Updated: Nov 21
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
As one of the most influential physicists of our time, Richard Feynman was on to something when he wrote those words.
We all fool ourselves from time to time—it's human nature. If you've ever put off important tasks by convincing yourself that you'll do them tomorrow, then you know what I'm talking about. Your future self is always a more disciplined, responsible person.
One common way of fooling ourselves happens every holiday season.
Let's say you've been consistently exercising and trying to eat healthy throughout the year. You're no professional athlete, but you train often enough to have gained some strength and look better naked.
Then November rolls around. You take a trip here and attend a family dinner there. Between all the social events that involve food, your attempts at eating healthy go out the window. You start skipping gym sessions because you've got too many other things on your plate (no pun intended).
So you say to yourself: "I'll take a little break from exercising until after the holidays. Besides, what's the point of working so hard in the gym if I'm going to eat all these calories? I'll get back to a strict routine in the new year."
Congratulations; you just played yourself.
This is a classic rationalization for wanting to take the easy way out. It's an attempt to excuse yourself from the responsibility of exercising through the holidays. It takes considerably less effort to skip the gym altogether and worry about it in the future.
Although you know you're going to set yourself back and gain a few pounds, it feels good to tell yourself that you'll get back on track eventually.
When you apply a bit of reason, this approach doesn't make sense.
It's true that you'll be consuming more calories during the holidays. This will likely interfere with your fitness goals, even if you continue exercising here and there. But if you stop? Now you're digging yourself into a bigger hole. The bigger the hole, the harder it is to crawl out of it when you do decide to get back on track.
If you continue exercising, you can at least offset some of the damage you'll be doing on the nutrition side. After all, the more you exercise, the more you can afford to eat without gaining weight.
While the mentality of exercising to give yourself "permission" to eat more is antiquated, there's a much better reason to stay active.
Exercise doesn't have to be something you do as a means to an end, i.e. to lose weight, gain muscle, etc. Ideally, being active should be part of your lifestyle because it's the most effective way to stay physically and psychologically healthy.
You don't exercise because you have a friend's wedding coming up or to get your body ready for summer. It's not a seasonal endeavor. You do it all year round, the same way you brush your teeth daily to take care of them.
You exercise because life is objectively better when you're fit.
If you view exercise as a non-negotiable habit, you're not as worried about indulging during the holidays. Don't fool yourself this holiday season. Keep sweating it out and continue giving your body what it needs while enjoying the festivities.
We hope you've enjoyed today's blog post! Whether you are new to fitness or are looking for a way to kick your current routine up a notch, our team of highly trained and certified trainers at B-Fit Training Studios will help you reach your goals while having fun.
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