Usually right around the beginning of October, I get a flash of all the food that’s ahead in the upcoming months. Halloween brings candy into the house, Thanksgiving is a day of being surrounded by a feast, and Christmas tends to be a day of food as well. For someone who hasn’t been watching their waistline, or is currently trying to avoid temptation this can be a really difficult couple of months. I wanted to share some things that have been working for me that might be able to help you as well!
It’s been two years since I had my daughter and have struggled to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I would lose the weight, but gain it back and then some. I finally was able to make some lifestyle changes that have helped me drop around 12 pounds and 6% body fat over the last two months. While I don’t expect anyone to do exactly what I do, I know it helps me to listen to what works for others, and take what I can — even if it’s just one little thing out of several they are doing.
- Get Moving. I enrolled myself back into bootcamp classes and give my 100%. And when I say 100%, I mean, grunting, sweating, ugly face 100%. I am not pretty when I work out and I don’t really care who hears me grunting when I give it my all. When I couldn’t go to class, I would go for a walk or run in my neighborhood. Basically, I will find SOMETHING I can do for 45-60 minutes five to six days a week. But, I wasn’t always able to do that. It started with three days a week and I worked up the days. Now I’m challenging myself to take a double class on different days just to see how well I can do! I should also add that you should pick something that you actually enjoy doing or it won’t stick. So walk, run, dance in your living room, get in a gym or out in a park — just get moving!
- Find someone to be accountable with. It’s easy to make promises to yourself in the beginning of the day, and then go “NAH” later on. But would you do that if you promised someone you would meet them at class? I know that when I tell someone that I wanna attempt double classes I better do it because they may ask me about it later! LOL. I have a friend that we would text each other every day after we finished our workout. I have someone in my classes that we both want to be fast and strong at the things we do, so we try to workout near each other so we motivate each other. I signed up for a fitness challenge after a nutrition challenge so that I could be surrounded by people who had the same goals. It really helps when you find an accountability partner if you find that you make healthy promises to yourself that you don’t keep – whether they be face to face or just a text away.
- Check what you’re eating. I did a nutrition challenge with my bootcamp and realized by day two that I was mindlessly eating all the leftovers on my daughter’s plate. That sh*t adds up real quick day after day and I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Talk about a total face palm. I decided to go back to counting macronutrients which truly helps with body recomposition. In my case, losing weight and building muscle. By keeping track of how much fats, carbs, and protein I eat on a daily basis I was able to drop excess fat and build muscle at the same time. I should note that I have tried tracking macros before but fell off track around my daughter’s first birthday. I was really upset with myself for it, but you know what? You just gotta start and try again. And this time around it’s been SO much easier to follow through with. If you’re interested in trying it, google IIFYM or macro calculator to find out what fits your age, weight and currently activity levels. I use My Fitness Pal app on my phone to log all the food I eat on a daily basis — there is a paid and a free version within the same app.
- Plan ahead for meals. I used to think that I had no time to plan for my own meals. I cook for my daughter every day and felt like there was no time for me so I certainly wasn’t going to have time to cook meals for myself for the whole week —WRONG! Cooking and preparing healthy, balanced meals on the weekend and storing in plastic containers has saved me so many headaches of trying to figure out what I could eat on the fly. I usually prepare 3-4 different meals that I can rotate through the week that have all been premeasured and packaged to fit my macro count. This is one of the biggest points that has helped me in battling the bulge. When I eat on the fly, I end up eating WAY too much because I’m standing in front of a pantry picking random things. If you have a REALLY hard time planning and cooking for the week, there are services out there that can help you. Google local meal prep and you will find tons to choose from.
- Realistic Expectations. Do realize that it IS the holidays and you should enjoy yourself. I try to eat healthy 90% of the time so that once a week I can indulge in that pint of Halo Top at the end of the night. Don’t be afraid thinking you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving or Holiday meals. Eat! And get back on track the next day. Granted, you can’t be like this every week or things will go in the opposite direction, but just be mindful if you can. If you know you’re going to want all the desserts, maybe skip the mashed potatoes. Fill up on the veggies and lean protein (even if they have butter and oil on them :). If you’ve gone overboard and ate everything in site, just know that tomorrow you can start over. It happens. Just don’t make it a habit!
I am by no means any type of health expert, but I do know the struggle of losing weight, gaining it, and feeling like it’s hopeless and I’ll be in stretchy pants the rest of my life. But as I continue to stick to my goals, and stay motivated by working with other motivated people I get better and better at it each time. I’m not quite at my end goal just yet, but I can see the light at the end of tunnel and know that even though there will be some bumps in the road (I’m talking to you, Thanksgiving dinner!) I will keep at it and eventually get there.
Want more tips or a different perspective on battling the bulge? Some of my fellow beauty bloggers rounded up their tips on staying healthy during the holidays: