Interview with Christmas Abbott
This week Liv interviewed Christmas Abbott. This woman is incredible!
She is the pint sized pistol whipping babe, who brings an attitude like none other to all of her endeavors. This ultimate girl boss brings the perfect combination of class & sass to each of the many hats she wears as: a National Best Selling Author, gym owner, NASCAR pit crew front tire changer, Nationally recognized Olympic Weightlifter, Crossfit competitor, Crossfit HQ Head Fitness Trainer, and Model.
Though Christmas wasn't born a natural athlete and faced a slew of bad decisions and influences - she continued to climb to get to where she is today. Through relentless passion and more hustle than anyone in the field, Christmas has earned her titles as Fitness Mogul, Business Woman, and Inspirational figure to millions. Read below to find out more about Christmas, her journey, and how she translates excellence into every day achievable tasks for us all.
Interview with Christmas Abbott
Liv: First off, let’s talk about your experience of addiction. You’ve talked about what precipitated that fork in the road moment - where you had a moment of clarity, realized your mortality, and what you wanted in your life – at a time when you were taking drugs, drinking, smoking and contracting in Iraq; what spoke to you at that moment, and what became clear?Christmas:
In that moment I had so much come to mind but ultimately the bigger message that I heard was that I didn’t want to die. It may sound a little dramatic but I realized how bad I had been treating myself, my body. I recognized that the bad decisions I had been making were continuously putting me in a state of danger or negative experience. I didn’t TRY to kill myself but I was passively trying by the continued bad decisions I had made for the last decade. Then I realized that on a long enough time line that I would eventually succeed. That realization shook me to the bone and that day I decided that I wanted to do something better for myself. I knew I would never be perfect, and I didn’t want to be, but I wanted something BETTER.
Liv: Leading on from that question, I listened to ADVENTUREFIT Travel’s podcast, #13 in which you talk of refocusing your efforts in order to overcome your addictions and effect change in your life; what did that process look like and what were some of the strategies that you have used?
Christmas: I made a set decision, I wanted more. I didn't want to be the person I was and I finally had enough. A decade of habits don’t change overnight, it takes time and effort but first it takes the willingness to try. This is what I call the breaking point, the point where you have no other choice than to change your life. With the desire to change I had to make a priority list, what was most important to me and what was I willing to do to achieve it? What prompted my bad habits and how could I avoid that prompt. This is what I call the awareness state. Where you identify what you want to hold close to your heart, what you want to change, and what prompts you to behave a certain way. This helps you identify your own behavior and then help you set up a system to create better, not perfect behavior, hence the practices. Now that I knew where I wanted to go, how to get there, I needed to do the work/practice.
For example; After discovering my breaking point I knew I wanted to quit smoking. That was the goal/priority. However, my stress made me want to smoke along with eating and boredom, so that was my awareness state. Through that awareness I was able to create a system to help me prevent my smoking which became my practices. I recruited a buddy for accountability, I set a by when date to stop smoking, I set up a payment plan that if I broke the no smoking pact I had to pay my friend cash, I ate candy after my meals so I didn’t want a cigarette (a less poisoning options...progress, not perfection), and I quit drinking as a hang out.
Liv: I love the analogy you used for describing your mind, as many tennis balls in a dryer; how have you managed to achieve balance in your life with not only so much going on, but also with a predisposition to addictive traits?
Christmas: Ha! It’s the BEST analogy that suits what really is happening in my mind. I discovered that I actually thrive with structure and organization. It is an effort on my part to stay on top of it but it really helps settle my nerves to know things are in place and working well. I can be super efficient and productive with a high level of organization. It really is key!
Liv: A topic close to my heart, nutrition - You’ve developed the BadAss Body Diet, developed from your nutrition seminars, and you’ve said that ‘Food is your drug: food is your prescription.’ Just how important is good nutrition to achieve not only homeostasis but also your potential? And what would be your top 5 tips to someone in recovery and struggling with fat loss and on a restricted budget?
1- Eat breakfast within 45 minutes of waking up!! Many people think not eating will help them lose weight but that is opposite of what happens with your body. You really need to eat breakfast upon waking up which jump starts your metabolism, helping burn extra body fat and utilizing the food you consume for the rest of the day. It really is so important.
2- Buy in Bulk! Membership stores often give great prices for bulk purchases. You can use your local farmer's market for good farm to table and cheap options too. If you are able to use 4-5 key ingredients each week then you can bulk purchase those items for a heavily reduced price and really get the best bang for your buck.
3- Pack your lunch / bring your food. Utilizing that bulk purchase option, go ahead and bulk cook! This helps save time and money in the long run. If you are on a budget and eating out at lunch every few days or going out on weekends then you are throwing your extra money away. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Simple recipes are delicious!
4- Eat at home before going out. Just like packing your lunch you can eat best at home and avoid the extra expense of eating out when going out. If you’ve been invited to a dinner out then have a snack before you go and order a smaller meal. You won’t have the urge to get more if you are already somewhat full and happy!
5- Keep a water bottle with you at all times. We often confuse dehydration with hunger. Our bodies are craving hydration and instead of drinking boring old water we eat. If you carry a favorite water bottle with you it will help keep you hydrated (which has so many amazing benefits, I cannot even begin!) and not allow you to overeat when you don’t need to.
Liv: Finally, but equally inspiring, you’ve been described as a fitness entrepreneur - of which your biography is testament to - what advice would you give to someone wanting to challenge their energies in a positive way? And what does FIFO mean to you?
Christmas: Invest in yourself. You can’t expect others to follow or believe in what you say or do if you don’t 100% believe in yourself. I have put my own money into companies that I love, not just mine, because I believe in what they do. It says something when you are willing to put your own capital on yourself and not just expect others to. FIFO - hahaha. It mean Figure It F#cking Out. Life doesn’t come with a blueprint and if it had then I would have tossed it and made my own. That’s just the type of person I am. I want to experience things for myself and see if it works rather than be told. Too many people rely on someone else doing that ground work for them and they don’t FIFO. FIFO ultimately means have some independent thought and work through the process. My squad will hear me say it especially when I know they are fully capable of figuring out options but are scared of messing up. I love people that take initiative. They are told in the beginning that they won't be fired for mistakes if they are trying to figure something out, but rather they would be fired for not taking initiative to FIFO.