Editor's Note: Over the next several weeks, Matt Dryden, owner of The Body Shop Fitness Centers in Shell Lake, Spooner, and Trego, will be sharing his experiences and understanding of Nutrition, Health, and Fitness, while sharing tips & information to guide you through this holiday season.

I know many of us have already started to feel the dreaded holiday guilt with all the scrumptious goodies that everyone must bring to work and share with us. How do we handle the New Year’s resolution of “Okay this year I am getting serious about feeling better and losing those couple of pounds.” The same pounds that have, over the years, found some pound friends to tag along with in your belly or bottom. Don’t worry. You are not alone in this struggle because if you were, we wouldn’t have all the weight loss challenges at work, between friends, or in our community.

So do you want the good news or bad news first? I like to start with the bad news because we can only go up from there! There are going to be way too many sugary snacks and abundance of delicious foods at the holiday meals - which, of course, we will feel obligated to eat...and take seconds to make sure the cook doesn't feel bad because we are good folk. Unfortunately, the new year will hit us before we know it, and before we can lose that pant size or those couple pesky pounds. There is, however, always a silver lining in my world and that will come in the form of elastic waistbands for us men, and for all you ladies, yoga pants!

Despite the being comfy in our elastic waistbands and yoga pants, we emerge in January with a look of defeat and desperation to get back on a “health kick.” So with renewed energy and dedication, we hop on the “New Year, New Me” bandwagon, just to potentially be defeated in a matter of weeks or months because we are overdoing it in our sprint to fast weight loss; whether because of fad diets (ugh that word gives me the chills), crazy time spent doing cardio to lose those new-found pounds, or lack of follow through because we feel alone in the struggle and give up.

But wait, there is more...

The Good News. We can not forget the good news. If we did, it would be a very short segment. There is usually a silver lining in everything that happens in our lives. We just have to be open-minded and positive enough to look for it. For example, we already know how to put on weight and feel less energetic, right? Or, maybe it is the fact that we have become a little less mobile and have loss of strength and a little depressed. There, that’s one thing we don’t have to do because we already know how to do it and were successful at it. And that is how we find our silver linings: find things that have happened to us and feel it is a negative experience and find the positive and build on that.

But you have to be honest and remember you are not alone on this journey. Over the next few months we are going to spend some time chatting weekly about these struggles in health and fitness in an easy-to-understand, non-scientific verbiage. I will keep it simple and speak to you exactly how I speak to all my clients: openly and honestly. With that said, you have to really stop and think. Be brutally honest with yourself about your goals and your willingness to make the necessary changes in the following weeks, months, and years to strive for your health.

The one major tip I can offer to each and every one of us during the next month--myself included because I am a sugar junkie - moderation, moderation, moderation. Oh, and a little extra exercise will not kill us either. Park at the end of the parking lot and walk into the store, your kids will love it (he said sarcastically). One cookie won’t hurt us, but taking the plate from the lunch room and hiding in our work area so we don’t have to walk so far next time to get one, may not be the answer to our problems.

So jump on board the Silver Lining Express and let’s walk, jog, run, squat, or lift through this journey together.

As we approach Thanksgiving this week remember it’s not only about the food but the people we surround ourselves with near, far, present and those of past which is truly our Thanksgiving.

About the Author: Matt Dryden has been offering personal training services in fitness and nutrition for over 12 years. He began his interest in Health and Fitness while working as a Correctional Officer and Police Chief when he realized that in this profession that those men and women should have the fitness level of being able to protect and serve the people he has sworn to do so. Matt went on to become a certified personal trainer and began educating and helping fellow officers in setting and working toward their goals in fitness.

Matt started his gym, The Body Shop Fitness Centers, in Shell Lake in 2007 and now offers locations in Shell Lake, Spooner, and Trego, Wisconsin. These locations offer a wide variety of fitness training opportunities unique to each location. To find out more, visit The Body Shop Fitness Center website or Facebook page.

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