Monday, December 24, 2012


Today is shaping up to be just like any other day.

I got up for an early morning workout (4.25-mile run with Denali followed by squats and lunges). I made a quick breakfast and fed Miles. There was the requisite shower and subsequent dressing. I prepped dinner in the slow cooker and packed my lunch for work.

Of course, today is not just any day nor is it just an ordinary start to the week. Not only is it Christmas Eve but today seems to kick off a two-week stretch of crazy schedules, family obligations and lots of temptations. It can be hard to navigate the holiday minefield (excuse the term) healthwise without feeling like everything is going to blow up in your face.

Here are some tips from The  Laughing Cow Community Leader Sarah Dussault - and some of my own as well.

Plan your workouts. You are more likely to make it to the gym if you've already scheduled it into your day. It also helps to plan what exercises you will do that day.

For the past six weeks, I've been following the Turbo Fire plan as closely as I can while still running and doing BODYPUMP. This means that I've been doing a lot of double workouts - getting up for Turbo Fire at 5 a.m. and running with the dog at 7 p.m. It's not a terrible plan but I know it might not be as easy this week.

Instead, I am going to try to get in one good morning workout. This morning, I ran and the rest of the week will look like this: Tuesday, rest; Wednesday, early a.m. run + YMCA class for work in p.m.; Thursday, Turbo Fire w/strength; Friday, Turbo Fire and a lunch run as schedule allows; Saturday, Bodypump; Sunday, run.

Make your workouts social. Instead of having dinner with your friends after work, try out a new fitness class you've been reading about. The more support we have, the harder we work toward our fitness goals.

I love, love meeting friends for classes. It helps me break outside my traditional routine, and the group atmosphere pushes me to work harder. I recently tried a Real Ryder class, and Mark and I are going to try to make it to a class while he's on break.

Moderation. Don't deprive yourself of foods you know you love! Make sure to include your favorite foods but in reasonable portions.

I've suspended the no sugar rule until Christmas, and thus far have enjoyed a single sugar cookie from my neighbor, tested a maple cinnamon chip cookie for Santa (quality assurance) and had a bite of my friend's gingerbread fudge. Small portions and sugar only once per day. I was going nuts trying to live up to this arbitrary rule, and it's OK to enjoy treats. Plus, I'm still six weeks sans Diet Coke. HOLLA!

Fuel up. Try having an English muffin or bagel thin with a wedge of The Laughing Cow cheese. You will burn extra calories if you consume something before your winter workouts due to the increase in energy. For a great post-workout snack, have a Mini Babybel Light. It's creamy, delicious and packs 6 grams of protein.

This advice also applies to pre-party eating. Tomorrow, I will have a good breakfast and lunch, as well as an afternoon snack before heading to my in-laws for dinner. By not going hungry, I'll save myself the mindless munching.

Buy a new gym outfit. We all get excited to wear our newest purchases so spending on your fitness clothes will make you want to visit the gym to show off. Or, reward yourself with that stylish top you've wanted once you drop those few final pounds.

Done and done. I am already pumped to wear my new Old Navy outfit to the Y class on Wednesday. And who knows what Santa will bring!

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