The holidays can be a very difficult time of the year for a lot of people. Shopping for gifts, planning social events, spending more time with family, and the added end-of-year demands at work can …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 103 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners, and today we’re talking about handling the holidays like a badass. Listen, the holidays can be a very difficult time for a lot of people.
You’re shopping for gifts, planning social events, spending more time with family, and the end of your demands at work can all lead to feeling more stressed and more overwhelmed. Not to mention the shorter days and the colder temperatures, the lack of sunlight all this can make getting outside exercise more challenging.
It can be very easy to just say “F-it” and blow off all your diet and exercise plans stay indoors watching Netflix with a big old glass of wine and hibernate until the new year. Right. But if that’s not how you want to roll into 2022, then I’ve got an alternative solution for you.
So in this episode of the podcast, I’m going to share a few simple tips for handling the holidays like a badass, so you can slide into the New Year feeling good about yourself. Which by the way, is not the way most people do it.
But first, if you liked this podcast, please come check out the Running Lean community on Facebook. Right now we’re in the middle of our running through the holidays challenge, we just passed the halfway mark, we’ve got another, I don’t know 17 or 18 days to go. And this is a challenge to get outside and run every day during the holidays.
It’s a fantastic way to you know keep your stress levels low. And to get some exercise every day. And we’re having a ton of fun in the group. Just search for Running Lean community on Facebook and join in on all the fun. And here’s another five-star review of the Running Lean podcast.
This is from Rake TM. And the title of this is “Life-changing and Introspective”:
“I recently discovered this podcast and the content presented. And the method shared is absolutely awesome. Patrick is really great not only at sharing, running-related performance improvements, but life-related lessons as a life coach. It’s all very inspiring, and I can’t stop binge-listening to all the episodes. Thank you, Patrick.”
Well, thank you very much for leaving a review. And if you feel the need to share your thoughts and leave a five-star review, I would love it just go to iTunes and scroll down or your apple podcast app and scroll down to where it says to leave a review, tap the stars and leave a few words, I really greatly appreciate that.
And then a couple of things I wanted to let you guys know about number one is the Running Lean coaching group is we got a big thing coming up in January. So our focus for January is going to be on weight loss, I want to help you start the new year by creating some massive momentum to develop the habits that you need to lose weight and learn how to do it for good.
And we got a big challenge coming up in January the goal for our group is going to be to lose eight pounds, you know, by the end of the month, right? So, lose eight pounds in January is sort of our goal for the month of January.
And listen, that’s only two pounds a week and this is very doable for you. You know, it’s very average, okay? And don’t worry, because I’m gonna show you exactly how to do it, you’re going to get all the support from me and everyone else in the group. We’re all going to be kind of doing this together as a group.
So I want to help you crush that goal. And listen, January is just an awesome time to get started with this kind of thing. Right? Marathon training is just getting underway. So it’s a perfect time for you to become fat-adapted so you can crush those spring racing goals.
So I’m going to show you exactly how to transform yourself into a lean fat-burning running machine so you can run without bonking, lose weight without losing your mind, and develop the habit you need to make this last.
If you’re interested just join the group you can join at any time just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join – we’d love to see you for our big lose eight pounds in January challenge cool.
And then also if you’re interested in one on one coaching, that’s what I do. It’s my jam. If you’re looking for a little help with all this stuff, you know how to make a plan how to stick to your plan, what you should be eating, what you shouldn’t be eating – I offer all expert guidance, support, encouragement, accountability, all the experience you need to make this work for you, no matter what your goals, we can, we can get you there. Okay? Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/apply and see if coaching is a good fit for you.
All right on to this topic today, which is all about handling the holidays, like a badass. This time of the year, it can be very hard for people, right, we’ve got more stress this time of the year than any other time of the year collectively, right?
The days are cold, it’s dark, work is a little busier, you got to get all this stuff done at the end of the year. You’ve got more social events, you’re spending more time with family, you got to plan more meals, you’re buying gifts, you’re wrapping gifts, you’re sending out Christmas cards, maybe you’re traveling.
And all of this stuff can really feel overwhelming and cause a lot of people to really struggle. You know, this is supposed to be a fun time of the year, right and everybody looks forward to it. But at the same time, it can be very challenging for a lot of people, okay.
So when you find yourself feeling this stress, it can be very hard to stick to your diet and exercise plans, it can be very hard to want to get up and go to the gym when it’s cold and dark outside, it can be very hard to want to stick to your food plan when everybody around you is eating a bunch of junk and cookies and candy and all this other stuff, right?
So if you just want to stay inside and hibernate, like during this time of the year, that is perfectly fine. You’re allowed to do that, right? But if that’s not how you want to spend the holidays, then you get to decide what you want for yourself, okay, if you want something different, this episode is for you. Okay?
If you want to be able to stay on track, stick to your diet, keep up with your runs, keep up in the gym, whatever it looks like for you. You are allowed to do that. By the way, you don’t have to just fall into this habit that most people fall into, which is just kind of giving up a lot of this stuff during this time of the year.
How many people do you know to say, well, you know, the diet starts on January 1. Well, why? Why would you wait? Right? Why do you want to wait until then, to start improving your life? Why do you want to wait until then until you start doing something that’s good for you? Why do you want to wait until then, to start improving your health and your fitness?
I say start today, if that’s what you want for yourself, it doesn’t matter that we’ve got the holidays coming up, it really doesn’t. There’s always something going on, right? I want you to think about how you want to show up on January 2, you know, who do you want to be when you start the New Year? How do you want to show up for yourself?
Do you want to feel shame and guilt remorse and regret? Because you’re going to be starting from like a health and fitness deficit? Like you got to make up a lot of ground because you gained some weight you got a little softer?
Or do you want to feel proud of yourself and confident and happy with your choices? Do you want to start the new year with momentum? Do you want to start the new year ahead of the curve, like feeling like you had your back during this period of time, right? It’s a choice, it is a choice, you get to decide.
So here’s what I’m going to do, I got three tips for you today. And I’m gonna break these down a little bit. But the first one is step number one. Or tip number one is that you get to decide who you want to be on January 2. And you should get very detailed with this, right?
And I tell people all the time to like do these writing exercises, like write it out. Write out who you want to be. And I know a lot of people that listen to this podcast are just like, yeah, whatever. I’m not gonna write that out.
But you know what, it makes a difference. It really does. The people that take the time to do this work and actually sit down and do the writing, when it comes to things like this, they get better results I’m just going to tell you, they do.
So if you want to get better results, I want to encourage you to do a little bit of writing around this. Who do you want to be on January 2, you know, I want you to envision this version of you and write down what it will look like and feel like to be that person on January 2, right.
Now you get to decide if you want to keep losing weight, maybe you’ve already started a weight loss regimen and you’re kind of losing and you’re like that and you want to continue to lose weight. Maybe you want to just maintain your weight through the holidays. Or maybe you’re okay if you gain a little bit of weight during the holidays.
But you’ve probably never thought about it like before, right, but really, it’s a choice, it’s a choice that you get to decide how you want to show up for yourself in January if you want to gain a little bit of weight, that’s fine.
But I just want you to make that decision now. Because this decision that you make today is going to drive your behaviors over the next few weeks. So let’s say you decide you want to gain weight, that means like, you’re probably going to eat more food, drink more alcohol, indulge in a bunch of, you know, sugar, and, you know, processed foods and go a little bit crazy. Maybe you’re gonna, like, stop running for a few weeks, or, you know, not go to the gym. That’s fine. If you want to do all this, it’s totally awesome.
Just know that you will probably gain weight in this process. And if you’re okay with that, if you’re okay, showing up in January, you know, five, eight pounds heavier, whatever, awesome, more power to you. Okay, you get to decide if that’s what you want for yourself, maybe you want to maintain.
Maybe you’re the kind of person who is like, you know, what I’m gonna stick to my healthy eating plan. For the most part, I might make some more exceptions than normal, you know, I might have a little more wine here and there, I might be drinking some more beers, I might enjoy a dessert or two, but for the most part, I’m gonna, you know, kind of stick to the plan.
And maybe you back off the running and the strength training a little bit, but not entirely. So this is a way of maybe maintaining your weight. Okay, totally fine. Again, all these options are available to you.
You’ve probably never thought about it like this before, though, right? Most people just assume that they’re gonna, like, just continue to lose weight or whatever, during the holidays, but they don’t change anything. Okay.
And then let’s say you decide you want to lose during the holidays, you want to continue to lose weight, this is going to require that you keep planning your meals and keep sticking to your plan, right, it’s just going to require that you stick with your running schedule, you keep up with some sort of resistance training. And this plan is awesome. And I’m super proud of you if you decide to do this.
But just know that it requires a commitment, it requires a little bit more discipline and a little more motivation. It doesn’t require as much motivation if you’re okay, gaining some weight over the holidays, right. So you get to decide, do you want to gain weight, maintain your weight or lose weight, make that decision.
So here’s what not to do. So most people go into the holidays, thinking that they’re going to keep losing weight or stay the same, but then they eat a ton more food. They’re eating all the sugar, they’re drinking alcohol, they’re slacking off on their exercise regimen. This is the way most people do it. They don’t have a plan, they just think they’re gonna stay on track.
And they think they’re just gonna, like maintain their weight, but they’re not. Their behaviors are not in alignment with the goal of wanting to maintain their weight. And then they show up on January 2, and they’ve gained weight, they’re like 10 pounds heavier.
And they’re like, I don’t understand what happened. It’s like you didn’t make a plan. You didn’t decide how you wanted to show up. So step one is deciding how you want to show up on January 2, who do you want to be, write it down, decide today, who you want to be, and decide if you’re one of those people that wants to gain weight, maintain or lose weight, make that decision now, and then act accordingly.
So if you’re the kind of person who wants to lose weight, you’re gonna have to stick to your plan. You’re gonna have to be diligent and not eat the cookies when everybody else is eating the cookies.
Maybe people are drinking around you and you’re not. You’ve got to make that decision. If that’s what you want for yourself. Okay? Just be honest with yourself, who is it you want to become? And then act accordingly. Okay, so that’s tip number one or step number one to this process.
Okay, step number two is to make a plan and stick to the plan. So now you have a very clear picture of how you want to show up on January 2. So now you just need to make a plan and stick to it right? It seems so simple, but most people do not do this. Most people just wing it. Right? Don’t wing it. Make a plan.
So making a plan means that you’re planning out all of the events that are coming up, you plan out your meals, you plan out your workouts, you got holiday parties, family events, weird schedules, whatever.
Your kids are gonna be out of school, maybe you work from home and your kids are gonna be home with you. You’re gonna have a house full of people. All this stuff can be an excuse for just blowing off your diet and exercise routines.
And I hear this from people all the time, oh, well, you know, the kids are out of school. So that means I have to eat a lot more cookies. No, it doesn’t, it really doesn’t mean that at all. Right, don’t use that stuff as an excuse for not sticking to your plan. This will require a little bit more, you know, work a little more thought work a little bit of more discipline on your part.
Yes, it will make a plan and stick to the plan, you get to decide what’s on your plan. Just make a plan. Decide what’s coming up, like you know what’s coming up, you know that there’s going to be this holiday event, you know, there’s going to be this work thing, you know, there’s going to be kids around, whatever you got to make cookies for this thing, cupcakes, whatever, plan for all of it.
Decide what you’re going to eat and when, decide when you’re going to get your runs in, decide when you’re going to go to the gym to get your resistance training in, and get it all planned out in advance. Right, so simple, and then just stick to that plan.
Over in the coaching group, I have an entire course called Getting It All Done, where I show you exactly how to plan everything in your life so that you can make it all work, because I get it. We’re all busy. We all have busy lives, we’ve got work, we’ve got kids, we’ve got school, we’ve got all kinds of things going on, right?
And I make these suggestions like, hey, you should probably get outside and exercise every day, you should probably be doing some resistance training. You know, you should probably do some stretching and some yoga and things.
People are just like, dude, I can’t. I don’t have time for all this stuff. And I don’t want you to use that as an excuse. I don’t want you to use the I don’t have time as an excuse, okay? Because time is just a mental construct. It doesn’t truly exist.
You make the time for whatever is important to you, you absolutely do. So make the time for what’s important to you decide what’s important to you make the time and get it done. But I have this cool course right, it breaks it all down and shows you exactly how to do all that. I
found this quote when I was preparing for this podcast, and it might be from Ben Franklin. It’s kind of you know, the internet, who knows what some of this stuff. But anyway, it’s this quote has been attributed to Ben Franklin – “If you fail to plan you’re planning to fail.”
Boom, I love this, quote, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. I want to encourage you to not skip this step. Don’t skip the planning, make a plan. Most people just don’t do it. They just wing it. And if you don’t have a plan, you’re going to inevitably fail. Okay.
And just so you know, starting in January over in the coaching group, we’re going to be focused on starting the New Year, the right way. And I’m going to show you exactly how to plan your meals, what you should be eating, what you shouldn’t be eating, and most importantly, how to stick to that plan. Right, anyone can make a plan. It’s the sticking to the plan that’s the hard part.
Here’s my best advice for achieving greatness in any area of your life. Are you ready? Here it is. Make a plan. And then stick to that plan, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s it, make a plan and then stick to the plan. Even when you don’t feel like it.
You can accomplish just about anything with that kind of attitude. If you want to lose weight, make a plan to maybe you quit eating sugar and you quit eating processed food, and then stick to that plan, even when it’s hard. stick to that plan.
Even when you’re surrounded by cookies and candy and pastries. Because you’re gonna want that stuff. It will be hard in that moment, you will not feel like sticking to your plan in that situation.
You know, maybe you’re making Christmas cookies with your kids and the whole house smells like sugar cookies, right? How do you stick to your plan, that’s going to be hard, but you can do it. I know you can.
But that’s what it means to stick to your plan even when you don’t feel like it. If you want to get stronger, make a plan to lift weights a few times each week. And then do that. Work that plan. Even when it’s cold and dark outside.
You don’t feel like getting up and going to the gym because you’d just rather sleep in, get your butt out of bed and get to the gym. Even though you don’t feel like it, do it anyway. That’s how you get stronger.
Right? So make a plan and then stick to the plan. That’s my second best advice for getting through the holidays like a badass.
And then step number three. Listen. You might fail. No big whoop. Do not beat yourself up if you fail. Do not beat yourself up if you fail. What happens if you fail? What happens if you don’t stick to the plan? What happens if you eat the sugar cookies or you just skip the gym or you skip that run because you decided to stay inside watching Netflix?
Like what happens in that situation? And by the way, here’s a little sidebar for you. Netflix, is not bad. Netflix is not the worst thing in the world. People talk about watching TV as being the worst thing you can possibly do. So much so that like, it can feel very guilty and shameful.
When you just sit down to watch a show I say enjoy your TV, but just like anything else, the dosage matters. So just do it in moderation. Right?
And by the way, I just started watching Succession on HBO – holy cow, that is an awesome, awesome show. So enjoy your Netflix, enjoy your streaming TV, whatever, enjoy your movies. It’s a great way to spend some time and you know, snuggled up on the couch with a loved one or something like that. End of rant.
Okay, that was a little sidebar. So what happens if you, if you fail, you eat the cookies, you just don’t get to the gym, whatever. What happens if you don’t stick to your plan 100%? Do not beat yourself up. Just get back on track as soon as you can.
If you screw up one meal, it’s not going to ruin everything for you just get back on track at your next meal. If you miss a workout, don’t freak out about it, you’re not going to lose all your fitness. Just make a point to get back on track at your next workout.
A good rule of thumb is to not have two bad meals in a row and never skip two workouts in a row. What we’re after is consistency, not perfection. It’s more important that you put weeks and months together of consistency. Rather than sticking to some plan perfectly every single day. It’s just not practical to think that way. Right?
The same thing goes for our running through the holidays challenge. If you miss a day, it’s no big deal. Just pick it back up again the next day. It’s not about doing it perfectly. It’s about doing it consistently.
And this all might make common sense. And, you know, it can be very easy to slip into the habit of beating yourself up over this stuff though. It can be really easy to just feel guilty or shameful or talk smack about yourself. Right? These things do not do you any good whatsoever. Right?
What happens is, a lot of times people will have a cheat meal, or they’ll miss a workout. They feel terrible, ashamed, and guilty. And this can very easily spiral you down into an attitude of like, just screw it all. Why should I even bother with any of this, I always mess up. Don’t do that.
Right, indulging in these negative thoughts and negative feelings. And we call these indulgent emotions. When we do this, we indulge in this negativity and worthlessness and shame and guilt – don’t do that. It’s very detrimental to your success. Okay?
Because what happens when you feel bad? What happens when you beat yourself up like this? Typically, you just want to feel better. Typically, you just run to find something to make yourself feel good again. And a lot of times that means using food or alcohol.
So it just makes the situation worse. It completely compounds feeling bad, right? So I plan on failing, it’s part of the process, not a big deal. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Okay. Strive for consistency, rather than perfection and get back on track at the very next opportunity.
Okay, so quick recap. My three tips for handling the holidays like a badass, first of all, decide who you want to be on January 2. Do you want to gain weight, maintain your weight or lose weight and then act accordingly? Who do you want to be on January 2?
Who is that badass version of yourself? What does he or she look like and write about it? Write what it would feel like to stay consistent through the holidays right about what it would feel like to show up on January 2. Feeling good about yourself feeling confident, feeling like you had your back this whole time and decide who you want to be.
Step number two. Make a plan stick to the plan even when you don’t feel like it. Remember, if you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
And then step number three is don’t beat yourself up. If you do fail, no big whoop. Get back on track at your next meal or your next workout. Don’t ever skip two workouts in a row. Don’t ever eat two bad meals in a row. Okay, we’re striving for consistency, not perfection.
And I know you got this. I know you guys have absolutely got this. And listen if you’re ready to make some big changes in 2022 Just join the Running Lean coaching group starting in January we’re going to be focused on weight loss eight pounds down challenge and becoming a fat-adapted runner so you can crush those spring racing goals.
Join us over in the coaching group, just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join, and we’ll see you in January. Love you all keep on Running Lean. I’ll talk to you soon.
If you’re a runner and you’ve been struggling to lose weight or you keep losing and gaining the same 10 pounds over and over again. Or you’re finally ready to get to your natural weight and stay there for good this time then I have something you will love. I’ve created a powerful new training just for you called running lean for life. You’ll learn exactly how to transform yourself into a lean fat-burning running machine. So you can run without bonking, lose weight without calorie counting and develop the habits required to make it last for life. To get this free training right now go to runningleanpodcast.com/leanforlife and start your transformation today.