It’s the most wonderful time of year!
Where the laughter is contagious, you’re capturing every moment you can of your littles experiencing all the magic this season brings, you’re seeing family members you haven’t seen in at least a year…if not longer, there’s lots of miles put on the car, presents under the tree, stories being told and then there’s the amazing FOOD! Grandmas secret recipes that you only get this time of year, deserts overflowing, carbs, carbs, and more carbs.
SO what do you do this time of year to not walk into the New Year regretting everything you did the last few months? You’ll notice I titled this blog “Fit for the LIFE” not just the holidays but, FOR LIFE. Everything I am going to share is not something I only try to follow with the holidays but, truly year round. I’ve been on this journey now for over 6yrs, I have learned so much! I have gone from one extreme to the next, only to find myself depressed about where I was. After 6+ years of being in the health and wellness industry and numerous years of being a Group Fitness Instructor I have FINALLY found a good “balance”… which I really dislike that word when it comes to life but, when it comes to enjoying food and seasons I feel like it can be applied. So, lets look at all the components of what this journey includes and I am going to share what has worked for me…. and what hasn’t.
Remember… every single person and every single body is different! Praise God for that and His creativity! So, maybe there’s something that works for me that hasn’t worked for you. I am sure between all I am going to share you can find one take away you can apply or maybe even just tweak to fit into your life. I am NOT a doctor, I am NOT a dietician, I have like 12hrs of college under my belt. So, you’re just hearing from a gal that’s just been trying to figure this thing out now for a few years.
I am a mother to four beautiful children here. I have two babies walking with Jesus. In the last 2-3yrs my body has gone through three back to back pregnancies. Two resulting in miscarriages within the first trimester (You can read about this journey on my blog, look for the post called “Anything”) My miracle baby will be ONE in just a few weeks and my oldest turn NINE in just a few days… time does not slow down. SO… all that to say is I have seen and felt my body go through many seasons. I have birthed children, I have lived a healthy life, and I have lived a very UN-healthy life!
One of my most favorite sayings is, “You never know how bad you feel until you feel really good again”
That is EXACTLY what I thought once I found what worked for me and once I started feeling REALLY good again! So, here’s what I got… take it for what it’s worth! I hope at least one thing will help you began the journey to the best YOU! Because YOU are worth it sweet friend. You are CALLED! You don’t have to keep walking around with your head down trying to not be noticed. You don’t have to keep looking in the mirror watching the tears build up as you see the girl in the mirror. You don’t have to tell your kids, “NO, I can not go play basketball with you” because you have no endurance to keep up. Things can begin to change. It will take consistency and persistency and you’re going to have to be ok with it not happening over night.
You’re training for a MARATHON. Not a sprint. And enjoy the training. Who God shapes you to be in the midst of it is seriously better than any other reward. I am going to break this whole concept down into numerous blogs because I believe each is very important and I like to talk/write so, I will have a lot to say about each category…
*Nutrition– I am starting with this because I believe this is where majority of us struggle the most. It’s the food we consume. This is still the hardest area for me, I love working out, I have a amazing supplementation regimen but, between my nutrition and lack of sleep/and stress this is where I struggle the most. Over the past 6yrs I have witnessed that a lot of women will wake up, head to work, hopefully get lunch in, snack on a bag of chips or skittles throughout the work day, then head home for dinner, and raid their kitchen! We get so busy in the grind that we don’t stop to take care of our bodies! We will put our body into starvation mode all day long then go home and eat any and everything we can find in the pantry! So, heres a few things I want to encourage you to begin… not just in the holiday season but, IN LIFE.
Break the Fast– Did you know that is what the word “breakfast” means? To “break the fast” You have heard it your whole life… “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” As cliche as it sounds, IT IS TRUE! So, maybe this is where your journey begins. You start eating breakfast everyday. For me, it’s a well balanced shake every morning. Reason being, I have four children. This makes my mornings so much smoother! I use a shake that is a perfectly well balanced meal so, I literally add water to it, put it in a shaker bottle, and drink it as I am driving the kids to school. I do this for convenience and honestly just because I have no desire to try and cook a perfectly well balanced breakfast every morning as I am fighting to get four little people ready. Majority of people are either NOT eating anything at all for breakfast OR their stopping to grab a All-Sups burrito or something else with zero nutritional value. For me personally starting my day off with a healthy meal helps get my mind right for the rest of the day. It helps my mind and heart to have the desire to continue the day on a healthy routine because of the first choice I made for the day.
80/20– What this means for me is that 80% of the time I making good choices when it comes to my meals. 20% of the time I am enjoying queso and guacamole. I have gone to the extreme where I have denied myself of everything except what was healthy and on my plan. Nothing wrong with that in specific seasons or trainings but, as a life goal…. it’s just not realistic, at least in my world. I love chips and salsa way too much to never have them again. So, I find that if I stick with my plan for the week and allow myself to enjoy something I love, maybe on a Sunday after church or a Saturday date night, it keeps my mind right and my heart happy. One thing you will find as your body starts to get healthier is that it doesn’t crave the things it once craved. For example, 6yrs ago if you knew me, I would go workout but, right after I would indulge in cheese enchiladas… like daily! They were my favorite food and I had the mindset of, “I worked out so, I can eat what I want” So I did. And I got no where. Reality check… YOU CAN NOT OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET. As soon as I understood this enchiladas became a thing of the past. BUT after a few months of cutting them out and picking up good habits I went out to eat and ate a HUGE plate of them. Guess what happened later that evening? Let’s just say I called out for dinosaurs that night. My body had rejected what I had put in it because my body was adapting to the new and improved choices. So, I promise over time your cravings will change and you will not desire all the unhealthy things you use to. It’s been 6yrs now and I can honestly, 100% say I do not desire enchiladas, AT ALL! Haven’t had them in probably 5+ years because the desire is no longer there.
So, with the holiday season here’s some great 80/20 tips..
- *ENJOY the meals with your loved ones! BUT use portion control! Do not let ANY portion be bigger than the size of your palm!
- DO NOT KEEP LEFTOVERS! Send them home with someone else OR toss them! Do not keep them if they will tempt you! Early on we didn’t keep them at all because I could not resist the temptation. Now, it doesn’t bother me so, we do keep them and let the kids have it!
- If at all possible try creating some healthy alternatives. Maybe instead of loaded baked potatoes this year you venture out and try a healthier sweet potato recipe. Try using a lighter dressing on the salad this year. All you have to do now a days is hop on Pinterest and you can find any and everything! Try some kind of fruit casserole or something for desert instead of the typical “Apple Pie” … You get my drift!
- NO SODAS or ALCOHOL! Or at least limit it to ONE! I can’t tell you how much cutting these two things out alone will change your life!
HYDRATION! Learn to love water! If you can’t drink it straight up try making infused water. Again, Pinterest for the win right here! You can slice up cucumbers, strawberries, some mint leaves, etc… throw it all in a pitcher and it adds this really refreshing flavor! If your body is dehydrated your energy level will hit rock bottom! Your body needs water! When we deprive ourselves of hydration we feel sluggish, tired, etc therefor we turn to junk instead of just chugging a bottle of water. You should be consuming half your body weight in ounces of water (Example 150lbs = 75oz of water) If you’re more active it can be more. Me personally, I shoot for a gallon a day. I feel my best when I consume that.
Start training your body by eating 4-6X a day! This is where people can really struggle! Most of us, like I said earlier, go all day not eating then consume 3000+ calories at dinner! Think of this…. If you have a baby or when you were a baby you ate every 2-3 hours! My baby starts crying at about the 3hr mark because he is hungry so, he eats. Our bodies began this when we were born but, we neglect or refuse our body what it needs therefor it begins a new cycle. Get back to what your body needs. Breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid day snack, dinner, evening snack (optional) AND TONS OF WATER! Hydration is such a huge part of this, as mentioned above!
- MEAL PREPPING- Again, Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest! “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail” Meal prepping is a GAME CHANGER! It takes the thinking out of it! Most of us make bad decisions because we are so busy we grab whatever we can on the go… which is usually fast food! Meal Prepping allows you to not have to think or worry about what you are going to eat. You don’t have to reach for anything because you are prepared. There are TONS of healthy prep options on Pinterest. I can’t tell you how much easier this will make life! Does it take time…. YES! But the more you do it the faster you get at it! We like to use Sunday afternoon to prep. Ricky will fire up the grill, we’ll grill some chicken and veggies, Cook some brown rice, then I will portion things out based on our goals. (weight-loss = Create a Calorie deficit, weight gain = create a caloric increase)
- EATING OUT- It’s going to happen, maybe a lot! And you should get to go out to eat with your spouse or enjoy lunch with the girls! BUT make wise choices. This is going to sound AWFUL and I pray Jesus will forgive me for it BUT, one thing I do when I go out to eat.. ask my friends, they’ll vouch… is I tell the waiter I am allergic to butter. I KNOW IT’S AWFUL! But this is the only way to ensure they don’t marinate my food in it! Which honestly, butter totally jacks my stomach up so, I may not be allergic to it but it does make me feel awful! So when i go out to eat I typically order fajitas with the grilled veggies, I cut out the tortillas because I usually enjoy chips and salsa beforehand. If they do not offer fajitas I go with a salad and the lightest dressing they have. OR if seafood is a option I will do salmon or tilapia with rice and veggies… again with NO BUTTER! And of course WATER! Be wise when you get out to eat, it helps so much too if where you’re eating has their calorie amounts on the menu. So you can log what you eat!
- Logging your Food- Download the “Fit-pal” app and actually log your day! This is just a general idea, if you want more specifics get with a trainer or nutritionist and have them set some goals based off your body specifically but, it’s a great place to start to at least make you more aware. You will be so surprised at your calorie intake. This just brings to life what you are really putting into your body and you can log your workouts and water intake. If anything this app will help to begin to open your eyes and make you more aware of the changes you really need to focus on!
- DO NOT EAT YOUR EMOTIONS! Did this for YEARS! Open up Gods word instead! FOOD CAN BE A COPING PLACE FOR MANY OF US! Don’t take your anger, hurt and pain out on your body… it will only bring more!
GRACE GRACE GRACE
These are just a few things I can think of, I am sure I can and will add more over time. The biggest game changers for me though have been not keeping leftovers and learning what and how to order when I eat out. I love date night and I love girls nights out. And honestly I love some cheat food. But I love being healthy for myself and my family MORE! I know that I am worth more than food! I have flipped a switch in my head to see food for what it is…. FUEL FOR YOUR BODY! Give yourself grace as you begin and embark on this journey! There will be days where you absolutely KILL it and days where you drop the ball! Here’s the great things…. Mercies are new every morning! So don’t let one bad meal turn into a whole bad day, and don’t let one bad day turn into a whole bad week, and don’t let one bad week turn into a whole bad month, and don’t let one bad month turn into a whole bad year!
STOP THE CYCLE! We all have a day 1, I mean over 6yrs I guarantee I have had 300+ DAY ONES… and many more to come! We all start somewhere but, they KEY is actually starting! Don’t let the enemy tell you you aren’t worth it. Don’t let the enemy tell you that you were just made to live sad, depressed, etc. Those are all LIES! God created on purpose and with a purpose! Surround yourself with people that are on the same mission as you! We are better together! Get away from the people that are trying to keep you where you are and have no desire to see you become more! Find a community of people that will speak life over you and encourage you to put down the cookies and pick up the asparagus!
Something I live by…. “I will go down fighting”
Say it to yourself. “I will go down fighting”
Start with one thing and once you nail that one thing, add another!
Maybe it means TODAY you will drink all your water, you will not drink a soda! Try going 30 days with NO SODAS! Once you master that, add something else! Maybe it will be to start eating breakfast. So now you’ve given up sodas and you’re eating breakfast. Your body and your mind will change with those two things alone. Once you’ve mastered those try meal prepping… and so on and so on… layer upon layer… grace upon grace…
More to come…