A few Thanksgivings ago, I got up before the sun and met my friend Liz for a 5k Turkey Trot. I didn’t do it because I wanted to. It was fun to spend time with Liz and my entry fee helped raise funds for the local children’s hospital, but I hate running.
So why did I get up early on Thanksgiving morning to run a 5k? In the cold at that?
To be in a “caloric deficit” when I sat down to the dinner table.
I eat two meals on Thanksgiving. My mom’s side of the family gathers around 1pm and my dad’s starts serving plates at 3pm. Both meals feature dishes I look forward to, not to mention desserts. The knowledge of how many calories I consume on Thanksgiving used to lead me to unhealthy places.
5Ks or barre classes or spin classes the morning of. Signing up for classes the next morning. Going home and doing a workout in my living room while watching Christmas movies. Starving myself all week long and the morning of in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. That was probably my lowest point.
As I became more educated about the human body and its needs, I started to see the problems in my flawed approach to the holiday season. It backfired most of the time anyway. I’d starve all day before a holiday party where I’d then binge on cheese platters, cookies, and alcohol. Not only would I feel bloated and gross in my pretty Christmas dress the night of, I’d feel terrible both physically and mentally the next day. It was a vicious cycle.
Last holiday season was the first year I enjoyed the holidays without worrying about what was on my plate and how exactly I was going to exercise it away. I didn’t panic if I missed a workout or sampled one too many cookies while baking. I rolled with it and reminded myself that one day – even several days throughout the month – of indulging in holiday favorites isn’t going to ruin my long term success.
And it hasn’t.
I recently polled my audience and learned many of you feel the same way around the holidays. You struggle with wanting to spend time with family and friends and “treat yo’self” while worrying about the calories in this gingersnap or that Friendsgiving plate.
With this feedback in mind, I created the program I wish I had: Strong By Sarah’s Four Week Holiday Challenge.
This is NOT a weight loss challenge. I don’t do those. This is a realistic healthy living challenge. Over four weeks, we work on things like mindset and developing habits that will serve us well long term, while still eating the Christmas cookies brought into the office.
The Strong By Sarah Holiday Challenge begins December 2 and includes:
- 3 workouts each week (in the gym and at home options)
- Nutrition coaching and weekly habit challenges
- Access to me via email
- Access to a private Facebook group
- Facebook Lives with me each week
- Confidence to navigate the holiday season
- Weekly check-ins with me
- Bonus: worksheets for goal setting and habit tracking
But more than that, it also gives back.
10% of each enrollment fee will go to a fund to help pay off student lunch debts. Too often, news headlines tell of students being denied lunch due to owing school debts. In many cases, school lunch is the one guaranteed meal a child may have that day and absolutely no child should go hungry. Children facing hunger may struggle in school and are more likely to repeat a grade in elementary school, experience developmental impairments, or have more social and behavioral problems according to Feeding America.
That means $7.90 of each enrollment fee will go towards paying off lunches at a local school. Depending on the school system, that could be as many as four lunches per person. It may not seem like a lot, but a little makes a big difference, and one life changed is worth it.
Learn all about the Strong By Sarah program and sign up to join me right here.
I’m really excited about this program. I’m excited to coach people through the holiday season. I’m excited to help people change their habits and their mindset. I’m really, really excited to send a check to a local elementary school.
It’s important to me to build my business on a foundation of integrity and community. I talked about that a bit here. I re-posted an article on Facebook recently about a school that threw away hot lunches because kids had debt and wrote about how one day, I wanted to be the person that paid off those debts. Then I realized I didn’t have to wait until one day. I could start today, with my Holiday Challenge and every other coaching service I offer moving forward.
So check out the Strong By Sarah Four Week Holiday Challenge. Tell you friends. Maybe even sign up. It’s going to be a good time – and we’re going to give back to make sure at least a few more kids have a hot lunch.
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.