The best excuse ever to stop taking care of yourself - School Holidays

School holidays are coming up again.

I had a look at the NZ school holiday dates and I found that there are 388 "half" days at school (what does that mean anyway?) , which is 194 school days.  That tells me there are 167 non school days.  Correct?

Without fail most of my clients tell me "It was a bit tricky to [insert action here] cos it was the school holidays/weekend"

So what I'm hearing is that for 167 non school days we're going to not even attempt to do what we do for the 194 school days?  Seriously?  Let's put that into a percentage.   We're going to do something 55% of the time and something different 45% of the time and we're going to expect to lose weight long term?

Nope.  Sorry.

Each day is simply a day, ok. 

Some days are more special than others

Some days are slightly different than others

If you try to dictate your self-care / weight loss / health actions by what is going on around you, then who is REALLY controlling your day and life.  Yes, there are times that things just go a little bit mad.  But this is always going to happen, there will always be school holidays, Easter, birthdays, christmas's, social outings, funerals etc.

Let's stop using these things as excuses and start taking charge of the situation.  I can guarantee you a 55/45 split will not help you lose weight, so stop fighting it.  How can you turn this into an 80/20 or better still a 90/10 effort.  Who can you ask for advice on how to get through your excuses?

Here are 5 wee tips to get you started.

  • If you are improving your nutrition, make sure you are enjoying it, so you will still enjoy it in the holidays.  If you don't enjoy it, change it.  If you don't know how, get help!
  • Do your grocery shopping online if you are unable to leave the house due to looking after your kids - or better still, plan in advance / take the kids with you - so many options!
  • Stop excusing yourself from the gym (if you gym during terms) because you have to look after the kids.  Exercise at home instead - be flexible with your thinking around exercise.
  • When going away for a week or so, plan in advance if you need to buy food from the supermarket, and talk to your friends/family if you are staying at their house about what you would prefer to eat and can you help them prep meals to ensure you both get what you want.  Take the control back for yourself, but offer to help.
  • Want your goal bad enough.  Remember when you were a kid learning stuff?  Remember how hard it was?  Remember how badly you wanted to ride your bike, or tie your shoelaces?  You didn't give up did you?  

Holidays is a challenge to overcome, and a time to hang with family more - not a reason to excuse yourself from your goals or health.

Let's look at this another way

There are 12 (give or take) weeks of "holidays" each year. That's almost quarter of a year of holidays. Now, lets say you're trying to lose 30kg in 12 months.

These 12 weeks of holidays is MASSIVE when it comes to whether you hit your goal or not and how you're going to feel about yourself.

Let's say you're losing that magical (and for some of us delusional) 1kg a week, that's 12kg you're going to miss out on this year. Your 30 week goal will now take 42 weeks.

But really, it's going to take a lot longer

Because we haven't factored in your birthday, your partners birthday, your kids birthday, and the birthday of some acquaintance you don't really know. If you're losing at 500g a week, your 60 week goal is going to be something like 80-90 weeks.

Can you see how this school holiday excuse is leading you astray? 

I'm not saying you can't treat yourself, but come on, do you have to treat yourself THAT often? Now, 12 weeks of holidays over a period of 12 years or so of schooling is a total of 2 years and 42 weeks. You have 2 years and 42 weeks of this excuse ahead of you.

Let's say you're not trying to lose weight, but you find that you put on 1kg every school holiday. In 12 years of schooling, that could add up to 48kg of excess weight... thanks to your kids school holidays.  Shall we blame school holidays or shall we take responsibility for what we do during these school holidays?

I understand routine has been disrupted

So let's look at it for what it is - your routine has been disrupted - it has nothing to do with "oh but it was the school holidays", it has everything to do with your routine.  If you're going to manage this long term we need a mindset shift - because no, the holidays won't magically stop gaining your weight for you if you don't change some of your habits and thinking around those habits.

I also understand you said you wanted some sort of goal to be met.

A day is a day.  Whether its birthday, holiday, death, birth, fight with your boss...whatever it is, its still a day.  

There are 365 of them in a year.

Some of them present new challenges for us - just like those pesky school holidays.