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Thanksgiving Fitness, Food and Family

My Thanksgiving started out ok — this year I slept in a bit and then went to the gym. Because I had a leisurely morning I missed the crowds at the gym, which was also nice! Usually it’s a freakin’ mad house but there weren’t many people there by the time I arrived. Last year I went to the Warrior Room for a killer workout, this year I took it kind of easy. I was feeling kind of yucky due to some dental work and being pregnant I wasn’t all about killing myself to get a mega calorie burn before a day of marathon eating. I was more into doing everything (including eating) in moderation.

I did my standard warm-up (PT stretches, pushups, jumping jacks) and then went into the weights part. This was my workout of the day:

Bent-over Row

Squats (just body weights)

2-Handed kettlebell swing

Leg Press Machine

Seated Cable Row

Lat Pulldown machine

Triceps pulldown

Pec-fly Machine

Then I did some “Ab” work. I use that term loosely because I wouldn’t really call it ab work these days. My usual ab routine is down to just a few things on a matt: planks, Bird Dogs, and the Glute Bridge. Then I did 3 miles on the elliptical and called it a day.

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I got home and cleaned up and then prepped the veggie tray for dinner and then we went over to Michael’s mom’s house for the holiday. His sister made her amazing deviled eggs (yum) and we munched for a few hours. Because of the dental work I had done I was eating mostly softer foods, so the eggs were nice.

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Michael’s brother got the entire thanksgiving meal from Zupan’s again (I think this is the 3rd year we’ve done this?) and it was fabulous! Everything comes pre-cooked and you just heat it up in the oven for 30 minutes or so and it’s done. It’s so tasty and easy.

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Michael usually carves up the bird and this year he tried it the Alton Brown way and it went surprisingly well!

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I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays. Probably because I love mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Those are like my favorite foods. 🙂 Thankfully most of the traditional foods of the holiday are on the softer side so I could actually EAT my favorite foods despite my tooth pain.

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The upside to being pregnant on Thanksgiving? I was already wearing stretchy pants! Yay maternity pants! The downside? I think there is less room in my body for food. LOL Oh well. I still enjoyed all my favorites!

There was some extended family with us this year, one of which is an almost 2 year old. Who is adorable and charming. And he discovered the black-olives-on-fingers tradition for the first time, which was so cute to watch. He spent the rest of the evening sticking his finger out wanting olives. It’s hard to believe that next year this time we’ll have a little munchkin discovering new things too!

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I barely had room for dessert but it was my favorite so you better believe I made room! Yay pumpkin pie! Food coma commenced pretty much immediately.

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It was a really chilled day, which was nice after some of the stressful stuff we’ve had going on lately. Never felt rushed or frantic and could just kind of relax and hang out. And we got lucky and scored some leftovers for a few days! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

Approaching the Holidays

I was really hoping to have lost a decent amount of my honeymoon weight BEFORE the holidays hit this year.  Sadly, that wasn’t the case. I was plugging along, doing my best to eat properly, measuring my food, counting my calories (even the bites) and limiting the alcohol intake. I did okay throughout the latter part of October and most of November.

I was determined not to gain weight during the holiday season. It’s so easy to just say “oh well, I guess I’ll gain that Christmas 5” but I didn’t want that to happen this year. As with most years when the holidays hit, my goal is to just MAINTAIN where I am. Bare minimum, stay where I’m at. That means I can still indulge here and there and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of everything “fun.”  Check out this old post, an oldie but a goodie, on this very topic: Why Wednesday- Why You Don’t Quit for the Holidays.

The biggest thing I can do for this is limiting the liquid calories. Historically speaking I would stop drinking my calories (in all forms) starting the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve-ish. That has worked well for me in the past because it was calories I didn’t necessarily need so for 30 days I could abstain and that would keep the weight steady. Here are a few old posts about Thanksgiving:

Rebel Turkey Day

Setting a Skinny Table

Any Way You Slice That Pumpkin Pie

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Christmas is harder for me. There’s a lot of events–Michael’s work throws a big party that’s catered and has a full bar. My family always threw a big shindig with amazing food and my aunt’s famous eggnog. So much temptation!

Christmas Cookies – Part 1

Christmas Cookies – Part 2

Christmas Cheer

Then of course there is the hot cocoa, which usually satisfies my sweet tooth and is a good low-calorie dessert, but sometimes drinking cocoa makes me want a warm, yummy cookie to go along with it! Dammit more temptations!

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Losing during the holiday season is such a struggle. The social eating is what has always been my downfall. I try my best and I go into these situations with good intentions but then there’s always something on that buffet table that I find irresistible. So how do you stop that binge?

There are a few tricks I use. If I am going to a holiday party where I know there will be lots of good food, I make sure that I get my workout in first. If nothing else it gives the day balance. Next, I try to eat sensibly the rest of the day. That does not mean starving myself, but it also does not mean that the entire day is a waste and I should just eat whatever I want.

Sparkling water and diet soda do wonders. If you don’t want to spend your calories on alcohol, or want to limit the intake, this is a great trick. Sparkling zero calorie drinks can fill you up temporarily and you have something in your hand that you are drinking. So it’s not like you’re standing there like a scrooge while everyone is partying. In the past I did this at my family holiday party because was pretty much a whole day affair and that’s a LOT of calories if you just eat and drink the entire time. I pace myself. I start with water. I switch to diet soda. Then later in the evening I might indulge in an adult beverage or two.

Those adult beverages add a LOT of calories to your meal. Is it worth it? Usually not. Read this post if you haven’t: I Had a Drinking Problem.

Despite not making the dent in my weight loss that I had hoped before the holidays, I am going back to the “just try and maintain” method for the rest of 2014. That is my goal, along with maintaining my fitness routine. Some of my other goals: avoid holiday baking at home (there is plenty everywhere else, I don’t need to make any more!), try not to beat myself up about indulging here and there and most importantly: weigh myself once a week to CHECK IN. Stay on track!

Check out this link for some more tips: 32 Science-Backed Ways To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

How do you keep the weight gain at bay during the holidays?