The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2003  

There's No Feeling Like Fit
For the holidays

Excuses for not working out can really start multiplying this time of year. Nothing feels worse than putting on 5, 10, 15 pounds or more through holiday errands, plotting, and partying while you're losing muscle tone. It happens when all the extra errands and holiday eats have 'forced' you to lose control of your diet and stop moving. It doesn't have to happen that way. There is no law of holiday physics we're battling here. Just bad habits and insidious behaviors. We are clever enough to shake both of those off.

You can find or invent plenty of ways to keep moving during the big end-of-year dance. One tactic is to overshoot your goals, making plans to bump up your effort, giving yourself the gift of even greater fitness by the end of the year. Or go the other way, and keep moving while temporarily cutting back on your workouts, saving a little time for gift gathering and giving by getting a half hour in each day or every other day instead of a full hour. Meantime, find sneaky ways to move your body while managing your traditional year-end maniacal multitasking:

*Start an active Thanksgiving day tradition. A long family walk, bike ride, canoe trip, or game of hoops before or after dinner is good.
*A Thanksgiving weekend romp through some woods to collect wildflowers, seedpods, branches, and cones for your table and decorations will make romping productive and help everyone in your household make the transition into the season.
*Go cut your own tree this year, or get a potted one from a nursery and plant it at the end of the season. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to dig that hole now.
*Consider starting an inter-generational touch football league with tournament play throughout the season. Include everybody.
*Record holiday music for your workout walkman or MP3 player. Might help reinforce the idea that holiday time is workout time, too.
*Shopping for all those presents can help you burn calories if you shop on foot instead of online or by catalog.
*Find or stage a New Year's Day race or walkathon and start training for it.
*Take the family to some place warm or some place snowy for the holidays where swimming, walking, skiing, making snow angels, skating, running, playing are part of the scene.
*Host holiday parties that include some activity. Skating and dancing are good and traditional. But yoga parties are a new rage, and can really be a gift to your stressed out friends.
*Replace the cookie exchange party with a gift-paper-decorating party. Hire a massage therapist to give your friends shoulder and neck rubs.
*Give your family and friends gift certificates for yoga, dance, workout classes they can take with you.
*Open your fitness gifts early to get a jump-start on your New Year's resolutions. A new pair of running shoes, swim fins, a pedometer, a balance ball, new Pilates tapes or a family treadmill can be just the motivation you need to move more through this season.
*Hire a personal trainer just for the holidays, just for you, or split the cost with a couple of friends. Sometimes it's easier to meet an obligation to someone else than it is to yourself.
*Sign up for a new class now with a significant other. Spending quality time sweating may be the only time you get with your sweetie when the days become jumbled.
*Keep the dumbbells and a balance ball and therabands in the kitchen. Use them while waiting for those cookies to bake. You can do a lot of reps in the 8 or 9 minutes between batches. It'll take some explaining when it's time to clean the dough from the grips.
*Play music with a good dancing beat while cleaning the house and decorating. Move that booty while you dust, primp, deck your halls. This is supposed to be a joyful time. Make it so!
*Make a sticky note that says "The best gift I can give myself and my family is a healthier me. And the only way to give it to them is to move." Post it in your dayplanner, on your bathroom mirror, somewhere you're likely to see it every day between now and the new year.

Plan now. Don't take no for an answer. Exercise even when you are too tired to move. You will curse me then but thank me later. It's 10:30 at night as I write this, but I'm going to do some situps now. Yuck.

Beat Winter Weight Gain, from Shape
Thanksgiving Weekend Races listed at

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posted by Julie |
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