Insider Secrets to Surviving December

Here are four simple steps to stay on track during one of the most challenging months of the year.
Published December 14, 2016

Each year at this time, many members throw in the towel and decide to wait until January 1 to jump back into the plan.

Although many people see December as the most difficult time to lose weight, we believe it's all in how you look at it! Let go of the defeatist attitude; this time of year doesn't have to be a bust. Just a few simple tools can put you in control and gliding through the holidays with a positive, can-do attitude.

The first thing you need to do is to ask yourself what you would like to happen this year. Would you like to lose weight? Maintain your weight? Or is a small weight gain acceptable? Once you determine which of those options you want to pursue, the principles remain the same.

Stick to your resolve and reach your goals with these smart strategies.

1. Write it down
Create a calendar for December. Sit down and plan out as much as you possibly can.

  • Write in the date of every social event and party

  • Mark the days you plan to exercise

  • Highlight the days you could easily stay within your daily SmartPoints target because there's nothing out of the ordinary happening

  • Mark in the days you plan to attend meetings (if you normally do so)

  • Record your actual weight on the day you weigh in

This calendar is important because it provides a broad view of the month. It might look like a minefield, or it may help you realize that there are plenty of days with not a lot happening. Try it: Once you see your calendar laid out, ask yourself if the decision you made (lose, maintain or gain) is viable. Be honest and let yourself off the hook if you decide you need to live a little this year and that a small gain is an acceptable trade-off for the fun and lessened stress you'll have.

2. Step on it
No matter what happens, weigh in weekly. Regardless of your decision about the weight, you need the feedback, to stay in touch with what's going on. Otherwise, you may blow it out of proportion and throw in the towel because you've made it worse in your head than it actually is. This can keep a two-pound gain from turning into a five-pound gain.

3. Talk about it
During difficult times, many of us have a tendency to move away from the plan. That's precisely the opposite of what you should do. Protect following the plan fiercely, make it a priority in a positive, self-renewing way.

If you attend meetings, don't skip them to finish holiday projects or attend a social event. Stand tough and refuse to miss even one. But remain flexible. Maybe you'll need to find a different meeting that's more convenient that week, or even attend more than one to help you with your resolve. If you follow the plan online, take the time to talk to fellow members in the Community section or on social media, read articles and use the online tools regularly.

4. Swap tips
Use the holidays as an opportunity not only to ask for advice but also to share your best tips for surviving the next four weeks. You will indeed have a happy new year.