The holidays are soon approaching and there is no better time to make changes to your lifestyle. Creating healthy habits prior to the temptations of freshly baked pies and heavy meals will prevent you from gaining any excess pounds and suffering from the “I’m such a fatty” blues. Once Thanksgiving passes, you will be toasting the New Year and making resolutions that will hopefully lead to a brand new you. But how long do these false promises last? The gym tries to lure you in with amazing specials, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers provide offers you can’t refuse and the market becomes saturated with supplements claiming to melt the pounds without any exercise. Who are these companies kidding? If transforming your life is what you desire, why wait? Think of a few goals, create a timetable, enlist help, if needed, and begin today!
I recently met new members to the fitness family (I love when people take charge of their weight and unhealthy eating habits). Ego Fitness Studios kickstarted the holiday madness by offering the 21 Day Turkey Challenge. This began on November 1st and encourages participants to lose weight and inches during a specified time frame. By teaching the core principles of clean eating and daily exercise, the owner, Alfred Malone, hopes that lifelong changes will be learned. A former NFL player and now a gym owner, Alfred has made it his mission to change one life at a time by offering classes such as Zumba, pole dance, cardio and strength training sessions, and CrossFit coupled with guidance to those seeking to empower themselves with knowledge.
During the initial weigh-in period, a few of the participants enthusiastically shared their goals. I spoke with Candance Grace, who stated that she “wants to lose 8 pounds and shed 12 inches.” After watching her aggressively pound on the punching bag, I have no doubt that she will meet this and exceed it. Two other challengers, Heidy and Erika, both agreed that an overall reduction in weight and inches was a healthy approach to the competition. Did I mention that money is involved? Whoever loses the most weight could win up to $1000!! What a perfect way to begin the New Year…a chunk of money to help reduce debt and a few dollars to purchase a cute Lululemon outfit to show off the new and lean you.
Time management and careful planning are key when making the investment in your improved lifestyle. Yes, most people are busy and swamped with a chaotic list of to-do’s but we make time for the agenda items that are important, right? Isn’t your health a priority? Maybe you won’t be able to volunteer at every church or school function and that’s ok. Find a few activities that will fit your schedule or wake up earlier and hit the gym at 5:00 a.m. Even if the approach is to baby step your way into the world of wellness, easy changes can be made at home. Swapping soda for carbonated water with fresh lemon or unsweetened green tea would yield a huge reduction in empty calories. Try including whole wheat pasta in lieu of white pasta and brown rice instead of white. Use 99% lean turkey meat in pasta sauce and chili and start reducing your family’s intake of red meats. Check each product for hidden hurdles to a svelte body such as high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, lard, and all the other things we can’t even pronounce. The key is to keep it simple. The fewer things included, the better. Have you really looked at what is included in bread on the shelf? The paragraph is ridiculously long. I always purchase fresh bread from Central Market and freeze it. What about snacks for the kids? Are you peeking at the list of what makes everything taste so good? Once you become aware of how the body responds to high quality foods, you will lose the desire for sludge.
Are you willing to try during the holidays? Make it your mission to be in tune and connected with your body. Don’t be one of the unfortunate guests who falls asleep in front of the tele after consuming a plate full of heavy carbs and fattening proteins. Keep in mind that it’s the combinations of the foods that tax your body too. Your engine is working overtime to digest the artery clogging meal you just inhaled and it’s trying to decide what is fuel and what will be stored as fat. On Thanksgiving morning, my daughter and I will be participating in the 21st Annual TXU Energy Turkey Trot. It’s a tradition that we’ve done for quite some time…even when she was being pushed in the running buggy. Instead of lounging around the house and focusing on food, get up and get moving. Push out a quick 6.2 miles, no matter if you walk or run.
Let’s work on this…be mindful of what you eat. Slow down and enjoy each bite, include fresh food choices and savour the flavors. Be creative with combining veggies and instead of chips or fries, add slices of cucumbers and red peppers to a sandwich for the added crunch. Substitute hummus or avocado as the condiment on whole wheat bread and skip the mayo. Look at the ingredients in mustard – it usually lists sugar so try the spicy mustard with horseradish instead. Your sinuses will clear immediately. Make each meal a presentation. Don’t save any fine tableware for a special occasion; use it all the time. Granted, I have done this since my children were very young and I wound up replacing glasses and plates over the years but I’d rather that than cabinets full of restaurant take home cups, plastic straws and paper plates.
There is nothing holding you back. Eliminate the excuses and find the time to take care of self. You won’t regret it. Now that’s dripping sexy…