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    MICHCLEARY   60,375
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Strap Yourself In Mode!!!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Well we're entering what I often call the busiest 60 days of my year. I always feel like I need to strap myself in tight, squeeze my eyes shut, and hold on for dear life - all the while balancing my healthy lifestyle up against the sheer forces of potential chaos.

I started out my morning today reading for a few moments as I think about the month. I got the latest issue of Clean Eating in the mail yesterday. "Our Best Ever holiday Feast, you won't gain a single pound" is on the cover. I did make it through the holidays last year without gaining weight, and I'd like to repeat that feat this year. That takes a lot of focus and effort.

So in case anybody who reads this needs a few tips on how to make it through the holidays without gaining, here are a few that worked for me last year:

1. Track your food as often as possible on the SP nutrition tracker. I like to think of the old adage - Garbage In Garbage Out - if I'm not eating well I won't get the results that I want. Tracking helps me stay consistent and know how many calories I'm eating.

2. Track your fitness minutes and make sure you are fitting in some exercise. This is the time of year where I try to remember that ever 10 minutes counts, and if my schedule gets chaotic and prevents a trip to the gym, I can certainly fit 10 minutes here and there. One of my favorite things right now is my 3lb weighted hula hoop. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. If I can't fit in at least 10 for exercise, then something is seriously wrong with my schedule and my priorities.

3. Enlist the help of buddies - I have three that I can text on a moments notice if I need some clarity and strength/support. If I find myself in "buffet" type situations or big event meals, I'll take a picture of the food I put on my plate and text it to one of my accountability partners. If I eat more I have to send an update. That usually keeps me from going overboard because I don't want to have to text bad food pics.

4. Get involved in fitness - I have three runs scheduled between now and the end of the year. HellRun 11/19, Turkey Trot 11/24 and Jingle Bell Run 12/21. These are fun events that I'm doing with one of my daughters and best friend. It makes me stay consistent with training and enjoy tshirts, race bling, and time with people I care about.

5. Stay accountable - I meet with a trainer once a month for weigh in, measurements, and a new strength training program. I consider this a vital investment in my longterm well being. I cut out other things before I cut this out. I see my trainer on 11/17 and will schedule one for a few days before Christmas. He puts up with me and helps me stay on track. The last thing I want to do is stand on a scale in front of a guy and confess to pigging out on Christmas cookies. He has a SP account and logged in to review my stuff before I showed up for training last week. 0_o Now if that doesn't hold you accountable what does?

6. HOLD on to the wagon seat belt! There are times where you might fall off the wagon during the holidays. Shoot you may even feel like you're being dragged behind it holding on for dear life and shouting for help. Don't let go, get right back on that wagon and don't look back. No one is perfect, and I don't know why we pretend to be, or hold ourselves accountable to those standards. My Post Wagon Abandonment strategy is increased water intake, increased fitness minutes, and extra amounts of self forgiveness.

7. Sleep - it seems mine is always interrupted and never enough between the dog, 2 cats, 3 teenagers and a husband who steals the blankets. I guard my sleep as much as possible during this time of year because when I'm exhausted and hungry I make the worst food and exercise choices.

8. Encouragement Surround Sound - I surround myself with positive input - supportive SP team members, fit bloggers on twitter, Clean Eating and Oxygen magazines, my motivational posters I've made - anything to keep me focused on what I can achieve if only I believe and PRACTICE. I intentionally avoid nay sayers and peeps who are negative - especially when I'm tired. I think that is why Caller ID was invented!

9. RX - my prescription for making it through is Clean Eating. Remember that eating is 80% of the battle and you cannot out run or out exercise a bad diet for long. That means I have to be intentional with my grocery shopping, cooking, and eating even when I don't feel like I have the time.

10. Accept help - I routinely thank God for my daughter that I call Martha Stewart Junior. Last year when the holidays were overwhelming, she got out all the Christmas presents, made a list to show who had given who what and highlighted the areas where we were missing things. I've gotten better about asking for help during this time of the year because I'm no Bionic Woman and I can't do everything for everyone and take care of myself.

11. Just Say No! There are too many options and I cannot be everywhere for everything and still take care of myself. I try to set a healthy limit on where I'll go to and what I'll do during this time of the year. Just because you are invited to an event does not mean you have to go. Graciously decline and do not accept guilt for taking care of yourself.

12. I am not a baby - ergo I do not have to eat everything that someone else makes or decides I should eat. I'm an adult and have the right to decide what to put in my mouth and the minute someone tries to guilt me into eating something is the minute something is wrong with this picture. Thank sweet Auntie Sue for the calorie laden gift of food and then promptly ditch it. The other option is to eat it and then cuss frequently while you're at the gym trying to work that S*** off.

I like my list, and it works for me. That doesn't mean it's the best list for you. What do you need to put on your list? Make it now before you run out of time and then wonder what hit you when you get on the scale on New Year's Day.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUJIFRUIT 11/4/2011 9:37AM

    Love this list. Good luck to us all!

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PIGSOFGREEN 11/3/2011 11:17PM

    Great tips!! Thanks for posting this - I've been working on surrounding myself with encouragment and motivation lately, it's a big factor in my drive to keep going forward!

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FATHINSN 11/3/2011 10:53PM

    For now, I have 3 things in my list that I hope can affect positively on other aspects in my life - good quality night sleep, more control with meals, get active with non-exercise & exercise activities. Usually I use different words for my quartely and monthly plan but those three are my basic. I usually get better with getting active, especially since I'm a fidgety but when I do terrible with sleep and meals, the get active turn to get sluggish!

Thanks for your list, I can add some to mine, especially the part No, Buddies and Sound :D

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NEW_LIFE2 11/3/2011 5:50PM

  what a great blog! Very helpful and I love your attitude! Thank you!

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JANESSMI 11/3/2011 12:12PM

    Great summary of owning our behavior to get through the holidays. Thanks for writing them down. I am going to print and see if they help me too.

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MICRAELIE 11/3/2011 11:32AM

    Wow -- what a fantastic blog. I love not only the really helpful tips but also the positive attitude. Thanks so much for sharing!

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MOSTMOM1 11/3/2011 9:34AM

    Great blog!

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PJMOGG 11/3/2011 12:20AM

    I absolutely loved this blog and this list!!

All ideas that make so much sense...and are REAL do-able things that will set us up for success....

Thank you so much for sharing..I for one, will be keeping this list close!!

Congratulations on the success of your journeys...to you and Susie!

emoticon paula

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ACCT1908 11/2/2011 4:55PM

    Thanks for the tips. I get SUPER lazy when it's cold outside and my job is flexible where I don't have to come in if it's nasty out. Make for a lazy Sparker.

This year, I will NOT hibernate and I will NOT gain! Here's to us!

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MACKIEFISMOM 11/2/2011 4:45PM

    This will be my first holiday season Sparkin' so I will need this list!! Thanks :)

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ROSIE777 11/2/2011 3:18PM

    Awesome list sweet friend Thank you for sharing it with us. emoticon I holding on for dear life. LOL

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JOSIEISHEALTHY 11/2/2011 3:13PM

    Thanks for the tips, I def needed that haha. My sister is getting married a few days after New Years so these next 60-70 days are going to be insane!

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EMILYULM1 11/2/2011 3:06PM

    Wonderful words of advice. Thanks. I'll be bringing these through the holidays with me.

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