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Falling Off the Fitness Sleigh – Er, Wagon

December 21, 2010

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It’s snow-ho-ho-hoing outside my window (I promise, the puns stop here) and all I can think about is how I haven’t exactly been following my own happy, healthy holiday rules lately.

The cold weather, heavy food and busy schedule make me feel ready to crash by the end of the day, so I vow to go to bed earlier and wake up ready to exercise first thing. Hours later, at 1:00 am, I’m finishing up my holiday shopping. By the time morning arrives, I’m too tired to meet my fitness goal.

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But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up – and neither should you! If you’ve been feeling the same way these past few weeks, consider this post the motivation you need to get back on track. I’ve realized it’s all a bit more challenging than I imagined, but nothing is impossible with the right mindset!

Here are three new strategies I’ve adopted, and hope you will, too.

1) It’s not all or nothing.

Too many times I think that I have to have the perfect day in order to be successful – good eating habits, a solid workout and a crossed off holiday to-do list. Remember when I said nothing is impossible? Well this is pushing my limit. It needs to be about balance and knowing that if I at least get in a solid workout, I am helping to work off that extra cookie I had after dinner. Or, if I had a day of clean eating, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t lace up my tennis shoes and opt instead for a cozy night in. And those holiday to-dos? If I can prioritize them with specific deadlines and realize they don’t all have to be done at once, my mind will rest a lot easier.

2) Practice portion control.

When I arrive at a party and am greeted with a plethora of holiday-themed goodies at the buffet, it’s very difficult for me not to grab everything in sight…by the handful! But it’s important to remember that all of these foods will still be around tomorrow – they aren’t going anywhere. If there are extras, ask the host or hostess if you can bring some home for leftovers the next day. If not, know that you have it in your power to recreate the deliciousness in your own home at any time of year.

Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep portion sizes in check. You can have any food at the buffet if you keep it to reasonable quantities that won’t make you sick to your stomach hours later. Eat until you are pleasantly full and then be done. If you need something to keep your mouth happy while you are still at the party, hang on to a beverage – preferably water or club soda with lime – or even chew gum. You’ll be amazed what happens when your mouth finally realizes it isn’t hungry anymore and it will feel great.

3) Plan on wearing your favorite festive clothing.

For me, it has always been more about the confidence I feel in my go-to pair of jeans than a number on the scale. How clothing fits is a great indicator during the holidays, too, and if you embrace the party dresses or nice pair of pants instead of the sweat pants, you will be more likely to watch – and feel – what you eat. Fortunately, there is no shortage of fun events to plan for during this time of the year. Make each and every one of these an occasion to dress confidently and that energy will carry over into your food choices.

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We’d love to hear your fresh perspective:

  • How are you doing on your holiday fitness goals? What changes would you make?

Good luck, everyone!

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