I recently went to a discussion for runners and someone asked what the best method was for losing or managing weight. The key speaker mentioned that the average American adult gains one pound per year. He mentioned that this isn’t a gradual climb over the course of years, but instead comes from our lifestyles on weekends and holidays. Think about it, we generally live a pretty structured life Monday through Friday before 5pm. But come weekends and holidays we feel that we have a free pass to let loose and have some fun. While this is true and we do deserve a little “me” time, it is a real bummer to think that those actions are the cause of years of weight gain.
I’ve spent a few weeks tossing this around in my mind and the more I consider this, it is a pretty good point. Admittedly, I have been running and adding in extra yoga and cross training workouts this week. I’m not training for a race right now. But truth be told, I’m training for the Christmas brunch buffet coming this Sunday. Ok, there it is, I said it.
Eating and living healthy are both important parts of my life. However, I can see where I have been a weekend culprit at times myself. My husband and I try to plan out and cook our meals five nights a week. They are healthy and delicious and I enjoy both the planning and cooking part. I find myself looking forward to Friday and Saturday night when we can go out for a splurge meal. When I get to those meals I tend to look for an appetizer, find an entrée I wouldn’t usually eat (hello burger and fries) and a drink or two to round out the meal. I am not saying this is necessarily bad, but I can see where this could mess up all the hard work put in during the week. The smarter me would chose one of those nights for splurge entrée and enjoy a healthy night out on the other (which I generally do, but sometimes I go a bit overboard).
A few years ago I was injured and couldn’t run. Not only was I depressed because I couldn’t exercise, but the pounds kept packing on. My neighbor mentioned that she believed weight management was less about exercise and more about how and what we eat. I thought she was nuts.
At the same time there was a reality show involving trainer Jackie Warner, following her as she helped several over weight adults get back to healthy lifestyles. At the end of the show one of her clients remarked on how he finally figured out how to keep the weight off. He said something to the extent of, “I’m not going to say that I starve myself, but I had to learn that I need a lot less food in me than I wanted or once thought I needed.”
Bingo! Sometimes I feel like a hamster running on that little wheel. Go for a run, eat a big meal, run some more to make up for it and then repeat. However, I feel best when I eat until I feel content (I am so bad at this one!). For most of us, it isn’t always about what we choose to eat, but simply how much we eat.
This holiday season I am going to enjoy the food, family, and fun but I am going to do it with awareness. I will get my workouts in because I love to get a good sweat. And I will focus on how I feel and what I really need.
The key to staying fit and healthy is to live like you do during the week. Keep the consistency. Find a balance. If you are going to take a day off from exercise, plan your eating accordingly. If you know that there is going to be a big dinner later that night, find time to get a workout in and eat a light healthy meal to allow for a splurge later.
Keep moving this holiday season, don’t beat yourself up if you slip, and always work to find balance.