Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holiday Fit Tips!

It's the holidays, but your health never takes a holiday!

Wah wah, how sad. I know, I'm such a buzzkill.

Anyway, to help keep you (and me) focused on our health and fitness this season, I'm sharing some of my Healthy Heather's Holiday Hints each week for the next couple of months to help you remember that you CAN enjoy the holidays without needing to wear stretchy pants at the end of it.

Here are this week's tips. Ready? Here we go!

1. Anticipate hurdles and make a plan. Unless you live a very sad life, it’s unrealistic to think that you will not be invited to at least a couple of parties during the holidays, laden with cookies, cakes, candy, and more. But it IS realistic to think that you can get through the party without eating it. Think ahead and try these tactics for controlling your food environment:

  • Volunteer to bring something (and make it something you can eat without stress)
  • Bring a bottle of water and keep it in your hands, refill throughout the party as necessary
  • Spend time socializing, not eating.
  • Practice responses to people who pressure you to indulge. From experience, I can advise that crossing your arms in front of your face and shouting, "back off, hater!" is not recommended.
2. Be realistic, not defeated. Some people throw up their hands during the holidays in defeat, assuming there is nothing they can do to be healthy. While it isn’t realistic to think you may go from couch potato to triathlete during the holidays, it IS realistic to believe that you can enter January without needing to wear one of those belly bands that pregnant women wear to extend the waist of their pants and avoid buying maternity clothes. Define what success means to you and make plans to achieve it. Success may be not gaining weight, it may be losing weight, it may be just not eating Aunt Martha’s sweet potato pie until the button pops off of your jeans. But one word of warning: until you believe in your ability to do that and actually want it, your plans are moot.  I'm just sayin'. You gotta want it.

3. Get stubborn. Sometimes maintaining a certain standard of health means just being stubborn. Channel your inner three-year-old and just say NO to people or events that hijack your plans. No way, no how, no thank you. It can feel awkward at first to turn down someone’s chocolate caramel goo-goo brownies with fudge icing, but trust me: they will get over it. Okay, they might not get over it, but you will.

The holidays can be nostalgic, emotional, carefree, and indulgent times. Just take care to apply those elements of the season to the actual living people around you, not the food. I hope it is a wonderful holiday season for you, full of health and emotional well-being.

Good day!

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