BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ–I leaped from my slumber to turn off my alarm.
I stared at my alarm clock in disbelief.
“That time can’t be right!” I said to myself as I fumbled through my pitch black room. I curled back into bed for a few minutes, knowing full well I HAD to get up.
At breakfast, our 6 year old son Liam asked,”Why did you get me up so early? It’s still dark outside!”
We attempted to explain Fall Equinox, Daylight’s Savings, and “shorter days,” further confusing him lol.
We feel the temperature changing, we observe the darker mornings, and notice that it’s getting darker earlier in the evenings. Daylight Savings is coming November 5th. At first, I LOVE Daylight Savings in the Fall. Fall back, and sleep an extra hour. Or, sleep as long as Liam will allow us lol. However, after Daylight Savings “day,” I find myself troubleshooting “shorter days.”
Yes, I know the days aren’t actually shorter, but shorter daylight hours sure make it seem that way.
Then there’s the subject of sweatpants and baggy clothes. The clothes of the season seem to scream “I’m roomy. I’ll hide your lovely lady lumps.” Don’t get me wrong. There’s some super cute hoodies out there, but let’s be real: we often buy them to accommodate our growing waistlines.
Stats vary on how much weight the average American gains during the holiday season. Earlier research reported an average weight gain of 7-10 lbs. More recent research reports an average weight gain of 1 lb. Frankly, I don’t know how that’s more accurate. Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, peanut brittle-oh my!
Months ago, we decided to make our health a priority. We are committed to maintaining a LIFESTYLE not a DIET. Billy and I have been talking for weeks about the specific challenges we would face during this season.
What about you? Are you also trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle? If so, here are some very specific strategies that we are implementing to keep us on track. Maybe they will help you too….
- Know “your why.”
What is motivating you to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do you want to feel more body confident? Do you want more energy to invest in family activities? Do you want to lower your cholesterol? Has your doctor advised you to make some changes? Everyone’s why is different. It’s very important that you not only discover your why, but it needs to be BIG.
Back in the day, people made vision boards. A vision board is a collage of pictures and other items that showcase “your why.” Upon completing a vision board, they are usually displayed where one can see it constantly. For those of us who aren’t crafty or don’t want to invest time in making a vision board, choose a picture that captures the spirit of “your why.” Save that picture on your cell as a screen saver. Think about how often you look at your phone.
2. Have an accountability partner who shares your visions and goals.
My accountability partner is my husband Billy, and I’m so thankful that we decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle TOGETHER. I know that is what helped us lose 27 lbs. each! Readers of our blog are also accountability partners.
True confessions: This has been a really rough week for me and my family. I have dug through our pantry, and have devoured Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Cadbury Eggs, tortilla chips, not to mention having Carl’s Jr. once this week! Stress eating is a BIG obstacle for me. Times like this happen to all of us. We need to have a person that we can go to and say,”Hey, I screwed up and ate some junk.” Billy is talks me off the ledge. Usually he asks what and how much did I eat. Followed by either a “that’s not toooooo bad” or “ummmm, yeah, you need to re-calculate.” Your person also needs to be real with you.
3. Maintain healthy eating habits.
Some people do better following a specific diet plan- Keto, Weight Watchers, Paleo, etc. Others are like us. We choose to follow basic nutrition guidelines, and have had success doing that. Remember, 80% of weight loss is dependent upon your eating habits. Check out this previous blog post, which covers everything from what foods to eat, info on portion control, and how to food journal. It has some great links! Our Healthy Eating Guidelines
4. Make an exercise plan.
Due to it getting darker earlier in the evenings, we need to be very intentional about planning exercise. Write it into your day planner. Program a reminder in your cell. If you’re a woman, don’t exercise in the dark unless you are with a friend. It’s not worth the risk. Schedule your exercise earlier when it is still light or work out from home or in the gym. Here are some exercise guidelines from a previous blog post. Exercise: He Said, She Said
5. Have a bottom line.
Draw a line as to how big you’ll allow your bottom to get lol. Plan not to gain more than ___ amount of lbs. You pick the number! This was actually recommended to me by my doctor after he commended me for my weight loss. We discussed the challenge of the holiday season, and he said I should plan not to gain more than 3-5 lbs. Having a weight goal gives me something to shoot for, and makes it seem more doable. Hey, I plan to have a piece or two of pumpkin pie, some of my grandma’s peanut butter balls, and at least one serving of stuffing. I am not going to deprive myself of special holiday treats. However, I will have some restraint.
6. If possible, buy a cute, new outfit for a holiday gathering.
This may seem really superficial, but I’ll explain why it works for me. Like many girls, I love cute clothes. I am also more focused if I have something concrete to work towards. Not just a number on a scale. More like a cute little number to wear. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Heck, go to an awesome consignment store and find an a fun outfit that’s new to you. Be realistic about sizing. Don’t buy anything too much smaller than your current size. You may want to buy something that fits now, motivating you to maintain your current weight.
We hope you find these strategies helpful! May you and your family enjoy this special season in good health!
A special thanks to my friend Katie who submitted inspiration for this week’s blog post!
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