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4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle” and Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All!

A very common struggle among women today is a lack of time. I bet you can relate.

When subscribers sign up for my newsletter, I ask them in the very first email what their #1 struggle is. One of the top 2-3 answers I receive from subscribers is, not surprisingly, “lack of time” to workout.

That’s not shocking, right? We all suffer from the busy-ness bug!

I totally understand! I’m a mom, wife, teacher, coach, business owner, church member, friend, daughter, sister, and the list goes on……

Consider a this for a second:

And here’s a (very kindly spoken) tough love alert…

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

I know, I know- we are certainly all in differing circumstances in our life. We don’t all have nannies, maids, and other hired help. But, even within our own circumstances- no matter what they are- we get to choose HOW we spend our time outside of work hours.

Being “busy” is an epidemic in our rushed society. How often do we hear from a friend that she can’t (fill in the blank) because she is “too busy.” You may even find yourself saying that. I do!

It has sadly become the norm for “I’m too busy” to fly out of our mouths in response to any request or invitation. What does “I’m too busy” really say? To me it says, “That is not a priority” or “I don’t find that important to do.” (Just being honest here, and I’m GUILTY as charged!) We can all agree that we each have the same 24 hours in our day. We choose to use those hours differently based on what we determine is important to us!priorities

It’s time to think about designing your life in a way that you are in the driver’s seat of your time. Don’t sit back and let life happen to you. When you sit back and let things happen TO you, you are giving up full control and just move from one frantic “thing to do” to the next. It becomes a vicious cycle of busyness that seems to be unbreakable. In the meantime, no one is really enjoying all the busyness!

4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle”

1) Schedule your top priorities FIRST. To find out what a person deems important, take a look at their calendar! Does your calendar match what you SAY are your priorities? I’ve come to realize that I’m not “too busy” for the things I find to be important. I make time for my top priorities each day. We all do! But sometimes we haven’t thought about it deeply enough, so we end up just living moment to moment, getting through each day.

Suggestion: Carve out 10-20 minutes each week to re-prioritize your life. Write down all the things that you need to make sure happen each day of the week – the things you will do no matter what. Place your most important priorities on your calendar or in your planner FIRST. Pick a night of the week to do this, and make “scheduling” a tradition. How much better do we all feel when organized?!? Or is it just me?? 🙂

Write down a typical day or 2 and look for time slots that you could use differently or more efficiently. This could be the first step to leveraging her time better. Once you find those time slots, use them wisely. If health and fitness are important to you, schedule in 20-30 minutes a day a few times a week for working out. Schedule in a couple of hours on the weekend for food planning and prep for the week. Writing it down is the first step to GETTING IT DONE!

Also, limit your time on email, facebook, twitter, or wherever you find a time sucking black hole in your schedule. Turn off notifications on your phone so you aren’t bombarded ALL.DAY.LONG with beeps and rings that let you know there is email to be read or facebook posts to be “liked”. Set aside 30 or so minutes a day to catch up on emails or social media. This ONE thing alone has increased my productivity by leaps and bounds!

2) Get rid of the “victim mindset” when it comes to your schedule or your circumstances. I used to be the QUEEN of this! As a new mom, 10 years ago, I would often have a pity party about how I didn’t have any time for myself because I now had a baby that required my 24/7 attention. Of course I loved my son dearly and wouldn’t have traded caring for him for anything else in the world, but I now realize that my attitude and thoughts around my new situation were causing me to feel miserable. Looking back, I see that I was getting something out of playing the role of a martyr. I enjoyed how others would feel sorry for me when I told them how my time was no longer mine and I was “too busy” to even take a shower. They would pat me on the back and tell me what a great job I was doing. I was getting affirmation out of playing a “victim” of my circumstances. Now I realize that when I’m in the victim mindset, I’m hindering myself from taking ACTION on what I really desire.

For me, I now choose TAKING ACTION over BEING A VICTIM. 🙂

How many times do you say or hear it be said, “I’m too overwhelmed to add anything to my day. I’m just too busy.” What that is saying is that whatever the activity is that is in question isn’t currently a priority. That’s ok! Just be truthful with yourself. There’s no judgment. It just is what it is – not important at the moment.

Consider this: How many of us will JUMP when called upon to send a snack for our kid’s preschool class or sports team. It doesn’t matter if you get the call at 10 pm, you are ON IT! React the same way to the things you say are important to you! If you say it’s important to exercise, for example, you will find a way just like you found a way to make those cookies for your child’s class or team (even though you were tired, it was late at night, or you were feeling overwhelmed).

3) Don’t take on new obligations that are unnecessary. (i.e. Learn to say “NO” sometimes!)

Self-imposed busyness is a way we sabotage our own goals. It’s how we justify not eating right (don’t have time to plan or cook meals) and not exercising (who has time for that?!). An authentic “no” is much more appreciated than a resentful “yes.” Agree? Would you want someone to do something for you that they didn’t want to do? I believe we’d all agree that the answer is no.

4) Prioritize LEISURE time in your own schedule as well as your KIDS’ schedules.

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” –Lao Tzu

Our kids are scheduled down to the minute these days instead of outside running, playing, building forts, making mud pies, etc. Sports and other extra-curricular activities are important, but they don’t ALL have to be done at once. Set limits. Don’t be addicted to “BUSY.”

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And for all you ladies, make sure that at least 5-10 minutes a day you can relax and enjoy a hot bath, a good book, a leisure walk with the family, or chat with a good friend. This is important to our own psyche and our stress level. It’s not selfish to prioritize meeting your own needs from time to time. I would argue that having your needs met makes you a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, and neighbor. 🙂

What does this have to do with health and fitness?

A lot.

When you don’t prioritize your health and fitness and the health of your family, no one benefits. Don’t be “too busy” to take care of your own physical needs! If you are healthy, active, and feeling alive, you are able to help your friends and family in an even better way – without resentment or being bitter about it.

If you need help, hire a coach to help you. Ain’t no shame in that! I’ve personally had several coaches in my life that have helped me better myself. 🙂

Health and fitness aren’t at the top everyone’s priority list. I get that! For me, it wasn’t for many years. I encourage you, however, to use these same principles in your life to make sure that “busyness” isn’t getting in the way of your TOP priorities whatever they may be.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes that I love about busyness…

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ~ Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

 

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

 

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves” ~Jack Kornfield

 

“The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much further.” ~Sir Heneage Ogilvie

xo -Jill


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Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

 

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My 8 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

I just finished week #8 of working with my coach, Roman. Below is my current progress check in!

  • My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan is still in play until further notice. I switched from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase 3 weeks ago (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (higher carbs, slightly less fat than the first phase, and protein has increased).

The newest change brought a feasting period for 1 day each week. What that means is I can eat anything I want (preferably higher carbohydrates) beginning at lunch time, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. I posted what I ate in the “my successes” section.

On the flip side of the “feasting period” is a FULL fasting day. :/

For the first 2 weeks of this plan, I feasted on Saturday and fasted beginning Saturday night until Monday morning at breakfast. The third week I adjusted my feasting period to coincide with Thanksgiving of course! 🙂

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. The style of workout changed from traditional strength training to escalating density training. This increases work volume and testosterone. All of this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. As a matter of fact, I’ve only missed 1 workout in the entire 8 weeks. There have been a few times that I shortened a couple of circuits or substituted exercises at a hotel gym, but my consistency had been ON POINT. I continue to increase my weights in the strength workouts. My goals of getting stronger overall and stronger with my pull ups are definitely coming along!

I fully succeeded with my feast days. It wasn’t hard to do at all. Ha! You may wonder what I ate?!?

Well- The first week I had a normal breakfast for me, fajita chicken salad with chips and salsa, 3 slices of pizza for dinner followed by a donut and a package of Justin’s organic peanut butter cups. Yum! I had no GI issues from this. CELEBRATE!

The 2nd week I had IHOP for lunch (1/2 pancakes and 1/2 French toast with syrup plus eggs and bacon) then a normal dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables. For dessert I had 2 mini candy bars from my boys’ Halloween candy and a slice of creamy peanut butter pie from my favorite place. The IHOP meal gave me a tummy ache. 🙁

Then the 3rd week was Thanksgiving, so I just enjoyed all the plentiful food my family had available! It was so delicious, but I did get a slight tummy ache from the feast. BOO!

  • My Struggles: My biggest struggle over the last few weeks has definitely been the fasting period. With that said, I’ve made it all three times and ultimately felt fine. It’s gotten easier each week which is encouraging. During my fast, I’m allowed to have water, black coffee, and green tea. Once, I broke down and had a diet limeade to give my belly something to do besides talk to me. 😉 Basically, I feel physical hunger only a few times (under 5) during the fast. I ride the “hunger wave” and then it subsides. Of course the growling stomach hits on Sunday right in the middle of Bible class just in time to embarrass me! Lol. The good news is that I’ve woken up each day after my fast and been full of energy to crush my workout before breaking my fast. That part amazes me! I totally thought I’d struggle through, but no (to my pleasant surprise!).

 

  • My Outcomes so far:

Mentally, I’m stronger, more confident, balanced yet focused. Physically, I’m stronger too!

As for my overall numbers – I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

The numbers haven’t changed from week 5, but I can see a difference in my photos. Let’s be honest though, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving to the fullest, so remaining steady is a great thing! I’m a day or 2 away from “shark week” so honestly, it’s not the best time to weigh and measure. 😉

Anyway, numberwise, my body is being a bit stubborn on me. I’m excited to get my next phase any day now and see the tweaks made to deal with this stubbornness. If my weight was staying the same and my body fat was decreasing, there would be no issue. That would actually be a great sign of body recomposition! For now, I’m holding steady which I’m ok with. I’m realizing that where I am right now is exactly where my body is perfectly HAPPY. To get beyond this point in the past, it took drastic measures that I’m not willing to do this go around. If coach Roman has a way to move me beyond this point without my losing hair, losing my period, and becoming an emotional wreck, then I welcome it. If not, I’m just fine where I’m at continue my pursuit of strength and meeting goals!

That’s it for now… I will post again in few weeks and letcha know what changes I’m implementing!

Post in the comments (or in the linked facebook post) to let me know what goals you are working on! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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How to Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All

Meet my friend, Maryalice. 🙂

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Maryalice Goldsmith, Founder of InsideOut Wellness

Maryalice, over the past couple of years, has become a great friend of mine. We me in Winston-Salem, NC at a photo shoot for fitness professionals that was hosted by our mutual business coach, Jill Coleman.  I was immediately drawn to Maryalice’s lively personality and energetic presence. Plus, she’s hilarious and makes me laugh out loud constantly when we are together-  and who doesn’t love laughter?!? It’s healing for the soul! We had a fun weekend getting to know each other and have been friends ever since!

 

Maryalice is a leader when it comes to working with clients to lower stress, set priorities in order, and pursue a fulfilled life! This is a journey she knows very well herself (as you will read below), so she’s the perfect person to offer her perspective on how to go about pursuing your own purpose. Maryalice a person who sets out to help others every single day!

 

I was chatting with Maryalice recently, and she mentioned that she had a “Finding Your Purpose” program she’d been using with her own clients. This was an exciting revelation since I’m often asked by busy women about how to stay motivated and how to keep health and fitness a priority.   I asked Maryalice if she’d make an appearance on my blog to share some ideas about how she navigated this journey and offer you some tips on getting started with setting priorities in line with your goals and purpose!

 

Enjoy this journey with Maryalice… 🙂

Hey everyone, I am thrilled to be here on Jill’s blog and even more excited to share a bit about my journey. So thank you for being here!

A few years ago I had one of those revelations, you know the kind that people talk about that changes their whole life…puts things into perspective – that kind. But, unlike many people who have those ‘A-HA’ moments, mine was more of an ‘A-HA’ journey.

I think many of you can relate to those times in your life when you are driving along and you think ‘There must be something more ~ this can’t be it!’ I have to tell you while having these thoughts there was no way I wanted to share it with anyone. I actually felt a bit guilty as I had a pretty awesome life. I was married to my high school sweetheart for 16-years, we had 3-awesome boys, and at the time a beautiful fur-baby (our Yellow-Lab – Abby, now we have 2!). Life was good and there was no way I should be feeling sorry for myself and looking for more. But, in all honestly, I was.

I had this ‘Ho-Hum’ feeling. Every day seemed the same and in one word I was bored. It sounds ridiculous now, but at that time it was what it was. I was a stay-at-home mom, a dream of my husband and mine and I loved being a mom for my boys, there is no greater blessing. I think that is why I was even more dumbfounded. Here I had anything I could have ever wanted and still wasn’t satisfied, I wasn’t 100% happy. This was a struggle because I was ashamed.

Then the journey began…

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One day a friend of mine introduced me to this book called the Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. I hadn’t read a book in I don’t know how long so I was excited to have a book that came highly recommended. I began to read this book and I was having those ‘A-HA’ moments non-stop! There was so much he was speaking about that was resonating.

  • Lacking focus
  • Feeling bored with life
  • Lacking energy – depression and frustration
  • The yearning for something more.

He spoke about how many of us struggle with lack of direction and focus…(Hello – I can so relate!) how we allow ourselves to get caught up in the chaos of life without taking the time to touch base with our soul. We let stress, anxiety, and frustration to build up and we block ourselves from true happiness.

I decided that I was not going to take these ‘A-HA’ moments and do nothing with them – I was going to start my process ~ my journey inward. I began to meditate every morning – I would wake before the entire house and I would sit in complete stillness. This was REALLY hard to get used to, but once I did, it became a highlight of my day. I would then journal and express what was on my heart and mind.

4-Key elements we all need to focus on…

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There were 4-key elements I would address at the end of my journal entry – how was I going to address my spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical needs of that day? I would dedicate part of my day to address these 4-area’s because in that I was honoring my soul. When we honor our soul ~ when we give our soul a voice we are then able to be the very best version of ourselves, we are able to thrive.

This journey was an amazing experience. It made me realize that I wasn’t lacking in anything except the connection to myself. I had lost myself. I was undefined – lacking focus, energy, and my purpose. I had entrenched myself in my role of a wife and a mother, which is a great thing, but as the kids got older and needed me less I became more and more lost.

It takes more than an ‘A-HA’ moment to reveal your true purpose!

Self-discovery of any kind takes time and commitment. The more I practiced stillness the better I got at it. The more I addressed my physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs the more I discovered who I was, what I loved, who inspired me, and who I inspired. I began to live my life with purpose and everything changed – Everything!

I remember waiting for my youngest son to come home after school one day, he was 8-years old at the time. I saw the bus come through the neighborhood, so I jumped up to meet him outside. He came running up the hill to our house and I said: “Hey buddy, how was your day!?” He looked up at me with a quizzical stare and simply said: “Why are you so happy!?

Now someone might have taken offense to this, but for me, it was so affirming. I was not happy the way I was living. I wasn’t miserable either but there is a difference between a person who is grateful and aware and one who is always in search of something more. When you look at someone who is lost and confused versus someone who is confidently clear about his or her life – there is a HUGE difference. This was a profound moment for me. I knew I had revealed my purpose through my practice and the work I had put in. Even more importantly, I knew just how important it was to live with purpose and how it can have a profound impact on one’s life and the people in it.

It doesn’t take a miracle, just respecting your process…

There is no miracle here, by any means. Like I said, there was no one ‘A-HA’ moment that changed my life forever, there is a process and a journey that led me back to me. This process has given me clarity, direction, inspiration, and passion for living my best life yet. If it weren’t for this process I wouldn’t be typing this right now. It allowed me to take risks to design the life of my dreams from the inside out!

I am a believer that when you discover or learn something it is our obligation to share it with as many people as we possibly can. In fact, I have discovered that one of my main reasons I am on this earth is to help others – to bring people to a better understanding of themselves. Doesn’t necessarily matter how I do that, but I know that when I am doing it, I get fired up in a really good way! I am living with purpose. Are you living with purpose?

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There is no need to rush your process. This is your journey and should be respected as such.

People who live with purpose are more focused, grateful, happy, and successful. Their success comes from, not so much in what they are doing but more from the fact that no matter what it is they do, they do it well. They are fulfilled and they embrace life 100%. Their priorities are in order and they go to great lengths to address them daily. They know themselves to the core and they live their life based on their values and morals. They are ‘doers’, risk takers, and they live a passionate life. We all deserve that!

If you have any questions you can reach me here: info@insideout-wellness.net

In Health & Fitness,
Maryalice

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5 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

By Jill Jacobs

I just finished week #5 of working with my new coach, Roman. Below is my 5 week progress check in!

  •  My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan came recently, and my jaw dropped! I’m switching from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (a little higher carbs, slightly less fat, and protein is increased slightly). The newest change though is a feasting period for 1/2 day. What that means is I can eat anything I want, preferably higher carbohydrates, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. The kicker is that I follow the “feasting period” with a fasting day- Yikes! My plan is to “feast” on Saturday afternoon until bed and then fast on Sunday. I’ll break the fast on Monday at breakfast. I admit, this is going to be hard, so wish me luck! My initial reaction to this plan was the same as October’s – “What have I gotten myself into???” Haha!

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. This is similar to last month, but the style of workout changed from traditional strength training to density training. This will increase work volume and testosterone. All this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. The sheer volume of what I’m doing has probably doubled from what I was doing before hiring Roman. I’m eating more to keep up with my body’s needs. The workouts are challenging, but I’ve gone up in weight on so many things!
  • My Struggles: Besides the struggle to eat so much food, my biggest struggle since my last update has been Halloween candy. 😉 I didn’t go overboard, but I ate, over time, more than I’d like to have eaten. I only ate my favorite things. I didn’t make “mindless” choices, so that’s a win! On the nutrition front, Roman has me tracking my macros to make sure I’m getting the correct amount of everything. That pretty much stinks and is time consuming. I haven’t been on top of that during November, but I’m good at eyeballing portions and knowing the macros. I’ve re-dedicated to tracking to spot check myself.
  • My Outcomes so far:

I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

PLUS….

  • I’m feeling stronger and more confident!
  • I’m feeling very focused! I’ve not been this focused on me and my personal goals in over a year, so it’s nice! 😀

That’s it for now…I plan to post every few weeks and fill you in on what’s going on!

Head over to the post below over on facebook and share some of your progress as of late! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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2 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

You may recall that I announced a couple of weeks ago on my facebook page that I hired John Romaniello to be my coach for the next 4 months (minimum) for some goals I have. Below is my 2 week progress check in!

  •  My Plan general overview from coach Roman: I’m in the middle of an “insulin reset” phase so my carbs are low (for me) on my 3 strength training days and almost non-existent on non-training and cardio days. I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts.
  •  My Successes: I was eating mostly nutrient dense, healthy foods before, so I haven’t had the headaches and dizziness that sometimes come with starting a new nutrition plan. In the gym, I feel really strong and love the new workouts. They are challenging but doable! I’ve never done stationary bike HIIT workouts but am LOVING those!
  •  My Struggles: I abhor the treadmill cardio portion! Lol. I’m running treadmill intervals on certain days and I’d much rather be outside running regular sprints. On the nutrition front, Roman has me tracking my macros to make sure I’m getting the correct amount of everything for this insulin reset period. That pretty much stinks and is time consuming. However, it helps me be accountable to everything I put in my mouth! I’m also having trouble eating enough food on my strength training days. The macros are pretty high for me on those days, so it’s a struggle to get in all the protein and fat.
  •  My Outcomes so far:
    • I’ve lost…
    •  in bodyweight – 1.6 pounds
    •  in body fat – 1% (no muscle gain or loss)
    •  in inches – 1/2″ from below my belly button, and about 1/4 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (waist, rib cage, hips)
  • PLUS….
  • I’m feeling more confident!
  • I’m feeling very focused! I’ve not been this focused on me and my own goals in over a year so it’s nice! 😀

That’s it for now. I plan to post every 2 weeks and fill you in on what’s going on!
Head over to the post below on facebook and share some of your progress as of late! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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14 Female Fit Pros Spill Their Secrets for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

How awesome would it be to comfortably wear that little black dress hanging in your closet on New Year’s Eve? How would it feel to slip into your jeans on January 1st and find that they still button just as they do now!?!

 

Read on to find out the secrets of these lovely female fitness professionals who are graciously sharing how they avoid holiday weight gain. Soak in their tips and put them into practice TODAY! Be sure to download all the yummy, fat-loss friendly recipes that are linked as well.

 

Without further ado, meet all the gals… xo-Jill

Kate Horney

Kate Horney

 Postpartum Fat Loss Expert from BeyondFit Mom

This season of Christmas cookies is tough for me. Reindeer mix (have you tried that? White chocolate, m&m’s, pretzels, etc), 7 layer bars and fudge… oh heaven help me!! (I have a major sweet tooth)

Thankfully, after years of living the fat loss lifestyle, I have come to find some great tips for navigating the holidays, keeping my waistline in check, AND still enjoying myself …

Here are two of my favs:

1) Go Guilt Free. If you overeat at one meal, no big deal. Ditch the guilt and simply go light on your next meal. Fill up on fiber and protein and you’ll be just fine. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from ONE piece of pie!

2) Pitch In. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering or offer to help with parties, meals, etc. and share some of your favorite fat loss friendly versions of traditional holiday favorites. Who knows, you may be able to inspire friends and family to get on board and join you in your healthy lifestyle! And even if you don’t, at least you know you’ll have a few dishes that you can enjoy freely.

Here is a link to Kate’s very FAV fat loss friendly holiday dessert; the crustless pumpkin pie! Be sure to check out Kate’s Fat Loss Friend(lier) Treats Pinterest board HERE as well!

 

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Kristy Agan from KristyAgan.com

Wife, Mother of 2, and Trainer at Pro Performance in Rome, GA

I avoid the extra holiday pounds by looking by marking important dates on my calendar like parties, etc. My birthday, as well as Christmas and New Years, all fall within weeks of each other and they all bring along with them treats that I love. So I make those days something to look forward too by eating clean between those special dates. And by eating “clean”, I mean that I avoid eating out as much as possible, avoid processed foods, and I try to prepare the majority of my meals at home using whole foods. Lots of lean proteins and veggies. And of course, I make sure to avoid “drinking” my calories. Holidays also come with social events where “fun” beverages can KILL a fat-loss plan. Whether it’s a glass of wine, tea, pumpkin spiced latte, egg nog……you get the idea…..I have to make sure that I want my “cheats” to be what I REALLY want. And I love a good dessert on occasion so I try to avoid the high calorie drinks whenever possible.

Probably one of my favorite ways to get around a sweet tooth and not go overboard is to eat dark chocolate covered strawberries. They are easy to make and I get best of both worlds!! I find that if I prepare a dessert (cookies, cakes, etc) I end up being the one eating the majority of it so I avoid that pitfall by not baking when I can.

Maryalice Goldsmith

Maryalice Goldsmith
Owner of InsideOut Wellness

Surviving the Holidays without damaging the waistline requires balance, awareness, and choices. So what is one to do? For me, it is all about the mindset. For years, it was about the food, especially the dessert ~ I used to LOVE all those holiday cookies. Today in my healthy lifestyle I choose to put my energy on the people I am with. I allow the love I feel, the laughter I enjoy, and the stories told from years past to fulfill me. This takes awareness. Food is for fuel and it brings us to the table and yes it tastes really good but today in my life, choosing not to have things that leave me feeling bloated and uncomfortable and just simply enjoying those I love truly works for me. This holiday season, sit back and take in all the blessings you have, this is incredible fuel for the mind, body, & soul! If after that you still want a cookie then I say enjoy every bite 🙂 Depriving leads to over indulgence ~ find your healthy balance. Happy Holidays!”

In Health & Fitness ~ Maryalice xo

Check out Maryalice’s “holiday recipe” for enjoying the holiday season. 🙂

Abby Fratzke

  Abbie Fratzke

Owner of Absolutely Strong

I don’t cheat; I plan. Rather than over-estimating my willpower to swear off Christmas cookies for the season, I make a plan to enjoy the holidays and stay fit based on: when my parties/events are, what I truly want to indulge in–rather than eating errrrythang in sight–and how can I support myself before, during and after an indulgence. For example, I know my family always celebrates on Christmas Day at my uncle’s farm so then I won’t indulge on Christmas Eve too–I prepare to enjoy the following day by eating, training and sleeping as usual. Then on Christmas I know I want to indulge in eating my Grandma’s pie and lefse so during meals I load my plate with veg and protein rather than anything unhealthy/tempting so I can enjoy dessert. The following day I work out and/or fast to rid myself of any bloat–because let’s be honest one day of indulgence might cause some water retention, but it won’t ruin your smokin bod! So if you want a glass of champagne on New Years Eve then drink and be merry, but prepare before, pick your indulgence, enjoy and then return to your regular habits.

Inkeri Young

 Inkeri Young

Founder of Ink Young Life

During the holiday season, I keep my eating pretty much just like it is usually. I will enjoy foods that are not typically part of my meals IF they are something that I really want. Store bought cookies, pies and regularly available treats etc. do not appeal to me. As far as holiday treats; I don’t like egg nog and I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie (even I LOOOOVE pumpkin prepared in other ways), but give me some Finnish chocolate that my mom mails us and yes, I will enjoy some 🙂

I always bring something to the parties that I know will be yummy to share and will not make me feel “blah” the next day. Examples of the type of things I might bring are almond and/or coconut flour baked goods, salads and vegetable or cheese & meat platters. And I always drink a ton of water!

When we attend parties with our children, we’ll decide ahead of time how many treats we’ll enjoy and the boys know to look for their protein, veggies and fruit from the offerings to get some of the better choices along with their treats.

think that maintaining fat loss is a great goal for the holiday season. It’s also important to remember that even the food is a big part of the holidays, we don’t need to involve all the activities around it. I love finding non-food and active ways to connect with the family and friends, such as hikes and bowling.

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 Rae Anne Mullins

Owner/Trainer at RAM Fitness for Women

The “old ” me used to fill up on every morsel of food I could get my hands on because “ it’ s the Holidays! ” Well, I no longer look at the Holidays as an excuse to eat. Now I actually challenge myself to lose fat during this time of year. Planning ahead is key to facing the holiday eating frenzy. I take a protein-based dish to every party I go to so that I know there will be at least one thing I can eat that is fat loss friendly. I drink a lot of water and always limit myself to just one alcoholic drink. I find that the conversation is much better when I don’ t drink too much. I love desserts so I have come up healthier versions of holiday classics such as pumpkin pie, cake, and nutty apple crisp. I believe the thing that helps me the most during the holidays is finding time to relax. The stress of getting everything done and making everyone happy is my biggest challenge. I combat the stress with plenty of sleep every night and I enjoy taking a hot bath with a big cup of decaffeinated green tea.

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Sabrina Sarabella

 Clinical Nutritionist and Fitness Expert at Sabrina Sarabella Fitness and Nutrition

Since I am very social I have a ton of holiday parties to go to over the holidays that eating and drinking can sometimes get out of control if I was to let it. Since my weekends can get very busy during the holidays I commit to getting my workouts in M-F, I also keep my diet clean all week long. On Friday and Saturday nights, I allow myself to indulge in dessert or a glass or two of wine but like to focus around spending time with family and friends and not the food involved in the gatherings. I allow myself to enjoy my indulgence but get back to eating clean the rest of the time.

Lisa Gee

(not pictured)

Blogs about all things health and fitness for moms at Workout Mommy

I maintain my weight by only allowing myself to eat the things that are REALLY worth it. Before I have a bite of something indulgent, I always think “is this worth it?”. It’s easy for me to resist things I’m not thrilled with (like mashed potatoes or stuffing) because they just aren’t my “it” food. Brownies, however, get me every single time and I just factor that into my plan. I allow myself to eat one (ok, 3!) and then I know the next day it is back on plan with lots of veggies, lean proteins, and water! It’s okay to splurge every now and then but just make sure it is something that is worth every single bite!

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Lori Musselman

 Owner/Trainer at MusselFit

Oh the holiday parties … so much food! In the past, I would’ve indulged in a little bit of everything. Then I gave myself permission to be a food snob. Yes, a food snob! While it is a time to celebrate, I’ve learned to ask two big questions before I swallow a bite of food that doesn’t fall in line with my health and fitness philosophy:

1. Do I really L-O-V-E what I ’m about to put in my mouth? If the answer is yes, I eat it and feel no remorse. I love pumpkin and cheesecake; even pumpkin cheesecake, so if that is available, I’ m going to allow myself a small piece at a party.

2. Does what I ’m chewing taste good enough to put in my body? Let’s take Buckeyes for example. Chocolate and peanut, what is not to love? Well, my taste buds don ’t care for the powdered sugar taste… so I no longer eat those.

Check out Lori’s Easy CrockPot Chicken BBQ for an easy, delicious, filling option to take to a holiday gathering. 🙂

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 Darcy Knoblich

Health and Wellness Coach at DarcyKnoblich.com

Borrowing from an Eastern medicine philosophy, winter is the time to conserve our energy and practice restorative activities. Unfortunately, the holidays can feel like the exact opposite of this! To stay balanced and keep my butt in my skinny jeans (and out of sweat pants with forgiving-but necessary-waistbands) I focus on self-care activities: daily leisure walks, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and prioritizing consistent meals high in fibrous vegetables and protein. Soups and stews are my favorite! When I take care of myself, I don’t feel depleted. I have the energy to attend all of the holiday parties and eat a few bites of pie without it triggering me to eat the ENTIRE dessert table… subsequently keeping me in my skinny jeans well into the New Year!

Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown

Owner and Coach at Beautiful U Fitness University

Hi, everyone, this is Amanda Brown from B.U.F.U. With the holidays coming, there are lots of tempting situations so I have a three-part survival plan that I use during this time to avoid the holiday weight gain.

1) I focus on eating veggies first and protein second, then fats and avoid sugar/starch during the week.

2) When at a party, I only indulge in my favorites desserts. I do not just eat sweets because they are they. I strategically survey the desserts and only pick a favorite or two (like homemade pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream) and I ALWAYS use a small plate. Then I savor every bite by eating it slowly. On the nights I do indulge with sweets, I don’ t eat fats – only protein and veggies.

3) I don’ t starve myself before a big family dinner, I eat normally during the day, and I bring healthy substitutes to some of my favorites, like mashed potatoes. Plus, I always bring an extra veggie dish I made because my family doesn’t always cook the way I do. Then I focus on maintaining where I am versus trying to lose fat. Lastly, I do a couple extra fat burning workouts.

Happy Holidays 🙂

Erica MacArthur

Erica MacArthur

Founder of Curvy Healthy Girl

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! My whole family gets together and we have a wonderful meal. Yes, it can be challenging to stay away from some of the goodies presented, so I try to just indulge in a couple bites of things that I normally wouldn’t have like cheesecake. Filling my dinner plate with mostly protein and veggies and a couple bites of starch, then my next meal is right back on track. The trick that I have learned in the past couple of years to not packing on the pounds for me is to make sure I get a hard and heavy weights workout that morning and after dinner take a nice walk. Exercising that day is mentally soothing to me and makes me happier about indulging a little bit. 🙂

Julie Stubblefield

Julie Stubblefield

Founder of Fit Mom Revolution

When I was 70 pounds heavier, the holiday season was a complete free-for-all when it came to food. The end result was not only added weight, but I also felt poorly during the entire season. I didn’t sleep well, I felt bloated, and my clothes were less than flattering. The added stress of the holiday season just contributed to how I felt as well. Since changing how I care for my body, I am much more mindful around food. Instead of having a full-on cheat meal each week, I allow myself little indulgences (2 or 3) throughout the week. If I’m baking cookies with my kids, I’ll allow myself to eat one. If we go to a special event, I select one food item that really appeals to me and eat one serving of it. This allows me to participate in all the family and holiday traditions without feeling deprived and keeps me from bingeing. Another key component to managing my mindfulness around food is sleep. When I’m tired, I don’t make the best food choices. And if I’m surrounded by less than ideal choices constantly during the holidays, being tired (or exhausted) makes it even harder to resist. I make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly, and aim for 8 or more when I can. Holidays are busy, but making sleep a priority helps me to fend off the less than ideal foods and also feel better as I’m navigating the crazy schedule. Now that I’ve changed how I handle food during the holiday season, I feel much better, my clothes look better, and I’m in a better frame of mind to spend time with my family…which is what the holidays are really about!

Check out Julie’s YUMMY Pumpkin Protein Treat. (I can’t wait to try it myself! ~Jill)

 

The 14th and final tip comes from me. 🙂 One of MY favorite ways to avoid overeating at a holiday gathering is to have a quick and convenient protein smoothie before I go. It leaves me satisfied rather than famished which helps me make much better choices. I want YOU to have my favorite protein smoothie recipes!  SIGN UP at the very bottom of this post to receive my “Lean Lifestyle Guide for Busy Moms” as well as my TOP 9 quick, easy, and convenient protein smoothie recipes!

 

Are you ready to take the holiday season HEAD ON? If you need support this year, if you want to learn how to navigate parties, if you want to have strategies in place that set you up for success, and if you want  accountability available through working with me, apply for my One-on-One Training and Nutrition Coaching Program today. You will get the support and tools you need to THRIVE through the holidays without the bloat and seemingly inevitable weight gain!

 

I hope you enjoyed these fit pro secrets for avoiding holiday weight gain. Don’t forget to sign up for your free gifts below! Happy Holidays! ~Jill