November 2014 archive

How I Avoid Holiday Weight Gain and You Can, Too

Like many, I LOVE the holidays! It’s such a fun, joyous time of year and there are so many wonderful things to celebrate and enjoy. Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about fully enjoying the holidays without fully expanding my waistline. It really IS possible.


1. Moderation is key. Moderation is my favorite word. It is how I live. It is how I eat and it treats me well. It is FREEDOM (my other favorite word). You don’t have to count anything. You don’t have to obsess over numbers. You can enjoy things that many would deem “bad” and not give it a second thought. It is a skill though and it takes practice and honing. If you are just starting out on the moderation bandwagon, you do have to educate yourself, but that is a blog post for a different day. Since most days of the year I eat healthy and exercise, the holidays don’t freak me out. I can eat pie at Thanksgiving, fudge at Christmas, etc. because I know that after those few days of loosening the reigns on my diet, I’m going right back to my normal routine of healthy eating and exercise. No cause for panic. The keys are to not go on an all-out binge (again, this is moderation) and to get right back on track (not three or four weeks later. Hello, 8 new lbs. for the New Year!).

2. Keep Exercising. It may be next to impossible to keep your usual workout regimen through the holidays, but DO SOMETHING. You may have to change things up a little if you can’t go to your usual classes or do your regular routine, but that’s okay. If you can’t get to the gym, walk or run in your neighborhood, weather permitting. If all you have is a small amount of time, do a series of push ups, squats, triceps dips, cardio intervals like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. Whatever you can get in, big or small, just do it and stay active! You will be so glad you did come January.

3. Decide ahead of time what days you’ll indulge. Instead of just saying, “It’s the holidays, so I’m gonna EAT,” pick your poison. For me, I designate a few days at Thanksgiving and a few at Christmas as the days I ease up, enjoy and eat things I normally wouldn’t. It’s much easier to get back on track if you plan ahead and decide when you’ll indulge a little more.

4. Drink plenty of water. Yes, this is a basic tip you probably hear all the time, but it does help. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

5. Don’t starve yourself before a big event or party. I’m never a fan of starving myself all day so I can eat up at a party. Before a party or event where I know there will be lots of goodies, I eat like normal. I have a snack before I go so I don’t arrive ravenous and ready to eat the upholstery off the furniture. This way, I’m much more likely to enjoy things in moderation instead of plowing through the dessert table like the Tasmanian Devil.

The holidays are truly the most wonderful time of the year. Celebrate, enjoy and stay focused on the things that really matter. With a little thought and planning, you can breeze into the New Year without regret.

Why I Love Being 47

When I was younger, I thought aging wouldn’t happen to me. It’s not that I didn’t think I would get older. I just thought that since I exercise, eat healthy, get plenty of rest and have good genes, I could beat aging or at least some of the negative aspects of aging. I do believe that my healthy lifestyle is helping me to age well, but I’m still aging. Interestingly, I’m okay with that. I actually like my age and where I am in life. As I grow older, I want to embrace each stage and make the best of every age. With that being said, there are several things that I particularly like about my age.

I am at peace with myself. I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone. I have accomplished some pretty cool things and am happy with that. I always want to improve myself, but I no longer feel that heavy, driving force that says, “Do More”, “Push Harder”, “Be Better”. This is true in my fitness regimen, too. I don’t KILL my body anymore (Ok, I know some in my classes may argue that). Oh, I work hard, no doubt. But I listen better and rest my body more. I don’t ignore it when it’s telling me to take a couple days off each week instead of one or do yoga instead of run. My exercise regimen is lighter than it’s been in years, but my body looks and feels better. So interesting.

Things don’t mean as much to me anymore. I like to look cute and fashionable, but I seriously do not care if I have the latest and greatest of anything whether it’s clothes, electronics, cars, my house, etc. Walk on to any college campus and you will see SO many young people concerned with status and if they’re wearing the right brand. I just want to sweetly grab them by the shoulders and say, “It really doesn’t matter in life if you’re wearing Hunter rain boots or Wal-Mart rain boots. AND if your friends care about that then you need new friends.”

I’m seeing how short life is. How quickly my children are growing. I don’t want to go, go, go. I want to stay, stay, stay. Spend time with those I cherish. Enjoy weekends with my husband. Take time to love on my children…not just quality time but quantity time. Talk with my parents and learn from them. Eat lunch with friends. Show Christ’s love to those thirsty for it. Relish what God has so lovingly given me. These are the things I yearn to do. Notice I didn’t mention anything about career, material things, looks, etc.

47 is a good age. God has taught me so much over the years and I’m grateful for the lessons big and small. I don’t mind the wrinkles if growing older means growing wiser. It’s worth it.

Fall 2014 347