Attack of the Holiday Sweets

I’ve officially been at my new job for a month! Time has just flown by!

At first I was very concerned my little Corolla would drive itself back to my old office out of habit, but I’ve more than adjusted to my new drive (it’s just as close) and my new hours.

The thing that hasn’t changed is that around this time of year, the office is filling up with sweets!

treats

On Monday, we received homemade fudge, a Fairytale Brownie assortment box, the biggest box of cookies ever and a very large Russell Stover box. Seriously, the cookie and chocolate boxes were so large they looked like props! And that was just in one day and that is just the beginning of the season! My new real estate team is very well-loved by their clients and the partners we use, so I can only expect more to come pouring in.

On Monday, I did my fair share of sampling, but then I had a CTJ with myself.

If I’m going to make it through the holiday season without actively training for a race, with my new normal of maybe getting to the gym four times a week, and while still trying to reach a small weight loss goal, I’m going to need a better plan than “see what everything tastes like and then check again in a few hours to see if it changed at all.” Yeah, that’s not a good plan.

I started thinking about making a trade-off plan…I eat a cookie, I do 100 jumping jacks; a chocolate equals 30 crunches…but I’m not a big fan of exercise as punishment or trying to figure out exactly what would negate the calories consumed. I saw that in a Tracey Gold movie once, it doesn’t end well. (Um…when did I miss the memo that there are full-length Lifetime movies on YouTube?!)

Instead, I am just going to increase my activity level and eat smarter in ways that still let me enjoy the holidays.

Take my dogs on long walks a few times a week. They need the exercise and the nearby neighborhoods have great Christmas lights!

da-mo-92

Get in a small workout every day. I saw this on the BERRY‘s Daily Motivation the other day and think it’s a great idea so I may just create my own. I caught a few minutes of an infomercial for T25 over the weekend and am reminded that even little things move you toward your goals! I used to hate showering without sweating for the day…time to get back in that habit!

Suck it up and go for a bundled up run every now and then. Note to anywhere north or east of me, it’s not actually cold, just by Arizona standards.

Okay, maybe find a race to train for, even if it’s a medium- to long-term goal. That helps me stay on track more than anything else I’ve found.

Sweat like you mean it once a week. Sometimes working out is just going through the motions, but I’ve decided to sweat like I mean it at least once a week – long hikes/trail runs, back-to-back kickbox or spin and yoga classes on a Saturday morning, long bike rides, bricks, basically anything for longer than my standard 60 minutes.

Crossfit like a badass.

Set up my bike trainer and spin it out while watching a holiday movie. At least part of it before snuggling on the couch!

Work out in the morning whenever possible. Morning workouts always win for me. If I do it before I have time to think about it or come up with excuses. It’s even more important during the holidays when last-minute plans can pop up and my errand list starts to get out of control.

greekcucsTake my lunch to work. If I’m tempted to add a sweet treat to the end, it’s not as damaging to my calorie count for the day. I’ve been doing well with this since I started. It’s been the return of the Greek salad! It’s much easier to just avoid the eating out habit than to start it then try to break it. 

Keep tracking my calories. I’ve been using My Fitness Pal for most of the year now and there are definitely days (like Monday) that I’d like to pretend some of my snacks or meals didn’t happen, but I keep putting them in to keep myself accountable. It helps me balance the rest of my day and also sometimes helps me realize the damage isn’t as bad as I might think it is!

My first steak I cooked myself for steak fajitas after a great gym date!

My first steak I cooked myself for steak fajitas after a great gym date!

Keep planning dinners at home. I generally know when I’ll be partaking in holiday festivities ahead of time, so I don’t have to plan meals for those nights, but on the other days I can put a little effort out to cook something good at home to make up for it! Bonus points when I use my slow cooker for a warm soup on a cold winter day!

Reboot with protein shakes or juicing every now and then. Sometimes my belly needs a rest!

Drink delicious Starbucks coffee treats while I’m out shopping. I’m loving SB’s caramel brulee latte. Yum, but it definitely packs a bigger calorie punch than my typical morning black coffee, so I try to avoid stopping on the way to work. But while I’m out shopping, particularly at outdoor centers, a warm treat is an extra special treat!

You can have it all, just not all at once. Putting the treats off limits will make them more enticing. Telling myself it’s okay to have a treat every now and then is a much smarter option. I strive for 80/20.

Keep dressing in my cute new skinnies and leggings. The not-so-new boy has made significant improvements to my fashion sense since we started dating, particularly my winter clothes, but there’s no hiding weight gain in skinny jeans or leggings!

Motivate myself with new workout clothes when I reach my goal! While out Christmas shopping I’ve found more than a few things I’d love to add to my workout rotation, but I’m supposed to be shopping for others. After the new year, though, I’m going to get some new goodies, but hold off until I reach my first goal!

What do you do to combat the dreaded holiday weight gain and winter lethargy? 

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Thankful

This year, I’m thankful for:

Rigo! I wanted a dog for so long and he’s just a perfect fit. The best decision I made last year hands down.

People who care about me and show it. One thing I enjoy about getting older is realizing that it’s okay to make room in your life only for people who want and deserve to be there.

My niece. If we’re being honest, she’s only 3 weeks old and a little boring right now, but I’m glad she’s here and I know that very soon she’ll be taking after her Auntie M as the life of the party.

Yoga. I say it all the time…I’m never disappointed by an hour spent on my mat.

My long run today. It reminded me how close I am to the serene desert at all times and I was able to do it in a tank top and shorts at 7am! I was a little bummed it’s still been warm here lately, but c’est la vie! Bikini weather is never a bad thing…I’m going to the pool this weekend!

My jobs. Employment is a good thing and I have two jobs I enjoy and that work well together and still allow me to have a life.

My home. I enjoy owning my condo and I enjoy that I haven’t moved for a whole 14 months and counting!

My health. I’ve had a few ups and downs with my health this year, but ultimately I rarely get sick and I’m able to stay very active because of my health. (And because I’m active, I stay very healthy…it’s a chicken and egg thing).

And now I’m getting all cliché and reaching, so I’ll stop, but yes, life is good. Off to wear my sundress to FFF! Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Independence Day!

Independence #1: I love patriotic holidays. The red, the white, the blue. When I was little, we spent some time every summer in the itty bitty town my mom grew up in – Canal Fulton, Ohio, anyone? – and that was just the ultimate for me…family, small town, fireworks, summertime food, humidity, fireflies…it was so cliché, my little 10-year-old self just wanted to burst.

Independence #2: No office work today! My office closed at 1pm yesterday and until 7ish tomorrow morning, I’m off the clock! I’ve been kind of bummed the holiday fell right in the middle of the week, which sidelined any kind of real plans, like the awesome staycation I had last year, but I’m not one to complain about a day off!

Independence #3: I’ve been sidelined from working out for a while, but today I’m able to get back to some activity…I’ll take it! I’ve been going nuts! I celebrated with a morning hike because our mid-week holiday was blessed with decent weather for Arizona in July, a cool 90-some degrees and overcast.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Sunglasses Day

On this very important holiday, let’s all remember to not be this guy:

Wearing sunglasses inside IS, however, acceptable if you’ve been crying over sappy movies and you are running to Wal-Mart for more break up ice cream. Or if you’re three and adorable:

Are you sensing this is a pet peeve of mine? Also…wearing sunglasses as a headband past a time of day when you would legitimately be wearing sunglasses outside.

Now, let’s all zen out and think about the next fabulous place we’d LOVE to wear sunglasses:

Kiss Me I’m Irish Run

My good friend from high school came into town last weekend two weeks ago for a bachelorette party (she’s already back for the wedding!) and suggested we do a St. Patrick’s Day fun run she found in Glendale.

Yes. That is a bag o' poop I'm carrying.

The Kiss Me I’m Irish Run had three distances – 4K, 8K and 17K – and we decided since green beer was the reward for completing any of the distances, we’d stick to the 4K, which worked out well because the night before I decided to take Rigo to the pet-friendly event! With all the outside stimuli, two-and-a-half was a good distance for him.  There were quite a few schnauzers, including one who did the 17K!

We started at the back to get some space and walked most, but as we found space, jogged a little. Rigo did well on the race (he loves to run!), but the start and finish areas were a little intense for such a little guy.

He was unimpressed with our time of 45:54 and the fact that the first 17K finisher blew by us shortly before the finish line, but we all had a lot of fun.  I want to do more fun runs!

And then, of course, there was the green beer!

Another finisher’s reward was a pack of Hershey’s Kisses. Get it? Kiss Me I’m Irish? It kind of worried me that some might end up on the ground and look like a good treat for Rigo, but I thought I was watching the little boy until we got home and he sacked out, but woke up and threw up a wrapper!

I kind of freaked a little, but the vet said to soak a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto a piece of bread and give it to him. It bubbles their tummy and induces vomiting in dogs.

About a half hour later, it worked. In that time, I had also read that the kind – milk chocolate is less toxic than dark or baker’s – and the amount he had likely ingested (if it was, in fact, anything more than just a wrapper) was not really enough to harm him, but he’s such a little guy that I was happy to have it all out just in case.

While he rested up, I went out for a little more St. Patrick’s Day celebrating at O’Donoghue’s Pub in North Scottsdale.  It was quite the party with live music, traditional food, Guinness, Jameson and lots of green everywhere! Including on this lovely group of ladies:

Oh and I FINALLY finished Mockingjay.  I let it alone for quite some time because I found it pretty disturbing.  I liked the first one (but still haven’t seen the movie)  and liked the characters (although not really in MJ) and am not sure what I expected from a post-apocalyptic dystopia story, but I guess I’m a little disappointed by a few things in the end.  I’ve heard from a lot of people who at mixed feelings at the end too.  If you’ve read the books, what did you think?

Do you have the fun run bug?!