As the end of the year snuck up on us, it’s wise of us to heed to warnings from ghosts of holidays past. This time of year, we inevitably fill our plates too much, literally and figuratively. We want to do it all. Bake every holiday recipe ever invented, attend every party ever scheduled, and participate in every Ho Ho Ho Family Run ever set up.
Facts are: We can’t actually do two things at the same time, or be at two places at the same time (though trust me, that does not stop me from futilely attempting). Multitasking is a term that we adopted from the computer world that actually referred to computers ability to switch between tasks 1,000 times per second. It appears to us, that everything is happening simultaneously. In our minds, we experience similar situations; unfortunately, we are much slower at switching back and forth (no matter how frantically we try to do so). That switching is tiring, and often can lead us to forget what we were doing in the first place, make mistakes, or slow down on our “to do” lists.
Filling our social plate with festivities and family gatherings, though often close to impossible to avoid, can lead to wasted hours traveling to and from locations, lots of calculating (stressing), shortening hours of training (even more stressing), and decreasing hours of rest (sleep). Loss of sleep hurts attention, working memory, mood, motor dexterity, and weight management.
In an article published by the New York Times, Dr. Wright, states that people who aren’t getting enough sleep overeat carbohydrates. Go Figure! No wonder we get in a bad mood when we are sleep deprived. Just thinking of food is making us gain the weight (pfft).
“Overall, people consumed 6 percent more calories when they got too little sleep. Once they started sleeping more, they began eating more healthfully, consuming fewer carbohydrates and fats. Dr. Wright noted that the effect of sleep deprivation on weight would likely be similar in the real world although it might not be as pronounced as in the controlled environment. The researchers found that insufficient sleep changed the timing of a person’s internal clock, and that in turn appeared to influence the changes in eating habits.”
So from where I stand, we have three choices this month:
Overindulgence: Eat everything, knowing that you’ll work it off when the New Year starts and sleep it over later.
Overwhelm: Go crazy trying to maintain a rigorous holiday events/activities calendar and constrictive diet while you quietly salivating over your sister’s bacon wrapped dates and marshmallow covered sweet potato casserole and stressing to quickly make your presence at each of the fifteen events to which you RSVP’d, and disregarding all need for sleep by training in the few leftover hours.
Override: Finding a balance to eating right, training hard, and living easy, by suspending the automatic functions built into the hectic holiday system, by reminding yourself of the true meaning of this season.
We want to do it all and don’t know how to turn down a scrumptious looking spinach quiche or freshly baked apple pie, even though we are probably stuffed from eating a marathon’s length of time. I don’t know about you, but I’m shooting for the OVERRIDE OPTION! Filling our physical and emotional plate this holiday season will leave us wanting to crash…and I’m not talking about crashing a wedding party but hard drive or even blue screen failure.
Whether it’s in activity planning, training, or eating, THINK SMALL, so as to not compromise our early new year’s running goals (Miami Half/Full marathon), short-change our recuperative opportunities, and actually enjoy this most wonderful time of year.
Friends, my wish is that you’ll indulge with consciousness, train with perspective, and celebrate whole-heartedly the gift of family, friendship, and health this holiday season!
If you have any ideas for future articles or people for subjects of interest, please message me atTrihardliveeasy@gmail.com. To keep up with my training adventures, follow me at @TriHardLiveEasy