Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Keeping it Together Through the Holidays

What I am about to post is not life changing or anything you haven't heard a million times before about avoiding weight gain during the holiday season.  This information is more like my goals I am going to try to achieve during the holidays to avoid having to add loose 5 pounds to my New Year's Resolution list.  Feel free to join me or add your own thoughts.

  1. Get enough sleep.  I put this first because I really believe that sleep is the foundation to good health.  I know how crappy I feel if I don't get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. (I know to some of you that is a lot).  But when you feel tired you don't have energy to work out and speaking for myself, I will reach for sugary foods or coffee after coffee to give me the pick up I need to get through the day.
  2. Exercise - duh!  I am aiming to workout everyday even if it is just a half an hour walk.  My workout schedule for the next few weeks is pretty intense to finish up some of the classes I've signed up for.  Some days I am working out twice, but its usually yoga and running.  If I feel tired I lessen the intensity. I think its a pretty safe to assume we are all exposed to and eating foods that are higher fat and calories than normal.  These extra calories need to be burned.  Also exercise releases endorphins and helps us cope with the extra pressure we feel this time of year.  I know its easy to think - I don't have time.  But if you make yourself I priority, I feel its much easier to handle the extra stress that we have around this time of year.
  3. Eat right - duh and duh.  (Told you this wasn't earth shattering).  I love food.  I don't think its a big secret that I do.  I like buttery, sugary cookies and rich creamy stuff and sometimes I eat it a bit like cookie monster.  But I try to balance out big dinners and treats with the good stuff.  If I'm going to a party I make sure I have healthier breakfasts and lunches partly so I feel less guilty about indulging later and partly so I don't feel like crap from eating terrible food all day.
  4. Chill out.  This is the last and most important point in my opinion.  This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year - right.  So why are we so uptight about buying the perfect gift for our kid's bus driver, baking 80 dozen different cookies and sending Chirstmas cards to your fifth cousin who you haven't actually ever talked to.  (I don't actually know anyone who does those things, but you get the point).  The bottom line is that we need to figure out what is really important at Christmas - your kids, your hubs, the parents - YOU.  The rest are nice to haves.  The thing I am looking forward to the most in the pre Christmas frenzy is watching Elf with my girls, baking cookies with my mom and my 'work' dinner with my husband.  I will have fun at the other engagements and will enjoy being with my friends and family but all of those events are happening because I've decided I want to attend those other events as well and am grateful to have those people in my life.
That's it for my unsolicited advice on holiday weight and stress gain.  Its really about balancing all of the above.  We need to cut ourselves some slack and not expect perfection.  Chill out and have a happy festive season.  As for me - I'll try not to completely lose it when I bake my absolute favourite Christmas cookies.

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