It’s the “most wonderful time of the year” according to Andy Williams. Or should it be the most wonderFULL time of the year? I’m referring to the last 6 weeks of the year which is fraught with one nutritional landmine after another.
Let’s face it, things like pumpkin pie, stovetop stuffing, eggnog, pumpkin-spiced lattes, peanut brittle, homemade fudge, and divinity only make their appearance during this brief window so we might as well gorge ourselves with as much as we can, right?
No wonder the average American gains 2 to 5 pounds (or more) over the holidays. You’d think we were part bear by eating all…the…things before going into several months of hibernation. Unfortunately, this is a major reason people gradually gain weight over the course of years and decades. Gaining weight is easy while losing it is another story.
I should know. I was well on my way to an obese lifestyle before I caught the running bug in 2008. I hit my breaking point after stuffing myself until I was miserable at a local Italian restaurant. I was 34 years old, 207 pounds and out of shape. A far cry from my senior year in high school when I weighed 165. At the writing of this article, I’m 46 years old, 152 pounds and running better than ever.
Here's a before and after picture of me!
None of us wake up on January 1st and say, “my goal is to be 5 pounds (or more) heavier between now and December 31st.” But that’s what happens unless we’re intentional about preventing the unnecessary weight gain.
Let me challenge you to consider breaking from tradition as we get closer to the last 42 days of this year. Many of us have shed blood, sweat, and tears in order to make huge fitness gains in our training. Why sabotage all of that hard work in such a short amount of time? Instead, what if we looked at these last 6 weeks as a springboard into a successful coming year?
Many of your competitors are already mentally defeated. They’ll say there’s “nothing they can do but give in to the holiday season.” As a result, they’ll spend the first 6 weeks of the new year reeling in regret while you’re already off and running toward your best year ever. How we finish one year will largely determine how we begin the next year.
Here are six habits we can put into practice these last six weeks in order to help us thrive, not just survive, the coming year.
By making wise choices during the “most wonderful time of the year”, we set ourselves up for the possibility of having a most wonderful year!
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According to the CDC, 37 million people in the US have chronic kidney disease . And 90% of them don’t even know it. Kidney disease creates protein toxicity.
An estimated 100 million Americans live with impaired liver function and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease . And since the year 2000, deaths from liver cirrhosis have gone up a shocking 19.5% .
The liver is critical for processing the toxic byproducts of protein metabolism.
Everyone is affected by this. Continue reading now!
The principle of reaping what we sow is certainly relevant to any effort requiring endurance. A Hail Mary might occasionally work on the football field (think Doug Flutie), but don’t expect that kind of miracle while participating in a 5k, half-marathon or marathon.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about endurance, it’s that it can’t be faked for long. Things have a tendency of shaking out fairly quickly. We know when someone has put in the work.
As heavyweight boxing great Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”