Handling Summer Holidays During the Fitness Challenge

Holiday Eats
15 Jun

Last Updated on June 15, 2024 by Michael Brockbank

During the Summer of Effort, there are a couple of holidays in the way. These are Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, and my birthday. So, how am I going to handle the fitness challenge during these events?

Of course, my birthday isn’t necessarily a holiday. However, it’s a day that I don’t want to spend worrying about dieting or making sure I stay in the green through activity.

What’s the Plan for Handling the Summer Holidays?

While a lot of people might grind themselves through the holidays during a diet, I would rather not. I am of the mindset that I don’t have to deny myself a few moments of pleasure.

After all, a few donuts aren’t going to cause my weight to jump up by 10 pounds.

Not Going Overboard, But Not Being too Stringent

First of all, I’m not going to go all-out when it comes to eating and snacks. Not only am I not the fat kid I used to be, but eating too much often gives me heartburn or diarrhea. I simply can’t pack it away like I used to, which is a good thing.

The only thing that might rack up the calories rather quickly is alcohol. But even then, I’m kind of a cheap date. Three or four glasses of Fireball and I’m a happy camper. Even four glasses, which equates to roughly 12 oz, will only add 800+ calories.

The bottom line is that I’m not going to deny myself the things I want, but I’m not going to become gluttonous over them, either.

Going to the Gym on My Birthday

Out of the three holidays during this challenge, only one lands on my normal gym day – and that is my birthday. I fully intend on going before work, so at least I’ll burn off a bit of what I intend to eat that day.

Truth be told, going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is second nature to me, nowadays. It’s a positive habit that I enjoy, helps ease some of my tension throughout the week, and I feel so much better from a mental perspective afterward.

In fact, I feel out of sorts if I skip a day, as I did last Friday. I had too many things crash and burn that morning and didn’t have a chance to go to Planet Fitness. It happens, but the fact remains that it feels odd not to go on those specific days.

Not Stressing Myself and Enjoying the Day

Most importantly, I have no intention of stressing. These are the only three days throughout my challenge when I can just throw caution to the wind. Essentially, I’ve given myself permission to enjoy the moment and not worry whether I can burn the calories or not.

That’s probably one of the most important aspects of any diet, fitness regimen, or challenge you put on yourself. There will be times when it’s OK to give yourself permission to enjoy the day. Don’t try to cram that stick so far up your ass that you forget to celebrate the occasion. No one wants to hang around with a tightly wound fitness fiend.

So, for those three days, I’m going to be mindful of what I’m eating and how much I’ve moved, but not to the point of pushing myself to hit daily fitness goals. Those are reserved for the other 81 days of this challenge.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Giving Yourself a Day Off

Unless you’re eating more than 40,000 calories in a single day and then decide to sit on your ass the rest of the week, one day isn’t going to overly impact your weight.

While you might see the scale jump up five pounds overnight, that doesn’t mean you’ve actually gained that five pounds. It should take you two or three days to digest all of that goodness from the one day, which means you’ll wind up flushing most of that weight down the toilet.

If you indulge yourself for one day and then get back to your fitness routine the next, you will see very little negative impact. Of course, that also depends on what you ate that day. But generally speaking, you’ll still wind up losing weight over the course of the week one way or the other.

Some people call these “cheat” days. I don’t necessarily think you’re cheating per se. It’s more like you’re living your life and enjoying the moments that come. So, work hard throughout the week and bust some ass. But enjoy the days you give yourself to relax.

How Will This Impact My Challenge?

As I said, there will be very little impact from indulging for one day. As long as I get back to the diet plan and activity routine, it’s highly unlikely that I won’t still lose weight for those specific weeks.

That’s the crux of it all, really. It’s easy to get sucked into a mindset where every day becomes an “off day.” The trick is to not let yourself slide back into those bad routines that caused you to gain weight in the first place. Remember, the purpose of a challenge is just that – to challenge yourself.

In the grand scheme of things, I think it’ll come down to only losing one less pound at the end of the week. But I suppose we’ll see, considering I am keeping track of everything on my Summer of Effort fitness spreadsheet.

Everything Is Looking Great…Thus Far

Statistically speaking, I should lose about nine pounds this week. Then again, who knows what I’ll weigh the day after Father’s Day. Regardless, I’ve been staying the course quite well and look forward to seeing what I can do with maximum effort.

I gained 0.2 pounds on Friday, but that might be because I didn’t drink as much water or have visited the bathroom as regularly. Still, almost hitting nine pounds in a week is quite an achievement. And I did it without starving myself. It’s all about burning twice as much as I consumed.

Not to mention the protein days on Tuesday and Thursday.

No matter how you slice it, I’m crushing the challenge this time around.

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