Santa’s Coming, “Be Good”

For some reason, the holiday season is the time of year for many people to try to change their eating habits. I understand that January is around the corner and most have some kind of resolution to change the way they live, but the holiday’s? Come on man, this is the time of year you should be eating anything you want (well almost anything).

Usually right around thanksgiving is when I start hearing it; “oh, I can’t eat that…I’m trying to be good”.  Can you please explain to me why, after eating whatever the hell you want (on and off) for the past 11 months with next to no exercise, you choose this time of year to start “being good?” I spend the entire year “being good” just so I can eat whatever I want for a few weeks with very little consequence.

I find that many people with this mentality have very little chance of being successful at achieving their weight loss goals. It’s funny, when I go to holiday party’s, there are always people who I see not eating the smorgasbord of food that’s available. Meanwhile I am stuffing my face with anything that’s not held down.

I am always intrigued by this so I’ll strike up a conversation about it, just to hear their logic. I would bet that 9 times out of 10 they have a reason.

Our conversation usually goes something like this:

Me- “why aren’t you eating any of this great food?”

Them-“I thought you were watching me.”

Me- “come on, are you kidding me?  Have you seen what I’ve been eating?”

Them- “You can eat whatever you want. I can’t eat like that, I have to be good.”

Me- “why are you trying to be good at a holiday party?”

Them-“This is the year that I’m gonna do it.”

Me- “Ok, and you think by not eating what you want at a holiday party, that doesn’t happen to often, is going to get you there?”

Them- “it can’t hurt.”

Me-“it probably can’t hurt right now, but it will once February comes and you’re sick and tired of being “good” and you begin eating everything that’s not nailed down.  By the way, I can eat whatever I want at parties because I don’t eat whatever I want the whole year.”

Them- “Yeah well, I’m gonna do it this year. I’m going on the (fill in whatever popular diet is currently all over the cover of every crappy newspaper and magazine) diet and I am gonna do the treadmill everyday for like 2 hours.”

Me- “ok, good luck with that.”

It never fails that this conversation takes place at least 4 or 5 times every single year between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Usually with the same people.

This is not the time of year to try to be “good”, in my opinion.  This is the time of year you should be enjoying yourself and planning your attack.  This means you should be planning on what bad habits you are going to change and what good habits you will replace them with.  Obviously that comment is not meant for those of you who have been “partying” all year-long.  It is however, directed at those who make sacrifices on a daily basis.  Who religiously bust their butt in the gym at least a few times per-week and actually cheat A LOT less than they are “good”. If you are not one of those people, then it might be a good time to restrict yourself a little bit and start planning for next years holiday feasts.

This is not the time of year however, to be skipping or skimping on your workouts. If you want to indulge you must pay some price.  It’s also a great way to deal with the stress of the holiday season.

Attempting a fad diet is absolutely not the way to go and almost a sure-fire way to set yourself up for failure.  Simple, healthful changes in your dietary habits can have a huge impact on your results.

Endless hours of aerobic exercise is not the answer either.  The right program, designed to meet your goals and needs is the direction to go.  Strength training is a critical component in long-term success and replace much of those long, slow aerobic workouts with interval training.

If you are serious about getting results, hiring a Fitness Professional is the way to go.  You are 10 times more likely to achieve your goals working with a professional. We can develop a plan that is right for you. Addressing postural limitations and muscle imbalances are very important to prevent future issues. Once that is done, a personal fitness plan can be developed.

Just “winging it” doesn’t work.  I am sure you have experience with that! This is what most will do year after year and achieve the same result.  Sadly, by February a huge percentage of people will have given up on the task of reaching their health and fitness goals.

Why not try something different this year?  So you can stop being “good”, when you’re allowed to be “bad.”

Strength For Life,

Jim O’Hagan


  1. Well said! You are a wonderful inspiring professional Jim.
    Thinking of you this holiday season and sending you positive energy for good health. You are a blessing.

  2. I really hope no one tries to create the “Nail Down the Food” Diet . Really, really bad idea…. It will never work because hammers are always somewhere in the old tool box, garage, shed etc.
    Easier and better plan- Choose foods that make you happy and healthy. Work out with the intention to work. Keep it simple. Keep it smart!
    Happy Holidays:-)


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