's usually the time what most people are are struggling the most to stay actually consistent. So this was a little bit of both myself but now like I said past years I have been hitting my workouts and it all started like kind of setting realistic goals and accessing your efforts like and understanding like that to break little bit that like what I used to have a lot of it was that all or nothing thinking and how I adjusted myself to and how you could probably think it also differently like this is not the time to probably at least for me. I don't want to make even progress. That is not my goal. My only goal is to stay consistent and keep promises I make to myself so how I approach it like for example at the moment. My schedule is pretty busy and there's a lot of things going on with ice hockey but I obviously love to do also school teacher So it takes a lot of time from, from my daily life. So, and it's there is like usually first thing what I would earlier escape was to say, Okay, I'm not, I'm just I don't have time for my workouts. But now I actually plan to hit I look every single Sunday that which days I'm going to do my workouts or at least get started because I know that later on the week, if I kind of rely on my motivation, it won't happen it won't I won't be i i won't be just doing them I know myself that well that it won't happen. So it's all about planning and deciding which days what time I'm going to get started. And the key point is here to when you get started, I'm not I'm not promising myself to finish my workout, I promise to get started. And now I know that because time is I don't have too much time. Often like I feel like I need a lot more sleep during this time. So it could be any fine all the time for example with the hockey somewhere in a game as a referee or, or something else and I'm going to be late at night home or or and I know that I don't have I have only a couple hours time to sleep before next morning starts so I don't even try to plan in those mornings because I know that it will be it's basically pointless or or not pointless but that I know that I rather do it in some other days. And and this is where also phase when I access my efforts like maybe in summertime, usually I have a little bit more time for myself so I usually in that time I plan a little bit longer workouts but now it's literally like 25 minutes to 35 minute workouts and those two to three times per week for strength and this is just the maintenance phase because I don't even plan to make any progress it's just keeping up that habit what I have built myself so this way when when situation when time when I have more time, it's so much easier to start adjusting those efforts and adding more things and instead of kind of thinking that now when you are when I allowed myself to take breaks which was obviously always easy to justify with busyness and other reasons. But now when I don't allow myself is that I keep my promises I get at least started. And and this is this is this helps so much more close. Because I used to think also there's that what is the point to do like one or 230 minute workout or some sort of workouts because it won't bring any results. And that now what I have learned that bit my own experience and working with so many people and that those people who stay consistent also during holidays during the most challenging times. Not perfect, but consistent. And doing at least something was it's it's a lot better to do even a little bit but consistently than than aiming for a month perfect and waiting for amazing results because consistency matters so much more than perfection and hitting exact volume or anything. So consistency really and that when you keep promises for yourself, that is so much more valuable. And this for you also now in during the holiday season if you tend to be a person who always like find yourself at this time that now you know you give up with your workouts you don't maybe move naturally so much you don't walk or your eating is totally out of control. This is a tendency to date it like assessing your efforts and and giving like a like i i personally use for myself I have to do three strength training workouts then I plan my walks when I'm going to walk for example with my wife, that is something what I love naturally to do. That's that is a time for not only for my health and fitness but it's for our relationship to not having a phone or anything says the walking what is simply relatively easy to do. And also the dog and to really connect with my my wife so so this is kind of the best time when I when I know that that is the time when we can talk what have happened in a day and how we are feeling what is going on. And this is kind of our date night when we go walk together. And and this is this is especially this time like planning some kind of activity what you are waiting for. And this is something what I personally I beat the most when I can get outside walking with my wife and this is this is what I I really, really enjoy and look forward to because it's especially at this time, if you have even how busy you are, like, you got to plan something, what you look forward, like if it's for you, if it's for walk, if it's for him, he didn't do a gym more or doesn't matter, it could be going for painting or reading or whatever, whatever you enjoy doing, but just plan something ahead what you are really waiting for. So that is that is simplest things, what you can do. So then a little bit about that all or nothing mindset. So, so this is this is what we are kind of I think most of us are, are guilty, at least some part of them is, is that thinking like that, it's not pointless, it's pointless to do something, because if I can't do it perfectly, because we are we are very good at justifying ourselves that if something is not as ideal as it should be, then what is the point to do, because I'm not going to see any result. So I rather read it and then when you read it, you postpone the start, and then then most of the times you end up postponing it one more time or two more times, and then you will never give yourself that chance to actually see results. Because if you really think it like it, if you are always waiting for the perfect time and waiting for that everything is getting better or your work situation anything is getting better. What do you what you are going to how you think that you are going to do let's say that in ideal world, if your expectations is that you need to have that certain amount of time, certain amount of effort, and to be able to that it's there at some point to do so. But if you really think it like what you are going to do in those times when that busy season of work, or somebody's getting sick in a family, what how you are going to respond in future for those situations? Are you going to always tell that I'm not going to start? I'm not going to there's no point to do it. I just can't do it? Or Or are you going to access your efforts and maintaining it? In some way? What do you feel that it's possible for you, then this is, this is something what I would I love to like tell anyone like I understand there might be situations you might have very challenging times, and you have small children or I can't rely like obviously, I understand it's not like that some 20 years old guy who is listening, some David Goggins that they just work harder. I know that it's not that way, but, but thinking that at some point in your efforts and aiming, not even aiming for results, but just aiming for consistency, because in this fitness journey, it's not it's not about perfection, it's really like about consistency and accessing your efforts. Because there is no finish line, you might have some goals, like let's say that you want to lose weight for 20 kilos or 40 pounds. But then whatever you you reach your goal, what is then you you are happy maybe for a couple days or a couple hours. And then you are already your mind is like what is next, you want to read something else. So there's no really like a finish line when when this is going to end and understanding that there is there's going to be different phases, there's going to be times that you are likely to have more success, you're likely to make more progress, but also times when you have to understand that this is not the time to even try to make progress. And this is what is taking kind of that guilt away when you understand that you are paying for yourself that you understand that you don't need to make progress. The only goal is to maintain and keep up those habits and not look to what kind of results you are going to get. So so this is something what would really make make brief difference for myself to understanding that there is no like I'm not, I'm not doing it. Like I'm a person who don't, I don't need some goals. i My goal is always my motivation to do everything is is I want to just eat healthier, feel energized and be able to do things what I love, and this is when I saw my dad passed away or passed away and it's now 10 months ago, but when I saw what happened to him like he passed away only at age of 17 and when I think now that I have if I ended up like he lost his health a lot earlier. So he lost he wasn't able to do basically anything or nothing's would what he would enjoy doing after 860 And I'd be if I think now that I have 20 more years to be everything. I did save that why would that There is going to be so fast that is going to time is passing so fast that I want to do everything to increase my chances obviously I can't know what this what is happening but I want to give the best possible chances for myself to eat healthier and do things and these are these holiday seasons are things that are that would be so easy to kind of skip everything and let everything go and think that I start all over. But that but that is that is something what what really you got to change that kind of mindset what you are thinking so for holiday season for nutrition wise that was a for me best best it was always it was the most challenging, like I'm the person who loves eating a lot of that especially if it's afford what I don't eat a lot like Christmas foods and there's a lot of chocolate and I love eating all kinds of sweets like and approach what I use for myself I'm I allow myself to do and I'm eating chocolate every day I just posted the today was like yesterday I was I was having amazing sweet cravings and that I posted a story that it it made kind of sense. I understood that why that happened as so obviously I had a three nights in a row like really bad sleep because I I couldn't go to bed earlier and I had to wake up early so I didn't really sleep well and on on. On that day on yesterday I hit even close to my protein. So I knew those are the two most common reasons like lack of sleep, lack of protein, and combined there's no wonder like that I opened my my poetry and look what is there inside so chocolate and I couldn't resist it it it was not just one piece like usually. By the way a lot more. And that is that is something I've got a what I when I was thinking that there's something wrong with me or or anything and I said no, that's it makes sense. And and then I know how to actually react for those things when they are happening. So next night, I went to bed at night 930 on Friday evening and started my day with the protein and that usually that is already next day as today when I'm recording this feeling a lot better and there is no consistent thinking about food so usually it's there is a reason for everything and obviously been a Christmas time you know when there is a lot of kinds of foods that you want to eat everything but that you know that you probably shouldn't and and that often how it's ending up that you know you are eating you know Christmas time or holiday season foods what you don't eat a lot there's leftovers, waiting next day you have maybe some chocolate at home and the they are there every time you watch them. So some strategies what I personally use in and what i i always recommend for my clients do that holiday season like obviously we are all different than my personal examples the artistic samples will probably could help you and what I what I built I allow myself first of all, I allow myself to enjoy everything I want. But the only thing in in a Christmas time is that that I'm thinking like that, okay, it's it's a one day, I one day doesn't make any difference. And whatever happens next day I'm going to get back on track. So if you think that Thanksgiving is a one day, maybe you could, you could celebrate it in two days but it doesn't matter. Christmas, same thing one or two days. There's New Year's, it's one or two days. And if you didn't you'd like now we are middle of end of November, middle of November. There is like 40 days over four days. In Christmas time. If you say that, let's say that you want to stay consistent. If you are at Prozent consistent, that means that in a month, 30 days of month you are consistent 24 days you can expect to get results. So if you think that those Christmas holidays, they are only a couple of days and and the rest of if you are rest of the time, more or less with within your routine you are still hitting that ad posted consciousness and even you are you are not consistent every single other day. You are still hitting like 70% consistency. It's relatively easy to hit that consistency, if you really actually think it but often what happens is We when we overeat one day you are we are we have that all or nothing thinking. And then you think that okay, now I already used the popcorn to scale up scale, higher number to scale. And now you think that what is the point that you start all over and you allow yourself that I will start 10 In January, and the kind of giving the permission to overeat for the rest of the month or rest of the week. And that attitude is actually permitting you to getting results. So it's even if it's doesn't matter what happens in those couple of days, it's all about the ability, how fast you are getting back on it, and, and thinking what you could be what you could be doing, you don't need to punish yourself or anything like this is just getting back on normal routine. And that is literally everything. So, so those nutritional tips, what I what I always love to use, like I said, I allow myself and tell to my clients eat everything you want, but eat as slowly as you can. So this is this is something like kind of thinking that if you if there is a big meal, like I want to obviously I want to taste everything but but take everything you can eat as low as you can goes to be it's not about how you eat. But no, it's about it's not about sorry, it's not about what you eat, but it's more about how you eat, and really like slowing it down and trying to eat it as slow as possible. What I love to that you have some kind of protein there. Like if it's Christmas time, we'd love to eat it or beer in Italy, it's often these are some kinds of meats. So I always tend to start like kind of lower calorie options like the salad first or drinking water. And then I'm going to have my protein sources because those are most filling foods. And then I go for everything else. And as I'm a person who loves to eat a lot of food. So I really had to learn this in a hard way to think everything I eat, and more how I eat. And then when you are eating those things first, you and you kind of try to delay everything and make it last as long as possible. Chances are that I'm feeling fuller, and I'm going to eat less. But earlier, if I voted I see those foods I eat with my eyes and take My load my plate so full that and then you know I'm the person who always kind of had to finish everything. So I'm finishing everything my plate is empty every single time I'm feeling like disgusted after overeating so much. And now when I changed a little bit is that okay? There is no I don't need to be that carpets. And there is a day tomorrow if I can taste everything today, I can there's probably some leftovers left and I can eat them tomorrow. So this is how you eat. And, and this is also even even it happens it's not this is like easy to see. But in practice, practice it's not always broken. But then even whatever happens like I said, the next day I'm getting back on it I'm still not skipping my breakfast I'm having my high protein breakfast smoothie with 250 grams of Greek yogurt scoop of protein powder every single day. So this is preventing that it happens later. So this is something what I what I always liked it whatever happens they before I'm never going to skip my breakfast. I'm not I might be eating a bit less than usually but I'm not going to start skipping any meals because it's not you know what happens in one day, it doesn't make any difference. So, this is certainly about meals how I approach go right what you could be doing during the holidays, and then how staying active so so those are those are what I often like what I hear from many people that they kind of, you know after overeating next day, they are like people are you go to run or kind of punish yourself with a workout and this is something like you should not punish yourself eating delicious foods in sewing time with your family. But what I love to include always is is kind of thinking like creative ways to stay active so So like for example when family walks or or now if you have a possibility I remember was a couple years ago we played some Nintendo Wii, like some active games, where like I was thinking that what what the hell happened I was so sore that at the time I didn't string train on anything but playing some boxing game with Nintendo Wii and next couple of days. I so sore. But these are these are just examples how you could be finding some ways to they stay active even if it's not like regular exercise, what do you think but, but some kinds of games or activities, what what to include into your holiday routines. And literally like what I, what I said so often is like kind of staying that consistency, like these walks these movements, what do you do during the day, it makes so much. So big difference. And even if it's a little workout, 10 minute workout or some kind of activity, you don't, it don't need to be some intense workouts like this is the time like I said that. Just shifting that mindset, mindset of stay thinking doing something like what I what I in this slide, if you think like on a scale of one to 10. Like, if you can give yourself I would say that something like eight that you feel that you can be doing in your worst days at sustaining your efforts. If you think that okay, I should be doing one hour workout and you are like looking at your schedule and you are giving yourself number four chances that there is no way or almost no way that it's going to happen. But then if you say, what about 30, mediocre, now you are at level of six, then if you if you do, what about 15 minutes, now you are giving that, okay, that's gonna be not easy, but it's like kind of you feel confident you give yourself eight. And that is the kind of sweet spot if you did doing one spot, it's then that you can do every single day. But that is kind of too easy, but kind of finding that one is a little bit challenging. But you feel very confident like around eight from one to 10 scale, that you can do it and this is the amount what you are going to do. And it don't have to be anything intense, anything hard. But something just something which you naturally enjoy. So also the holiday season what I love to use it, it's it's for some people, it's the great way to having that kind of stress, sleep, stress relief. So it's impacting relieving that stress, giving that kind of motivation for future. And that is what is it's so beneficial because you know, you can't do everything. So if you want to relieve your stress, you want to work out hard to see be able to see results, you want to prioritize your sleep, you want to enjoy foods, you know, you can't do everything. So if you pick a couple of things, it's relieving stress, but still maintaining and maintaining your health and fitness. It says some activities you enjoy cyber walks or enjoying meals in a focusing on like mindful eating, eating slowly. And those are the best ways to manage stress and just lowering your expectations and not being so hard for yourself. So so this is what if you if you kind of try to do everything you are going to be burned out. And not just the managing your expectations, not even expecting to see like it's like when I work with for example, with athletes, it's it's, it's very hard, like if you are like, for example, ice hockey players, they are at this time, you know, it's when you have a lot of games, you play two, three games in a week, but you would like to improve your strength, but also perform well in your games, you can't do everything at the same time. And then maybe you have a one week break, you need that kind of mental break. And it's this is exactly the same way for normal people how to actually think it like that. It's not, you can't do everything just prioritize and focus only a couple of things. And, but and then focusing on maintaining like doing something for those like, for example athletes for athletes. It's maybe if you want to maintain your strength, do one strength training session, like one short, like instead of doing like, three, four sets, just one set per muscle group, and it's going to be enough that you are able to recover, were able to perform well in your games but you are still maintaining your strength even when the main focus is not improving main main focus is on the games and this is the same thing with with the holiday season in your fitness. If you don't, you don't need to get results. It's just all about maintaining it staying consistent and then getting that getting started. You don't need to start over. You are just accessing your priorities at setting Be able to focus on and that makes in long term such a big difference that I can't say it often enough. And as I said, What is the other tip how to do it I what I mentioned earlier, it's planning, planning in this time, it's anything. So if you will do yourself that you don't have time, probably the reason is that you aren't planning well enough. So you can like, the question is that you, if you did, you don't have time, you have been guessing as to how much time you have. And if you plan, it could be five minutes, it could be 10 minutes, it could be 15. But planning to hit and decide when you're going to do it. And look in your schedule, there is there you have your 15 minutes there, that's time for a walk this 15 minutes, I will do some bodyweight workout in my bedroom. So you can do and you can plan those things ahead. And that is the that is the best way to do and for for food and, and holidays you are planning like, Okay, this is I'm planning the 26th I'm going to eat whatever I want. But as long as I then the next day, I'm planning on going to have my regular breakfast, and planning to eat my regular foods and the next day, that's that removes that guilt, okay, now you went over or you did something what you were not allowed. But if you planned that, okay, this day is your day where you are allowing yourself to eat whatever you want. And this is this is the best way to approach that kind of feeling guilt and same when everything is not going in, in your way. So that is my like I am planning is like for example workouts, I love to like more proceeds more practical, like when you know exactly which they work time. Like I love to plan everything in my calendar. So I have my workouts I look on Sunday my schedule for next week. And I decide that it's going to be Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, for example, in morning when I have time, what time and that is the time when when there is coming a reminder from my calendar, this is time. And that is time, right? It's challenging when you have a lot of other tasks, but is that this is priority for myself, my own workouts, and that is the time when I'm going to do it's like meeting some important meeting in a work. But I can skip, I can skip I need to be there. I don't need to finish it. But if it's like a meeting, at least you gotta be there. So I'm going to be there. I'm going to get into gym, I'm going to change my clothes I'm going to do I'm going to start I do at least one exercise. And then that is the way I approach the thinking process what I call over almost every single time that I don't want to my mind is telling always I don't want to do this. I don't want i i Would I should be doing this would it not be smarter to do something else. But that's the No, this is in calendar. I'm going there. And I'm doing one exercise and then I know myself that when I get started, I usually end up finishing it. There are obviously there are some days that I really don't feel well. I haven't slept well or recovered. So I might need to reduce rates. I might end up if schizo LIS looking, I might end up doing soda workouts I might just be if i There were days that I've been feel the best I was kind of SQL insert. I ended up starting with one exercise and I thought to myself that today there is no point I'm not going to do it. But after that, I stopped it. That was the day I called it for a day and told myself that now it's okay. Now I can stop doing it. I don't need to finish everything and that is kind of proving yourself point. keeping promises what you make yourself and then it's starting next day all over or repeating next day. So that is Episode Four today. And I wish you successful insoluble holidays but also keeping your fitness goals in your mind and hopefully these tips are helping. So thank you for listening, and I'll talk to you soon