Motivation: Where Does It Go During the Holidays?

Gingerbread cookieAh motivation. Sometimes it’s like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Think of it like this: After months of contemplation you’ve finally gotten yourself in gear and have happily started a fitness program. Maybe you’ve started a walking program with your friend and are going at it at least twice a week. Or you’ve started running, or taking yoga or are spinning your way to a better body. Whatever it is, you’re doing it and enjoying it. Motivation is bountiful at this moment and you’re bubbling over with a new sense of pride!

As you initially start moving and shaking it seems like the pounds are just burning right off. You’re excited, motivated and are not only exercising but you’re also keeping a food journal, so your eating has improved. All good things going on here and you’re still bubbling over!

Then, it hits. (Loss of said bountiful motivation occurs here and it’s such a bummer.)

After a few weeks of exercising you start to notice that there’s less weight loss. Consequently there’s more days skipped in your food journal (re-enter mindless eating here). There are reasons now to reschedule workouts or cancel them altogether. The holidays are around the corner and it’s time to let the stress in. Who has time to think about themselves when kids need to be dressed for the school Halloween party, and Thanksgiving decorations need to be bought and Christmas lists need to be made. THERE’S NO TIME ANYMORE! The holidays are here and temptation galore follows you wherever you go. From sugared pumpkin treats all the way to peppermint-infused chocolates, temptation lurks everywhere.

Not surprisingly, this is the time of year when I lose more clients than any other time. I lose them to the stress of trick-or-treating, to party planning and to the forced social engagements called work holiday parties. At a time when vigilance is a necessity, many lose the battle.

How, oh how does one not let their workout time fall to the wayside? How does one keep at it, pushing past the bucketloads of Halloween candy, the endless holiday buffet tables, the cold weather perfect for setting up a Sunday filled with apple pies and mulled cider?

It’s simple. It’s all about determination.

Don’t wait until New Year’s to start back up. Keep the motivation flowing and stay ahead of the game. It’s easy to fall into the holiday whirlwind and overindulge at every stop, but it’s difficult and mentally challenging to keep riding past it all without breaking down. Haven’t you ever been to a party where you kept yourself in check? There was no dip dolloped three inches high on your carrot stick, there was only the carrot. And the baked brie with cherry jam melted on top didn’t even catch your attention. Your glass of wine never got refilled and you walked out of that party and woke up the next morning so unbelievably happy with yourself and your restraint that you couldn’t believe your mental fortitude!

Hold onto that. Let that feeling be your motivation.

Basically, get through the holidays without ever once feeling any guilt.

That’s how you’re going to do it this year. By sheer determination to start the new year off right instead of ending the previous one with a bang!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo