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I am a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Pass the Egg Nog... Tips On How To Maintain Balance Over the Holidays

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Let's be honest: the holidays are amazing, tough, long, tiring, joyous, and delicious. I get it. It's hard as #$@! to avoid the baked goods your coworker keeps bringing into work (bitch wants to get me fat), say no to another glass of egg nog (they're serving it in the Griswold reindeer mug! How can I say no), avoid the cinnamon buns at breakfast (and here I thought it was just pancakes, bacon, eggs, and french toast), and turn down a piece of your Mom's homemade fudge (but I made it just for you, my darling!). Fine, Mom. I'll eat a piece of fudge. Then, I'll eat the entire thing.

How to help yourself from swinging out of control (ahem, I may, um, have done this once or twice.)? Here's a few tips.

1. Have a plan. 
If you're going to a holiday party at a restaurant, check out the menu beforehand. I'm not one to say "eat nothing but a salad with no dressing", but look for healthier options such as roasted chicken, spinach salad, non-cream based soups, wraps, lean meat choices, etc. If you want two drinks, skip dessert. If you want dessert, skip the bread basket and stick to one drink. I am a freak when it comes to planning my meals and I find this helps with both your physical and mental outlook towards nutrition.

Start with a mixed green salad... and please avoid judging me for the size of my pizza.
2. LIFT. 
Yes, keep doing your cardio. But resistance training will take you through the day. When you lift (when I say "lift", I mean literally lift weights, or complete full-body movements like planks, burpees, push ups, lunges, squats, etc.- lift your body weight. You don't necessarily have to use weights), you leave small tears in your muscles- tears that your body works on repairing for the next DAY or TWO. You will continue to burn calories as your body works to repair itself! Double whammy.

I realize "double whammy" hasn't been used since the 90s, but I'm bringing it back.

You may also find that if you have a great workout on the day of a holiday get-together, you could be more likely to crave healthier foods as a result. Your body is an amazing piece of work- let it work for you and fuel it properly.

My favourite shirt of all time. 
...Next to this one, of course. 

3. Dress to impress. 
I'm dead serious. If you wear something you feel AMAZING in, the lead up to the event can help with portion control and overindulgence. Also, at the party, you will be too busy receiving compliments to notice the dessert table.

That's right. I'm telling you to go shopping.

You're welcome.

(side note: Stacy London taught me that we should dress for our body type. Hate your thighs? Highlight your killer waist in a wrap dress or a great belt. Like your legs? An oversized shirt/sweater, a great pair of skinny jeans or tights, hot boots up to the knee, a great statement necklace or pair of earrings and a blazer go a long way.)

How NOT to impress.

Thanks for using a supermodel to showcase how to wear leggings and a blazer, Katy. Helpful.  

4. Indulge. In something non-food (or booze) related.

I asked some of my peeps what their favourite holiday indulgence was, and out of 23 people, one person said their indulgence was not food related: Muppets! I didn't even think about something non food or booze-related- but this was genius! Any holiday movie is totally an indulgence.

To help avoid cravings, put Miss Piggy's face on a photo of you. Totally normal.

A perfectly healthy indulgence... must put chocolate down while reading, though. 
Thanks, Steph for the idea- and for making me feel bad about myself.

5. EAT. 

Yes, EAT. If you're going to a brunch, have a bowl of oatmeal with flax seed, berries, bee pollen, and brown sugar so that you don't show up starving to the buffet table and go up for 4ths. A dinner function? Make sure you have something to eat (smoothies are always great!) an hour before you go. You'll be able to sample the appetizers without diving in head first.

Or at least make sure there's candles in the middle of the table to keep you from diving. 
If you are concerned, offer to bring a salad or veggie tray. (Um, no- I'm not suggesting you eat all vegetables at a holiday function. Remember, I am not wacko. Let's be real, people.) This option will allow you to fill up your plate and have smaller portions of the other zillion things being served.

The bottom line?

Eat what you want to eat. Try to keep it within reason. And there is NO SUCH THING as too late- You think because you overindulged at breakfast that you might as well for lunch and dinner? You have the power to stop it, and you also have the power to start fresh. Be real, don't be hard on yourself, and if all else fails...

Drink a spritzer. It's low in calories, plus there's booze. Double whammy. 
Go forth and beyond, my friends.

How will you avoid overindulging this holiday season?