How I’m Staying Healthy For The Holidays

JK, this isn’t really one of those BS posts.

I am NOT going to give you 10 tips about how to minimize calorie consumption, maximize calorie burn and overthink every holiday party.

But if I’m going to be honest (have I ever been anything but?), I’ve gained and lost the same 5-10 pounds since hitting my “goal weight” several years ago.

I’ve since entered my 30s (which, you know, awesome for your metabolism) and my mental health has been up and down, but I don’t like excuses, and I don’t like my clothes being tighter.

We did an awesome campaign recently at work asking our users to share why they showed up to work out every day. I shared this before-and-after on Instagram:

Preppy Runner Before After

We have a private FB group for our users, and I shared it in there, too, to show them that although I run marathons now, my journey was similar to theirs. One coworker showed her before-and-afters, and said she’d gained about seven pounds back she wanted to get rid of, and that she was religiously tracking.

It got me thinking: my weight’s been super up and down this year, and, to be quite honest, I wasn’t really thinking much about how I ate until recently.

When I lost weight the first time around, I never tracked calories or macros — I tracked on this blog, for better or worse. I think that worked at the time because I had a significant amount I was trying to lose. Last June, I was lifting a lot and starting to track what I was eating and I felt myself leaning out and feeling better.

So, I was down for the challenge. And by challenge, truly all I mean is trying to eat better (by virtue of tracking and observing what I eat) and move at a higher intensity. (Although, falling down the Internet rabbithole last night, I found this really interesting blood test for athletes…)

I do know that my biggest downfall is being social. Left to my own devices, I eat just fine, but I know I can probably blame 98% of any weight gain from going out to eat + wine with my friends. And there’s no time of the year where we do this more than now. I don’t want to *not* enjoy that part of this time of the year, but I just want to be cognizant of what I’m consuming versus what I’m burning so that I don’t start January in that sterotypical let-me-change my life phase. Plus, with my mom’s recent news, I know that never taking my health for granted is even more important to me and that I don’t want to succumb to emotional eating.

Orangetheory Rowers

On the fitness front, I wanted to try something more consistently. I’ve done OrangeTheory a handful of times. It’s been one of my go-to workouts when I need to shake things up, but other than Uplift (because that’s really for mental health even more than a good workout), there hasn’t really been a workout where I’ve felt compelled enough to commit to an (expensive) package of classes. But I went back to OTF this morning and ended up committing to two months (their memberships are month-to-month but require a 30-day cancelation notice so you get tricked into two months.) For $199 for 11 classes, the price was so right. 

What I like about OTF: it’s a good mix of cardio + strength and super measurable. Yes, you know how many calories you burn because of the heart rate monitor, but they push you to spend time in the EPOC (afterburn) zone and show you how hard you’re working through graphs showing your heart rate. This morning’s workout was 2 minutes treadmill, 2 minutes rowing, 2 minutes floor (strength) and was hard but awesome.

At the end of the day, I’m not skipping any family/friend time this month but just being aware. It would be really nice to lose some of the weight I’d like to but I’ll be happy just to maintain, too, over the holidays.

And you? Do you do anything different food/exercise wise over the holidays?