Tips for Achieving Balance Over the Holidays

 

Hi all!

I’ve been thinking about how exactly to write this post for a couple days now. Especially because I feel like finding the balance in life is a daily struggle. It’s the reason I started this blog in the first place. Truth be told, this whole blogging thing has added a lot more stress and extra time commitments that I never really knew about beforehand. I love it (like really LOVE it), but the whole balancing everything out (motherhood, marathon training, owning a fitness business, teaching classes, etc.) is still a work in progress.

I am honored to be a FitFluential Ambassador and as part of the fabulous FitFluential family we had the task to write about achieving balance over the holidays while focusing on four specific aspects. Those four areas are: eat, sleep, move and enjoy.

I actually really need to focus on these four things a bit more (and focus on them evenly).

It’s also kind of ironic that I’m trying to follow recent doctor orders to change my lifestyle a bit. I was told to rest more, decrease activity, eliminate stress, etc.

Hmm….

I usually don’t do a very good job at following orders (or letting people tell me what to do). Case in point.

 

prego elliptical

That was me two years ago (37 weeks pregnant with twins) when I was supposed to be taking things easy (and I wonder why my belly button looks the way it does).

 

This was a letter I got from a doctor (not the same one who’s orders I’m supposed to be following now)last year when I had a horrible sinus infection just a few days before my first marathon.

IMG_7732

I still ran it four days later.

Yep. Not the best at following directions (or resting or balancing it all out).

I’m really trying though now.

So, I’m going to share some of my tips I use for keeping things balanced over the holidays. I may not be the perfect example, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help during this hectic time of year.

Here’s my go at some advice.

Smile

Eat

I like to plan ahead. If I know I’m going to a party, I eat sensibly before hand so if I find something I really want to indulge on I won’t feel guilty.

I also try to make smart choices along the way. Sometimes Usually Almost always it’s a big dessert I’m really looking forward to so I try to keep that in mind and make sure to make smart choices leading up to it.

Also, if it’s something that I don’t love, I don’t splurge on it. I like to savor my indulgences on the things I really love. Otherwise I just make my own guilt-free versions of treats at home (chocolate fudge pie, oatmeal cookie, STUFT Fro Yogurt, etc.). Sometimes they’re better than the sugary, fattening alternative anyway.

One thing I tell myself over and over again is that the food isn’t going anywhere. If I’ve eaten a little too much on a particular day (or at an event), but I really want that Moose Munch (you’ve had that before, yes?), I just tell myself that I can have it tomorrow if I still really want it.

I also have to be mindful of alcoholic beverages. Sometimes I don’t make the smartest choices after a glass or two of wine (Gee, that’s weird). I try to limit alcohol so that I don’t wind up eating an entirely too large piece of chocolate cake (it’s happened before, more than once).

I also try to use the 80/20 rule. (In fact I just read somewhere that it should be the 90/10 rule. Hmm..) I try to eat wholesome healthy food 80% of the time and then treat myself a little the other 20%.

 

Sleep

*Disclaimer- I started this post last night after watching my man Bob on The Biggest Loser Finale. When I got to this aspect at midnight I had to take my own advice and go to bed. Now I’m sitting here in my pajamas trying to post this before the boys get up.

Speaking of my boyfriend, how cool would it have been if he had Flat Kitty with him on the finale. ha ha!

 

Okay, sleep.

I’m learning just how much sleep affects my daily routine. My body needs it. My mind needs it to focus on the many tasks I have to tackle each day. I need it for my sanity and to have the patience with my very energetic boys.

I’m going to try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. I know I feel that much better when I do.

Here’s a short article I found that talks about the connection between sleep and weight.

 Not Enough Sleep and Weight Gain: What’s the Connection- FitSugar

I know when I’m not well rested my eating patterns and cravings are all over the place. I hate that. I crave carbs like crazy. At least there’s scientific evidence behind it. The article talks about why that happens and the hormone that causes that.

 

Move

I try to keep working out in perspective. I recently wrote a post on working out over the holidays.

The one things I really look forward to every year is being able to watch Christmas movies on the treadmill. He he!

It’s also important to plan out workouts ahead of time. It’s not easy finding the time, but I remind myself how much better I feel after I work out. After a very long day yesterday, I begged Andrew to let me get on the treadmill while he fed the boys dinner. He did (because he’s just that awesome) and it made the biggest difference in my hectic day. (Last night’s treadmill session quote “You’re not Santa. You smell like beef and cheese.”)

Also, if I don’t have time to fit in a whole workout on a particular day, that’s okay. I try to take the few minutes I have and use them the best that I can. Every little bit of exercise I can fit in is something and makes a difference.

Short, high intensity workouts are easy to do at home. Some of my go-to moves are here and .some other quick calorie blasting workouts are on my workouts page (which needs some serious updating- adding it to my list).

 

Enjoy

This time of year is about spending quality time with family and friends. I need to remind myself to enjoy every moment of every day.

I am so blessed with the amazing people I have in my life, I don’t want to take any opportunities to spend time with them for granted. Sometimes it’s the days when I’m away from the computer all day and just living in the moment that I feel the most fulfilled.

Life goes by too quickly and is way too precious to let it pass by while we’re too busy to enjoy it.

 

My friend Lindsay said that all of these four aspects should have a purpose and will have a ripple affect to create balance. She also said less is more when it comes to balance. She is one smart cookie (and just one of the coolest people I know). I have a lot to learn from here.

 

Feel good about the things you did accomplish.

Take things one day at a time.

At the end of the day, it’s the lives you touch that make a difference.

Take time to appreciate all the gifts you’ve been given.

Spend time with your loved ones and the Man above who blessed you with them.

Take time to have your moment.

 

Yesterday was a doozy here. I won’t bore you with details, but it was a rough one around our house.

Somehow it ended like this though (most likely thanks to Children’s Motrin).

And that, my friends, was our moment.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I feel your pain. And I have the same wine + cake problem. :) I’m always happy when the holidays arrive… and a little relieved when they GO.

  2. 2
    Amy Zirkle says:

    Thank you for the inspiring post – be well!

  3. 3

    I think this has to be my favorite balance post I have read so far. I can relate so well and balance is my number one daily goal.

    • 3.1

      Yep – agree with Tina! Best one!
      And that last video summarized the whole thing. End of day, tired, wore out, ready to put those kids to BED! …but you can still sing.

      • STUFT Mama says:

        Thanks friend. We can still “attempt” to sing. :) I can’t wait until my guys can recite Bible readings like Henry. :) They’ve got some work to do. He he! Hope your play is going well!

    • 3.2
      STUFT Mama says:

      Aww… shucks. Thanks Tina. (Recycled elliptical picture from the post I did for you). he he. Balance is a goal for me ever single day too. I wish I could find it and keep it for good. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  4. 4

    Treadmill Chrismas movies sounds fun – my version is usually on the bike trainer (just because I don’t have a treadmill). I should have taken that advice last night instead of my unscheduled rest day, but that’s okay! =) And congrats on being one of the new Love Grown Bloggers!!

    • 4.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Oh yes, treadmill Christmas moveis are the best. :) Thanks for the congrats Heather (and your nice tweets). :) We need a Torani latte and LOVE granola date. :) (PS- I think you deserve a free bottle since your order is taking so long.) he he.

  5. 5
    lindsay says:

    its do as i say, not as i do, right? hehe. Oh i have a lot to learn from you friend! but i like you ambition and i LOVEyour PURPOSE!

  6. 6

    i love all of your tips and advice! all so very true and couldn’t agree more. :)

  7. 7
    Beth Petrassi says:

    All I can say is, “Thanks Kristin”. There is actually A LOT more I could say – but I have about 3 million things to do so that says it best.

  8. 8

    Thank you for this! I know I need balance and rest too but I tend to lean more towards the “too much” camp as well… hopefully we can all make a little progress on that this month and especially in the new year!

    And CONGRATS on being a LOVE BLOGGER!

  9. 9

    Love these tips. I feel extremely busy as well and when that happens to me all I want to do is shut down, which isn’t good either :) The one good thing about it though is I get more sleep. It’s all about finding balance and I feel like that is harder when you are a mother because we always seem to put everyone else first – especially the kids. At least I do. Thankfully we are taking things easy this Christmas so there isn’t too much prep to be done, and since we live on the opposite side of the country from our parents there is minimal visiting to be done too :)

    Love the little song. Lincoln sings the version of Jingle Bell Rock from the Muppet Family Christmas – he loves watching “Mama”, which is what he calls it in honour of Fozzie’s Mom :)

    • 9.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Jenny- I want to hear Lincoln’s version! :) And yes, soo much harder as moms. So glad to hear you can take things easy this Christmas. Hope you find time to relax.

  10. 10
    Bridget says:

    oh that video! Judah is a living bobblehead!!

  11. 11
    Rosiee says:

    Love the singing! Oh and I got the Eating and Enjoying down, just need lots of work on the Sleep and Move part…

    Merry Christmas Kristin & Family!

    • 11.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Thanks Rosie! Andrew says I sing off key on purpose. Ha ha! You’ll get there on the sleep and move part. We all will……. :) Merry Christmas to YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. 12

    Good tips. Balance is so hard. I love when doctors tell you to just get more balance and stress less, lol. Do they sell that at Target?? I’m guilty of overdoing it like you but I’m learning that I don’t want to learn all lessons the hard way!

    • 12.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Good point Sarah. I don’t want to learn all the lessons that hard way either. I seem to have a thing for that though. And hey, maybe we should sell some advice at Target and make some money. :) We all know it before the doctors tell us anyway, right?

  13. 13

    Oh my you are incredible! You made it full term with twins and you look like you were only carrying baby weight! That is impressive! I am definitely a constant work in progress when it comes to balance. I like to think I’m getting there though…

    • 13.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Balance is a struggle every single day for me. Ugh. I’m a constant work in progress too. Random question- did you post butternut squash on overnight oats like a month ago? I had a crazy breakfast today that I concocted from that and I think I saw it on your site. :) You inspired me.

  14. 14

    One of my favorite sayings is “It’s never too late to start your day over.” Sometimes to find my moment I have to pause and do a mental reboot! Gratitude lists also help me tremendously. Something about seeing all the good in my life down on paper helps me face the bad with a better attitude! Great post, FELLOW LOVE BLOGGER! ;)

    • 14.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Hey- What a fabulous saying! I love (Love Grown Foods) it! :) Thanks for sharing! And gratitude lists? Fabulous idea! You are just making my night Christin! :) I need to make a list.

  15. 15

    All great tips! They seem so simple but I’m not one for following directions either so I sometimes get off track and forget how easy it is to get things moving in the right direction again! Oh, and congrats on officially becoming a Love Blogger! ;) As if there was any question that you would be… ;)

  16. 16
    Liz Anglin says:

    Thanks for the awesome tips! My favorite part was the words of wisdom and video @ the end…And Judah’s (?) little head bopping back and forth! You have the sweetest boys ever, Bella can’t wait to play with them on Monday! :)

    • 16.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      The boys can’t wait to play with Bella!!!! Maybe they’ll sing for her. Yeah, I’m not sure what’s up with Judah’s head bopping. It might have been the motrin. he he. See you Monday! Two more days for you!

  17. 17

    I always have to remind myself the food isn’t going anywhere too.

  18. 18

    Balance. Something I really need in my life!!!!

  19. 19
    Trevor E says:

    This post just made my entire week! So preggers. Haha. I guess that’s what happens when you have to squeeze a couple little ones in there, hey?

    And just looking amazing, Kristin! Love love love it.

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