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