Tis the Season – Balancing Fitness with the Holidays

Take a deep breath. This is going to be a long post.  It’s that time of the year when desserts and drinks are flowing, Christmas parties are filling up our schedule and it seems like “cheat days” are at their max.  Tis the season.  I find that the month of December is all about finding a healthy balance and maintaining.  Don’t set your goals too high (that can be defeating and end in disaster).  Enjoy this special time of the year that we are blessed to have with friends and family.  Yes, I said it.  Enjoy it.

photo 1-160I absolutely can’t stand it when someone tells me that I probably wouldn’t eat something because I am too healthy.  Being fit does not mean depriving yourself.  One of the reasons that I work out is so that I can enjoy the goodness of great tasting food.  I spent all weekend baking.  What is it about the month of December?  I started with something easy.  Pretzel topped Rolo’s with peanut M&Ms.  These tasty little treats takes less than 15 minutes to make.  The hardest part is taking the wrapper off the Rolo.

photo 5-56After this little warm up, I moved on to chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter Reese’s cookies.

photo 2-168I ended the weekend with a  bang – Black Forest cake. By the way, I can share any of these recipes with you if you are interested.

photo 3-144You are probably thinking that I am crazy.  How could we possibly eat all of this stuff and not expect some repercussions physically?  Here are some tips.

  • Give some of your cookies out in cookie tins as gifts.  Get them out of your site.  Separate a few for your family before packing them up in tins to give out during the week.  Homemade desserts are such an easy, affordable and thoughtful gift.
  • Don’t deprive yourself.  I will say it again.  Don’t deprive yourself.  Staring at dessert all week while I am craving it, almost always ends in disaster.  The second I let my guard down, I do it in a bad way.  Having one here and there has a much better end result.  (Just an example – I probably have four of those Rolo treats a day – spread out throughout the day.  They do a lot less damage than the cookies)
  • Maintain your fitness routine as much as possible.  After a night of eating bad, the best thing to do is move on the next day.  Don’t even think about it.  Get up and go about your day as normal and include that stop at the gym. Don’t let it discourage you.

As you know, I am limited in the days that I can go to the actual gym.  I do a lot of workouts out of the house that take approximately 30 minutes.  See the workout section of my blog.  As a matter of fact, I did a quick strength workout at home this week.

photo 3-6Grab two dumbbells.  I am going to give a you a list of exercises to do sequentially.  Repeat the sequence two times.  Total reps after two circuits will 50 of each exercise.  Note, I am 25 weeks pregnant, so you can take this up a notch as you see fit.

  • Step back lunge to front kick x25 each leg
  • Pushups x25 (I dropped down to my knees)
  • Bicep Curls x25
  • Tricep Extensions x25
  • Side Oblique Crunch x 25 each side
  • Squat to Side Leg Raise x 25 each side
  • Kickback x 25 each side (add weight behind knee)
  • Fire Hydant x 25 each (add weight behind knee)
  • Isolated Shoulder Press x 25 each arm
  • Plank hold :30-1:00
  • Repeat Circuit

photo 2-169When do I have time to go the gym, I typically find myself at Flywheel.  Since transitioning to my new job (mom), I have been subbing more classes during the day.  This is a great way to torch calories in a very short amount of time.  Key word – efficiency.  What we all need over the holidays.

photo 4-108Having support from family and friends during the holidays can provide extra motivation to get there.  My husband and daughter stopped by to see me after a recent class. Make them hold you accountable if you doubt your ability to get there.

photo 4-109On the days that I just don’t have time, I make sure to take my daughter out and about.  Chasing her around is a workout in itself.  Even without a child, getting out and moving is a great way to burn a few extra calories (and cookies).  Trust me. Shopping is a fit activity!

photo 5-54All of this said, my driving point is that the holidays aren’t the time to deprive yourself.  The healthiest seemingly fit people fall off the wagon all the time.  The key is continuing to stay committed to your plan and maintaining a balance.  No one is perfect.  Including me!

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