Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Healthy Balance

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holidays are in full swing - next month, we are going to Oregon for 2 weeks & I couldn't be more excited about heading home.  We'll be staying at my parents' farmhouse in the country & enjoying all of my mom's incredible Christmas treats.  This time of year, there tends to be an abundance of snacks and desserts that we don't normally have lying around the house...but we all want to enjoy special meals with our families & friends. Several of you have asked how I stay healthy through the holiday season so I'm sharing my thoughts with you today & some of what I have to say might surprise you!

I already have a pretty limited list of foods I can eat as part of managing my Lupus, so to further restrict my diet would make me downright miserable.  Because of my eating-disordered past (read more here), what I know to be true about myself is that dieting, counting calories or tracking macros will only cause me to obsess over my meals...and I refuse to go back down that road.  I want to continue to view food as a way to nourish my body & promote healing, not as something to be feared & to deprive myself of in an effort to fit into a size I was never meant to be.  It's taken a long time for me to achieve balance in this area, but I am so much more at peace now that I have a healthy relationship with food.

My holiday eating philosophy is to allow myself to indulge in the things I want in moderation and balance out those treats with exercise.  When it comes to working out, it can be all too easy to make excuses because we're so much busier this time of year.  I find that I when I over-complicate it, I tend to give up one of my goals for the next couple of months is to just KEEP. IT. SIMPLE.  It doesn't have to mean driving to the gym to attend a 90-minute class.  It can be as easy as throwing on some warm layers & heading out for a quick jog around the neighborhood or going on a family hike through the woods.  Anything that gets me moving & increases my heart rate counts!  We love being outdoors as much as possible, but once the temperatures start dropping, I become a lot less motivated to do that.  The key for me is having the right gear & being well-equipped to face the elements so it will be much more enjoyable.  

Fleece-lined leggings are a must because they keep all the heat in without restricting your movement.  What I like about these is they are a thicker knit so they smooth out any lumps & are really flattering (I also wear mine with longer sweaters, plaid tunics & boyfriend cardigans).  For the top half of my body, I have learned that the material closest to your skin should be a fabric that will wick moisture away.  NIKE's Dri-Fit shirts are my favorite for running because they're lightweight & have a looser fit.  On top of that, I like to layer a fleece vest for added warmth & top it all off with a hooded puffer jacket - this one is perfect because it isn't too bulky, but it still keeps me warm (more options to try here, here & here).  

I resisted the FitBit craze as long as I could but I finally caved when they came out with their Blaze Watch - it tracks steps, stair climbing, heart rate & sleep just like the original version but it also has some smart features - it will show incoming phone calls, text alerts & calendar reminders.  You can also control music playback from your phone with a mini-remote on the screen & the battery life is amazing - I can usually get mine to last 4 days on a single charge.  It comes in 3 different band colors & would be a great holiday gift for the fitness fanatic in your family (or for yourself)!

If I can encourage you in any way this holiday season, it would be to treat yourself well - turn on some music & bake together as a family, enjoy the foods & traditions you love and then spend some time getting fresh air & a little exercise.  Keeping all of these things in balance will ensure that you're getting the best of both worlds - which means you won't feel deprived and over-indulge.  And, whatever you do, please don't obsess over the number on that scale or stress if your jeans are a little bit tight at the end of month - life is too short & making the most of each moment, in my opinion, is far more important.

What I'm wearing:
Created in partnership with Kohl's


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