Finding a Holiday Balance

 

I don’t know about you, but in my house, December may as well be renamed “the month of indulgence.” I eat everything in the name of “it’s only available during Christmas” or “I worked hard all year I deserved this” or “I will start over in January” and before I know it, I feel tired, sluggish, puffy, and heavier than usual.

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I believe it is important to find balance during the holidays so you don’t end December feeling frustrated, guilt and defeated. So what can you do? Here are five tips that have helped me survive December:

Don’t make any one food “off limits”

In my experience, when you make a food “off limits” it makes you want it that much more, and if/when you do happen to get your hands on it, you are very likely to binge and eat way more of said food than if you would have allowed yourself to eat it in the first place.

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Write workouts into your schedule

This is a good year round practice, but it is even more imperative during the holidays when Christmas party’s, school plays, and Christmas shopping demand your time. Do not let your workout be the first thing to go. Stay strong and you will feel better physically and feel better ABOUT yourself.

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Make time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones

I don’t mean stressful Christmas day with 35 of your closest family members. I mean take some time to chill by the fire and the Christmas tree, reading books to your kids, or watching Home Alone, or baking cookies with your spouse while you listen to Christmas music. Something relaxing and enjoyable, you deserve it!

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Get in the “good stuff”

It’s tempting to ONLY eat junk during the holidays especially if it’s free. I don’t know about you, but I jump at free food all the time even if it’s unhealthy. Why do we do this? Please tell me I’m not the only one. The worst was Christmas time when I was a teacher. Baked good in the teachers lounge every. single. day. It’s ok to indulge, but balance it out with some veggies, fruit, etc. you know, the REAL food!

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Remember to do what’s best for your family

Just because grandma makes five pies and aunt Linda gives three gifts to each child does NOT mean you have to follow suit or keep pace with anyone. It’s Christmas! It’s a season of love, joy, and hope. Start your own traditions, drop ones you feel obligated to do but don’t like. It’s NOT worth you losing your mind to have the most beautiful wrapping paper or the most lights on you house if you sacrifice your sanity.

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QOTD: What is your best tip for achieving balance during the Holidays?

Get Healthy, Starting NOW!

 

As a lot of you know I am a FitFluential Ambassador. I was so excited to be chosen back when it all began, and things are really starting to move now and I couldn’t be more excited! We were asked to share 7 steps or tips we could give to someone who wanted to start being healthy, right now. SO many people say “I will start Monday” or “I will start in January” but why not start now? We are not promised tomorrow, so make today the first day of the rest of your life, and make it a good one! So, here are my 7 tips/steps. Small things you can start doing NOW that will put you on the path to being fit and healthy:

1. Find your motivation/inspiration: Everyone has a reason that they want to be healthy. It is the thing way down deep that keeps you going even in the hard times. The thing you think about when you don’t feel like working out. This can be your family, an upcoming race or competition, wanting to be alive long enough to see your grandkids get married, anything really! Once you figure out what it is, it can help drive you and push you on to meet your goals.

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2. Get enough sleep: Sounds so simple but is so difficult for some people. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will fall into a vicious cycle of exhaustion, excuses, and grumpiness! How can you adequately care for your family if you are exhausted? How can you feel like working out if all you want to do is take a nap? Aim for 7-8 hours and notice a big jump in your drive and energy levels.

3. Cook more: We all know that restaurant meals are way larger than an actual portion should be. A person can easily consume a day’s worth of calories in one meal out. Pack your lunch before you go to work, celebrate the weekend in some other way than eating out, and save restaurants for special occasions. Or, learn where you CAN eat out that has healthy options with correct portion sizes.

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4. take time each day to be still: Here on RWS I place a lot of importance on mental health as well as physical health. I feel that you can be as physically fit as you want but if you are mentally or emotionally exhausted or struggling, you aren’t truly “healthy.” So take a few minutes each day to sit in the quiet by yourself and reflect. For me, it’s praying. For someone else, it may be taking a nice long bath. But take some time to be still and decompress every day. Even if it’s just five minutes.

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5.  Eat Breakfast: So many people think if they skip breakfast they will lose weight. Breakfast is wht kick starts your metabolism for the day and keeps your energy levels up. If you skip breakfast not only are you more likely to be tired, but also more likely to over eat later in the day.

6. Move more: It can be parking at the farthest away spot in the parking lot, or going to an extra spin class this week, but just move more! Have a dance party with your kids while you help them clean their rooms. Walk the dog. Play tag with your kids in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be an hour long sweat session to count as a workout, just get your body moving and you will WANT to do more and more!

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7. Make it fun: If you don’t enjoy what you are doing it’s easy to let new good habits die. To make them tick, make sure you are enjoying what you are doing. If you hate running, don’t run! Take a zumba class instead. There are so many ways to stay active and fit, just get a little creative and see what you can come up with!

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QOTD: Do you have any tips for someone trying to get healthy?

*Check out the poll on the right sidebar if you are running Disney’s Princess half marathon and would like to participate in a meet up!

*email me a picture of your Christmas tree or outdoor lights and I will post on my blog with your blog link!

What Makes you Healthy?

 

I have been meaning to post about this for awhile, and figured today was a good enough day as any! There has been a lot of talk swirling around about what being healthy really means. Is it a split percentage between eating healthy and exercising? What about mental health, or healthy hygiene habits? I honestly think this is a PERSONAL decision, and not an “across the board” blanket statement you can make about someone.

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If someone has emotional issues, then mental health is going to be more important and beneficial to their current well being, because we all know how stress can take years off your life!

If someone else never brushes their teeth or flosses, it is going to be VERY important that they start doing that to be healthy, more so important than an exercise or healthy eating plan.

Then you have someone like me, who would RATHER workout more than eat salads everyday. It is more important to me to be active than more restrictive on my eating. Of course I try to eat healthy, but I also have chocolate everyday and bread and sugar. If I were to take those things out of my life to be more healthy, then my mental health would suffer, which would probably make me depressed and angry, and that isn’t very healthy now is it? Everyone handles things differently, and all decisions have varying effects on people. Of course I think you should try to eat healthy AND have healthy habits AND exercise AND be mentally healthy, but you can’t juggle all of those plates perfectly at the same time without one coming crashing down in my opinion.

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The key is BALANCE. And guess what? it’s ok if your balance is different from your sisters, your friends, or the bloggers blog that you read religiously. You were made to be unique, there is no one else like you! Take pride in the fact that you are a one of a kind masterpiece!

You are not healthy because some magazine says you have to do this or that to be so.

You are not healthy just because you run a marathon.

You are not healthy because you do all the “right” things other people expect you to do.

You have to personally define healthy for yourself, and be that. If you try to be someone else’s healthy, you will probably fall short and never be happy with yourself. Is it ok to read articles, get input and help on healthy habits? of course! But be your own person! Take all those little bits of advice and form health for yourself.

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I used to think healthy was fitting every health article and piece of advice to a T. It became an impossible chore and made me miserable! I have since found a balance that works for me. There is always room for improvement, but I want to actually live my life, and not look back and realize I wasted all my time trying to reach some impossible perfect goal of health according to someone else’s standards. Advice will always conflict, people will always disagree, and that’s ok!

Look for a follow up post coming soon about my thoughts on being beautiful!

Two Questions of the day today:

What are your thoughts on what health means? What is it to you? Do you strive to be someone else’s standard of healthy or do you have your own?

I am working on pieces for my blog..what are some things you want to see more of, don’t want to see etc? More workout related posts, pictures, food, family life, dogs, Disney, etc? if you don’t want to leave anything in the comments you can e mail me at runningwithsass AT gmail DOT com.