A blog about my journey as an athlete and a woman. Come step into her shoes...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Inhershoes Guide to Staying Fit During the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to celebrate, and boy, do we make the most of it. We EAT we DRINK, we indulge and then we end up feeling like bloated whales by the time it's all over. Staying healthy through the holidays is quite the challenge. I am trying to do my best to stay on track in my eating and exercise through the week, but on the weekends it gets soooo hard! I want to ENJOY all the holiday has to offer including all the party FOOD. I can stay away from most of the sweets because that is not my true weakness, it’s all the appetizers, drinks, and food that is so tempting to just say “hey this holiday comes only once a year enjoy, enjoy”, but I know that the next day I will regret that decision.

So how does one do it? How do you stay away, well I have some tips for you all that might be facing the same challenge this holiday.The first step, says lifestyle coach April Masini, is acknowledging the holidays probably will affect your exercise program to some extent. Then you can make adjustments that will help you stay fit during the season.


SHORTEN YOUR CARDIO: Cut down your cardio into small circuit maximizing all the time you have even if it’s only 10 minutes. You can do real simple actives that don’t require too much like; walking, running, jump roping or cycling. Get the most out of the time you have by working at a high intensity.

This sample 10-minute BOOTCAMP is a great place to start:
0:00 to 1:00 - Warm up with a brisk walk (outside or around the house)
1:00 to 2:00 - Jumping jacks
2:00 to 3:00 - Jump rope (pretend if you don't have a rope)
3:00 to 4:00 - Run as fast as you can for 1 minute (in place or outside)
4:00 to 5:00 - Ski hops: Stand with feet together, bend knees and jump a few feet to the right and then left, landing with bent knees.
5:00 to 6:00 - Jumping jacks6:00 to
7:00 - Walk as fast as you can
7:00 to 8:00 - Jump rope
8:00 to 9:00 - Jumping jacks
9:00 to 10:00 - Cool down and catch your breath

Remember to work hard. Keep your perceived exertion at 8 or 9 for the entire workout.

WORK IT WHERE YOU CAN: If it’s taking the stairs at work or at the mall DO IT! This holiday season, wear a pedometer as you're running around, and see how many steps you can accumulate. Use EVERY opportunity to get in more movement, whether it's parking on the opposite side of where you need to be (I do this often).

TIME: Increase your time management skills over the holiday season. Organize your day the evening before. Prioritizing your tasks beforehand will help you find time to exercise. Each week, make it a priority to fit in three exercise sessions.

CHALLENGE: Give yourself a CHALLENGE! You can join the bootie burner challenge like me or got to livestrong.com to find one that works for you! Or even better ask a friend to hold you accountable, and each of you can work together to STAY fit during the HOLIDAYS!


EAT BEFORE: Rules to live by: NEVER go grocery shopping while hungry, and similarly, never hit a holiday party on an EMPTY stomach. You'll be less tempted to overindulge if your belly's full of something healthy. I think this is one we all know but tend to forget.

CHOOSE ONE TREAT: Once at the party, choose one thing to indulge in and make it good. No chips or anything you can have at any old time. Pick something you ONLY get during the holidays.

CONTROL YOUR DRINKING: Alcohol is an easy way to consume more calories than you need, so AVOID mixed or fruity drinks, and have a glass of water for every drink you consume. Also, definitely AVOID the egg nog; it has up to 350 calories a cup. A great thing to do is bring a packet of hot tea or apple cider and ask if you can have some boiled water.

DON'T SKIP MEALS:It's tempting to skip meals to make up for whatever nightmare food you'll eat later, but just like the empty-stomach rule, if you're starving, your rational mind will be unavailable for healthy food choices. Eat SMALL meals all day to avoid going nuts at the buffet table.

THE SEVENTH DAY RULE: Try to eat as healthily as possible and munch on holiday treats in small quantities. Did you notice I did not say to avoid holiday meals or treats? If you try to avoid them, you will regret it. This is always a good rule of thumb. Eat healthily for six days, and then eat one or two items, holiday snacks or deserts on the seventh. I try and do this all the time even when it’s not holiday season.

BALANCE: Remember that balance, variety and moderation apply to holiday celebrations as well as to most other things in life, so don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Keep your good intentions, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the holidays.

I am making it a personal challenge of mine to make healthier body. mind, and soul choices through this season. I already had two parties this week and did pretty well, but after writing this information I am going to push myself harder so that I feel HEALTHY and POSITIVE this SEASON. What are you going to do for yourself this season to stay HEALTHY?

" it's important to enjoy the spirit of the holidays and not focus on food so much; it is not the main point of the gathering. By doing that, you will make healthier choices."- Amanda Gavlik is a Health.com Contributing Editor


  1. Work out 6 days out of seven, even if it is small workouts
  2. Increase my weight training at least 2 days a week
  3. Drink more water at holiday parties in order to stay fuller and make better food choices.
  4. Write down my weeks goals of exercise for my challenge
  5. REMEMBER the true meaning of the SEASON!


Anonymous said...

Bobbi, your meal and evening last night looked amazing! Glad you guys had such a great time :D

My holiday tips are going to be making sure I stick with my workouts. I already know the cheese and wine are going to increase, so I need to make sure my workouts don't slack. :D

teacherwoman said...

After my doctor appointment last week, I started keeping a food journal to really see what it is that I eat throughout the day. She said to include all the BLT's as well... Bites, Licks, and Tastes. It's amazing what you WON'T put in your mouth when you remember you have to write it down! LOL. As for staying on track for the holidays, it is hard. Being a teacher, this time of year there are always treats in the classroom and lounges and it's hard to say no. But, it's a good feeling when you say no to a few treats throughout the day that you probably otherwise would have had a nibble of... I think that makes a huge difference!

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher too and this Thursday and Friday its major pastry time at work!! The kids' parents are going to be baking and they always bake SO much!
I did love your guide though! you always put out such awesome information!

Anonymous said...

Those are all great tips. Thanks for sharing. And I totally concur with the do it in moderation rather than avoid it philosophy.

Mica said...

Thanks for the tip. Even though they're commonsense, it's really helpful to get a reminder right before the onslaught of holiday deliciousness!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Unlike you, sweets are my biggest weakness. I just love them and always have. I am really good during the week, but weekends are another story. I do try to limit myself with the amount of cookies and such I intake. I am really goo during the week, but weekends are tough.

I am really going to watch the amount I eat. For me it is will power.

Meighan said...

HI! I have been reading your blog for awhile and think you are so awesome. I wish I had your self control with "carby treats." About 2 yrs ago I was completely obsessed with every calorie, working out etc so I am still struggle with guilt.

I have 2 exercise questions if that's ok! WHo are you certified thru for kickboxing? And how did you start to run and train? I'd love to run but I just cannot seem to do it!:(

Meighan said...

Oh my tips....Keep up with my workout...eat small bites of somethign I really want on a plate...no nibbling, picking, etc And (big one for me) eat in front of people. Just because I think I "am the healthy eater who shouldnt eat 'those foods'" doesn't mean everyone else does. I dont have to hide that I work my a$$ off and deserve a small treat when I really want it once in awhile.

MacDuff said...

I love your goals for the rest of the year. One thing that kills me is that everyone seems to hold everything in until New Years Resolutions come around...just so tough.

I want to focus on staying on track for my workouts and trying to only indulge if it's something really, really great - not just the rum balls and sugar cookies that are everywhere now.

Anonymous said...

Love the tips! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great tips Bobbi! Thanks for these! I'm excited for the HBBC to start tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

great tips, thanks! It seems like your party last night was a perf example of enjoyment and balance of GREAT family, food, treat and fun :D And hey, maybe wearing my running shoes to parties will be a little reminder..haha ;)

Lance said...

Awesome tips Bobbi! Weekends are by far, the most difficult for me. I think it's because food just seems so much more readily available... I'm all for some indulgences - the key being in moderation. The workouts is the area I'm going to concentrate on during the holidays - they've slipped a bit - and I need to get things going here again!

Fitnessista said...

great tips!!!
i also live by the 7th day rule- it keeps me on track by knowing i get a day to treat myself
hope you have a wonderful night!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely be taking your advice about drinking lots of water at holiday parties!! I have a TON coming up and I'm a little worried about all the indulging that tends to go with...



Megs: My Kickboxing studio is who I was certified through. I have been running my entire life so there is no big story there, but I didn't get fast until I started getting seriouse if you want more training tips email me and I will send you some great stuff!

Anonymous said...

I love the advice of not going to a party hungry. I have a holiday party this Friday and we're definitely going to at least have a healthy snack before going. I’m going to limit myself to one glass of wine this time around too (I’m a lightweight).

Pearl said...

thanks for the tips! :)

Anonymous said...

Geez you are so disciplined I wish I could spend a day in your shoes, I mean I care about my physical fitness, but you have it down to a fine art.