For those of you who have already started to feel the slight (or dreadfully awful) chill in the air (depending on where you live), have you already thought about how, and when you are going to hibernate on your days off? These past few weeks in Chicago the weather has ranged from the low 50’s to the low 70’s. Although this is what I would consider “perfect” outdoor activity weather, I have felt the ‘laziness itch’ start to creep upon me. To say that I am tempted to nosh on pumpkin scones, and hot chocolate instead of fruits and greens is an understatement. I’m feeling less inclined to wake up early on my days off to get my workout done, and on other days a Netflix marathon sounds much more enticing than training for my actual marathon. What is it about the weather change that makes us get that ‘laziness itch’?
As soon as I start to feel the itch coming, I sit down and make a plan. A ‘seasonal plan’. You know those home improvement shows where the hosts basically gut an entire house and start from scratch? That’s what I feel like I do with my fitness routine when the seasons change. I take a sledgehammer to my summer fitness routine, and build it up- piece by piece. It’s new, exciting, and enticing. This is the perfect time for me to create new habits. It takes approximately 4 weeks to “fall” into a fitness routine. That means if I start now, I will already be set in routine, and seeing/feeling results before the Halloween candy comes dangling in my face. Thanksgiving gluttony sits on a platter before me, and Christmas cookies get left at my front doorstep. I’m not saying that treating yourself to a slice of pumpkin pie at a holiday is going to kill you, I am solely speaking for myself. It’s not hard for me to admit that I am not one to eat ‘just one cookie’ when I have a platter of literally vanilla frosted snowmen with sprinkles in front of me. (“The struggle is REAL!”).
One thing that helps me pass up a 2nd cookie, or an absurd amount of leftover Halloween candy, is a goal. I am the kind of gal that gets really pumped to accomplish ‘whatever’s next’. What is on YOUR fitness goal list for 6, 8, or 10months from now? Do you want to walk a 5k, run a half marathon, bike 10 miles without stopping, learn to rock climb, become a better surfer, start a yoga class? Maybe you haven’t taken that plunge yet. You have ideas swirling in your brain, but you are too scared to take the first step and commit. Use this upcoming season to prep yourself.
In 23 days, I will be running my 3rd Chicago Marathon. Four weeks later, I will be running the Madison Marathon. At that point, my marathon training season will be over. I am not one to train hard in the snow. So when the winter weather hits, I know I will not be running as often, or as far. (‘Dreadmills’ are not my thing, and running in 23inches of snow in Chicago is my alternate option.) I have made the decision to primarily do triathlons next summer. I haven’t registered for any yet, and haven’t completely taken the mental plunge. I ‘can’ swim, but have no training or lessons. This winter, I will focus on my swimming (indoors) to build up a base. I will increase my indoor cycling to get stronger and faster on the bike. I will also increase my weight training so I am overall stronger. Maybe I will do P90X at home when the weather is bad. I may even sign up for an adult dance class., or aerial silks again. (So much fun, but also a challenge!) Whatever I decide, I will make a plan, and have a back-up to my back-up plan (just like non-revving). When I am training for a goal, I stay focused. When I am focused on fitness, I tend to be more focused on making healthy eating choices by default based on how my body feels with what it is fueled by.
I know if I start now, I will be ahead of the game. By Christmas, I will have been committed to my seasonal plan for over 3 months. By then I will be stronger, fitter, and healthier rather than a jean size bigger, and loss of muscle definition. I would rather start now, creating health, and fitness goals over crunching leaves and fresh air than a foggy self-promise made over a drink at midnight on New Years. I want to be ahead of myself. Stronger, fitter, healthier. The best ME I can be. I’m sure you feel the same. So go ahead and create some focus before the holiday madness. Put yourself first. Make a plan and do anything you can to stick with it for FOUR weeks. After four weeks, I can guarantee your simple seasonal plan will be considered temporary only because you will be ready for something even bigger. You can do it. You are strong and capable. Go get ‘em!
* Along with the seasons changing, so is the FitFlyGal section! Keep a lookout for mini video blogs, workout ideas, clean eating recipes, and more.