by Michael Plank
Thanksgiving is six weeks away.
Which means we are six weeks from a whole host of people struggling with their health, feeling bad, feeling discouraged, feeling ashamed, but saying to themselves: “I’ll just make it through the holidays and then get serious in January.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done that too. But it’s because I didn’t really understand how to make this a long game.
I am not saying you have to do cold plunges and eat chia seeds and kale for the month of December. If you want to go to holiday parties and eat some Christmas cookies and stay up late and feel extra full a couple of times, you should. I absolutely plan to do those things on my end.
But what that means is that right now I am doing some extra investing in my health.
Your health is like a bank account. You can make deposits which are things like good sleep, exercise, nutrient-dense foods, stress management, water. And you can make withdrawals which are things like short nights, alcohol, excess sugar, being sedentary.
You’re not a failure or a bad person if you make a withdrawal from your savings account. You’re not a failure or a bad person if you make a withdrawal from your health. You just have to undestand that you’re going to run into trouble if you let that account go negative.
So for now, start making deposits. Pull out your calendar right now and block off your workouts for the rest of the week. Put some more protein and vegetables on your grocery list. Take 5 minutes and plan (not prep – that’s a different thing!) a couple of nutritious meals for this week. Put your phone down and go to sleep at a decent hour tonight and drink a big glass of water first thing tomorrow morning before your coffee.
Here’s the fool-proof plan: Build your health now, while the season is right for it. Make some guilt-free withdrawals over the holidays (or for birthdays or vacation or the summer). Repeat that for the next 20-60 years. Then enjoy your life!