Strategies… I Didn’t Have Any So I Got Fat

“Strategy even trumps willpower. Studies show that willpower is actually in limited supply. Meaning, resist the cookie now, it might be hard to resist it later. Therefore, I believe it is more important to build in good strategies. For example, if you eat ice cream every night, rather than trying to “be good” and resist it, simply remove it from the house. If you consistently visit the vending machine because you don’t have time to go to lunch, your strategy would be to pack your lunch the night before and bring it with you.”

Hat tip to Valerie Waters for that quote.

Will power can get you through a lot of short term situations but if you want long term success you need to start strategizing.  What having strategies boils down to is just having a plan.  A road map for success.  When you’re presented with a less than optimal situation you have to develop a strategy to deal with it and to overcome it.  You strategize in your professional life so why not in your personal life too?  Take, for instance, the holiday season.  What happens to you over the holidays?  You lack time so you don’t exercise, then you eat too much, drink too much and soon find yourself rolling into the new year with 10 extra pounds that you hope to combat with New Year’s resolutions that you will probably never stick to.  You didn’t have a strategy so you basically set yourself up to fail.

Instead, what you should be doing is creating holiday strategies to prevent these things from ever happening.  Plan for this time of year when your physique has a less than optimal chance of staying svelte.  What can you do?  That list is endless but here’s a few simple suggestions.

  1. You have extra days off but don’t waste them away by sleeping in late then farting around all day.  You no longer have structure of a work day but don’t let that throw you off.  Wake up early and plan your day.  What do you have to get done?  When and what are you going to eat?  Are you going to exercise?  Have this stuff planned for the day and you will stay on track.
  2. When you’re at holiday parties don’t just drink and eat aimlessly.  Have a strategy.  You are there to relax, enjoy yourself and, yes, indulge yourself – just don’t go on a bender.  Don’t try to resist, just create your strategy – you are going to have one beer and one desert – and then stick to it.  You can still enjoy yourself without stressing out over having a drink or two.
  3. Get your workouts in.  Even if you only have time to do a 15 minute bodyweight circuit in your bedroom, do it.  Don’t make excuses.  This is part of your strategy to keep your metabolism jacked up so you don’t have to lose pounds in the new year.

At the end of the day, the holidays are a time to relax, spend time with your family and give your body and mind a time to recharge before the new year.  Don’t go overboard with your strategies.  Remember they are there to help keep you on track, not stress you out and make you insane.  This time of year is a challenging time to make gains in your physique, make it your goal to maintain where you are at so when the new year rolls around you can pick up where you left off, not 10lbs in the hole.

Merry Christmas and Happy Strategizing!


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