Sunday, June 28, 2015

Handling Holidays

The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is probably my favorite holiday.  (In November, I'll say it's Thanksgiving.)  I love all kinds of music too, except maybe gangsta rap and heavy metal.  Don't laugh, I even like Eminem - he's on my workout playlist.  Contemporary Christian music soothes my soul.  This week, I can't get enough of patriotic songs that remind me of our country's heritage  - anything that instills pride in the stars and stripes or makes me excited to be American.  It might be something more festive like Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA," Katy Perry's "Firework," or something that reminds me of home like Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."  Go Red Sox!

When you are on a journey to lose weight and be fit, how do you handle the holidays?  Family get togethers and picnics turn your nutritional plans upside down and completely interfere with your workout routine.  On Christmas Eve, I was busy all day and kept saying, "The gym closes early, you need to get there."  Yeah, that did not happen.  For the Fourth of July, we are fortunate to be able to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  I am relieved that Maria is health conscious, because I just don't eat like I used to, although I would still kill for a hot fudge sundae.  Traditional picnic foods are not really what I crave!  With the holiday weekend approaching, I am thinking about nutrition and exercise while I am away.  How do you make the best of the holidays?
For starters, since we will be there for the weekend, I am bringing dinner on Friday.  I'll pack some protein powder and bars to carry me through the weekend.  Water!  I have to consciously remind myself to drink lots of water!!!  I am so bad at that.  Thanks to Maria, I'm not too worried about what we'll eat.  No access to the gym means being creative with exercise.  Early morning walks, sets of push ups and maybe some mountain climbers.  If I'm lucky, Maria and I will do one of her boot camp routines by the beach, which will make me super happy.  If I can keep up with her, I'll be so excited.  She is such an inspiration to me.

Handling the holidays when you are trying to stay healthy and fit - whether it is the upcoming 4th of July or Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years down the road - it means you have to anticipate your circumstances.  You have to make choices, say "no" to some, say "yes" to others and figure out how to work exercise into your day.  You don't have to say, "No!" to everything.  A smart nutritional plan allows you to eat what you want in moderation.  If I make the Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna I promised I'd bring, it's not the end of the day, as long as I don't eat five pieces of it and plan it into what I eat the rest of the day.  Summer is the best time of year for picnics because there are so many fresh, healthy options that can be turned into something patriotic.  Think of what you can do with strawberries and blueberries!

The bottom line is this:  Be smart!  Plan your weekend.  Limit your alcohol consumption.  Drink lots of water.  And MOVE your body!  Enjoy your fourth!

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