The Killer Six

If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there’s nothing harder than the last six weeks of the year.

The Killer Six.

Thanksgiving; endless treat days at work; more family gatherings; more treat days; Christmas parties; cookie exchanges; neighborhood gatherings; and on and on it goes. Then, of course, it all culminates with that great night of excess, New Year’s Eve.

I think I gained five pounds just writing that!

So what can you do to survive the Killer Six successfully?

Well, your first task is to define “successfully”. Is it important for you to weigh less on 1/1/11 than you do today? Are you going to allow yourself an extra pound or two? Some people have a much easier time dropping a few extra pounds than others, so this is a personal question. There is no right answer, but it does lead me to the most important issue.

Regardless of your definition, success requires thought, planning and a little common sense. (And the recognition that pie DOES have calories, even on a holiday!)

Constant denial is no way to live, so allow yourself the indulgence of a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Just plan for it. Decide what you want to have, and account for it on the other days that week so you can enjoy it. Maybe exercise a little more on Tuesday and Wednesday. You get the idea.

Think about your portions. You can have mashed potatoes and gravy without having a mound the size of a bowling ball. You don’t have to take more marshmallows than sweet potatoes, either. And just one piece of pie. A small piece.

Most importantly, enjoy just ONE Thanksgiving meal. Those leftovers are going to come back out, and that’s the time you have to be strong again. I know: how can you watch the late football game without a turkey sandwich and another mound of mashed potatoes and gravy? You may be stunned to learn that you indeed can; and as a bonus, you’ll even be able to stay awake for the whole game!

The same strategy applies to the rest of the Killer Six. Know what’s coming, and plan for it. If your department is having a treat day, decide in advance what you’re going to allow yourself, and stick to it. Don’t graze! That extra handful of M&Ms is worth about 45 minutes on the treadmill.

So do your homework, fly right through the Killer Six and hit the ground running in 2011.

Good luck!

***Scott has been with American Family for a little over two years as a benefits consultant in our human resources department headquarters in Madison. In addition to being an HR professional, Scott is a writer wannabe and has written six novels (well, not actually written them DOWN, but the imaginary Pulitzer sits proudly on his pretend mantle!)


  1. shawn johnson
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    good article. Have you ever had a serving of mashed potatoes the size of a bowling ball?? :)
    On another note – will you be attending WI-ACE next week?

  2. amfamlisa
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Hi Shawn,
    I do know at least one of our managers in staffing, Steve, was planning to attend the WI-ACE conference next week. Thanks for the comment.


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