I always enjoy the holidays whether I am at home or visiting family back in Michigan.  However, the lack of structure absolutely destroys me.


Most all of us are high-structured individuals; we have to be.  I mean, I guess there are some of you who can get by without being OCD with your structure but the large majority of us have no real choice in the matter.  If we want to maximize our potential, we need to do everything perfectly -- or as close to perfect, as possible.  I am one of those people.


I have proven this over the last 18 months.  I have taken my structure and focus to a place it hasn't been in a very long time and for that reason I have benefited tremendously by making some of the best gains of my life at almost 50-years old.  Had I not approached this last 18 months this way, I absolutely know that I would not have progressed as well as I have.


Being in Michigan to see family for the holidays has been a lot of fun but it makes it incredibly difficult to stay as structured as I would be at home.  Now, I'm not in any way saying that I have destroyed my progress or my gainz by giving up a week or two of perfect workouts and diet, but I am saying that I find it difficult to stay focused when I am not 100% like i am at home.


I almost look at it like, "why do it if I am not 100%?"


Taking 1 or 2 weeks off doesn't mean I will not regain my current condition but it does mean that it will take me 4 weeks to get back to where I was at 100%. So, I decided to let the diet loosen up but not the workouts.  The main reason is because if I continue to train -- even at 80% and just have fun with it -- I will come back home and not have to deal with crippling soreness and poor recovery for the first couple of weeks.


The other thing to note is when I am not 100% on my diet these days, I actually eat LESS calories than when I am on my diet and utilizing high-carb days every 3rd day.  This is allowing me to stay in good condition while being loose with my diet and taking in family and social functions without too much worry.


The biggest issue I am dealing with is I feel guilty trying to get away to the gym because I am not anywhere near a gym while staying with my family at my Dads.  My family is important to me and I know I have limited time while here so even taking a few hours to train makes me feel guilty (though they understand how important it is to me).   I am only training 3 times per week so that is accomplishing the work and still allowing for recovery and time with my family, knowing that when I get home, I can step on the gas again.


Some people prefer to take time off during the holidays and I used to do the same.  This year is different simply because when you make so much sacrifice for the entire year, it is normal to feel like you don't want to slip any more than is needed before getting back and being 100% again.


It's a balance, as always.  You have to give a little to make sure that you take advantage of the time you have with family one time per year and yet still not screw yourself at the same time, causing more work when you do get home to catch up and move forward.  I'm fortunate that I have a support system in place where everyone around me understands my motivations and supports me.  Not everyone has that.


I hope you all are enjoying time with family during the holidays. I know I am.