Okay, it's just days from starting -- the four points of discipline-busting-ab-flabbing-chin-adding holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Channukah, and New Year's, and the parade of parties that go along with them.

With the pressure to support family, celebrate with friends, shop, travel, (and for some of us, "recover"), not only are we all about to be challenged in terms of time to workout, but the additional calories that come with the next two months can undermine a balanced lifestyle that took us a year just to establish.

Everyone has to wade through this period their own way. For me that means trying to make some smarter choices in certain areas to make room for the fun events that happen around the holidays. It also means being extra mindful to get the workouts in, and perhaps leaning toward extra cardio to take the edge off the carbs (aka “Christmas candy”) that can be so darn tempting. My point here is, let's go into this two months with our eyes open this time, anticipating that our lifestyle might be a little challenged. Be deliberate about your choices, rather than reacting to circumstances. From having the right supplements, diet plan, to the right exercise routines, have your choices mapped out in advance so you are ready.

When I anticipate the challenges and am prepared I can expect to enjoy the holidays more, and without regret, come January 2nd.

That's the way I'm going to approach it, anyway. I'm sure everyone on the boards would be interested in what your plan is as well. And feel free to consider this type of advice for those around you who you've seen have a similar difficult time coping with the consequences of holiday parties. That little "heads up" from a friend or family member who might be at these events with you can make it easier for both of you to stay on program – or at least minimize the damage!

Be well and have fun,