Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making The Season Work for You

I have to admit, I was having a hard time coming up with something to write about last night when I started this. I was going to write about my new work week morning run routine (or what I hope will become a routine) but that was thwarted by the weather this morning, so it'll have to wait till later this week.

Yesterday an email was sent to everyone in my part of the company announcing that we're having a potluck Thanksgiving lunch next Tuesday! The company is providing the turkey and the rest of us are supposed to bring a dish to add to the feast. Great idea, right? I thought it was pretty cool since we never did things like this at my last job, it's a great way to socialize with co-workers who are usually hard at work, and it shows that senior management cares about the people who are helping the company reach its goals.

Back to this potluck. Part of me thinks this is great, but another part is thinking "Ack. More food!" I take my lunch to work 4-5 days a week and lately it's been one of three things: 1) tuna sandwich & a veggie side, 2) a big salad, or 3) sweet potato and veggies. And of course, I have an apple with lunch every day. So, this feast is just another big, heavy, calorie laden meal just two days before Thanksgiving! It makes me think about all the tempting holiday foods that are ahead and I am determined not to add any holiday pounds this year.

In order to enjoy the holidays, all the delicious food and avoid the need to buy new jeans and running clothes, I have a few simple steps that I am going to adhere too (especially now that I've indulged in the PB&Co brownie I received as part of my payment for Sunday).

1. Keep moving. The holidays get busy but for most of us, getting in a regular sweat session is key to control stress and feel energized, not to mention balance out extra calories. A great way to make sure these don't slip is to schedule them in your calendar like other important appointments. You wouldn't back out on an important appointment or event, would you? And why not raise your heart rate while you're hanging out with friends and family? Grab a few people for a brisk post-dinner walk or friendly game of football or a snowball fight.

2. Contribute a healthy dish to potluck gatherings. I plan to take a simple, but delicious, squash dish to our office potluck next week that doesn't require any butter, cream or unnecessary calories. Plus, it's high in fiber, vitamin A and beta carotene! Find an easy and tasty dish that you can take to events so you know there will be something healthy to balance the other items laid out on the buffet!

3. Choose carefully when you get to an event with an array of food options. There are many events each holiday season, so is it necessary to indulge in everything at each one? If you know the sweet potato casserole is excellent at one party, enjoy a scoop but leave the mediocre stuffing where it is. Then enjoy the gourmet cheesecake at the next party but don't eat the chips just because they're there and you feel like munching. Search out the veggie and fruit platters then pick and choose wisely when it comes to everything else! And it's okay to ask a friend if they want to split a piece of pie with you, too!

4. Eat a little something before you go, if you're attending a cocktail & hors dourves event right after work, like the Step Up Women's Network event I'm going to Wednesday night. You'll likely be hungry so have a piece of fruit or some carrots to take the edge off. If you're not starving you'll be less likely to grab whatever goes by on a tray just because it's there and smells good!

5. Watch the liquid calories. Drinks can be major stumbling blocks during the holidays: cocktails or those delicious seasonal coffee drinks available on every corner! Personally, I much rather chew my calories than drink them! Not only will wine or cocktails make me feel lousy the next day (and likely to have a bad workout, if I go at all) but they just don't satisfy me the same way. If you want a drink or two, that's fine, I just suggest that you opt for something small and low cal. Not only will you save calories but if you're at a work function, holding back on the drinks will help ensure that you won't regret anything the next morning either!

6. Have fun! While it's important not to let the holiday season get away from you, don't let the food and busy days consume you either! Enjoy being with friends and family and focus on all the things you have to be thankful for instead. In the end, that's what the holidays are really about anyway!

What is your biggest hurdle during the holiday season and how do you get over it?

Don't forget to enter the Fit for a Runner giveaway HERE! Entries will be taken until 8pm et tonight!
today's workout -
47min/5.25mile elliptical
3x10 front arm raise
3x50sec planks
lots of stretching


Debbie said...

Sometimes just having to make one more dish puts me over the edge!
Dropped by from SITS to say hi.

Copychic said...

I know how you feel. We have a potluck at work this Thursday, and it seems like the kickoff to lots of lunches, cocktail hours and parties that all come with high calorie counts. Sounds like you're in a good place to resist temptation! :)

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

I get lots of exercise and I don't drink much, so for me the biggest hurdle during the holidays is the sweet treats. I'll be allowing myself something small at parties and then moving as far away from the food as I can.

Karen said...

I love the idea of a potluck, too! Very good way to socialize!

Thanks for the holiday tips! Those are all really great ideas! :0)