How To Maintain Health and Wellness Throughout the Holidays
Real Woman Tips for How To Maintain Health and Wellness Throughout the Holidays
This post was sponsored by Optimum Nutrition as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Do you make New Year's resolutions? I used to but found I almost never kept them. To be totally honest, I can't ever recall sticking to even one of them long term. Instead, I found that if I start right where I am, regardless of what the calendar says, and focus on a goal by being prepared, I have a better chance for success.
Take weight loss or maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the holidays as an example.
I'm a stress eater and unfortunately, there have been a lot of stressors in my life for a long time, pretty much for as long as I can remember. Job losses, divorce, remarriage, my husband being diagnosed with a pretty serious illness, and more. All of that led to countless pity parties and my pity parties involved food. The wrong kinds of food. Over the last few months, I've shared a little bit about my weight loss journey. It's an ongoing progress. I am 30 plus pounds down and have more to go but I am determined to not only keep going but to avoid holiday weight gain and maybe even shed some more weight over the holidays and I plan on doing this by being prepared.
My focus now is on being a healthy strong woman at a healthy weight. That has required changes in my actions, my thinking and of course, my eating habits.
My two oldest sons have been a huge inspiration to me. While neither of them was ever seriously overweight, they decided to makes changes in their lifestyle before things got out of hand or seemed to be insurmountable. They work out and lift weights almost daily. My middle son has worked as a personal trainer while going to college, and my oldest son is pursuing his dream of being a boxer (I silently gasp every time I think of that, my baby's face!!!!) while working full time.
After beginning with activity, my sons next focused on what they ate and started adding Optimum Nutrition products to their daily diet and encouraged me to do so as well. I had no interest in doing that at first, but then, as I bought my sons the products, I started trying them and adding them to my diet as well. They are so good that I found my desire for my normal go-to foods started to fade and I wanted to adopt a healthier lifestyle overall and that started the process of lasting life changes.
Below I share the simple tips that have changed my life plus my favorite products from Optimum Nutrition and the good news is that you can get all of the products mentioned at Walmart (you can see all the details here so you're ready for your shopping trip). They're available at an amazing everyday low price and if you're like me, you're probably at Walmart often, so there's no need to special order or drive all over town, just pick them up while your out and about.
My Number One Tip for Maintaining Health and Wellness
Sweets are my thing. Put me in front of a tray of Christmas cookies and the struggle is real, but I know that the process, the journey, the goal of NOT giving in to those cookies is something I am committed to and there are some very simple and doable ways to avoid the temptation and come out on the other side triumphant.
Keep a well-stocked pantry. I like to keep plenty of healthy items easily at hand both in my house (in the pantry) and in my purse so that if I'm out longer than expected or find that I am just hungry 😉 I can avoid the urge to grab some fast food and instead, reach into my bag and be satisfied. I also like to eat them before going to a party or holiday get-together. They curb my desire to eat the foods I know will get me further from my goal instead of closer to it.
These are some of my favorite Optimum Nutrition products and the ones I keep in my home. They are a wonderful ready-to-eat protein option and have saved me from poor eating choices more often than I can even remember.
Optimum Nutrition Protein Almonds
These taste amazing and are available in Dark Chocolate Truffle and Cinnamon Roll.
There are 3 servings in a pouch and each serving contains 10G of protein with only 1-2G of sugar. One of the biggest helps to me has been protein. I find it keeps me fuller longer and in adding high-protein foods to my daily diet, I eat less so it's a win-win. I like to eat these at night while watching TV or just relaxing. They're my go-to end of day treat.
Next up, Protein Crisps. These have 20G of protein and are Gluten Free. I am eating one of these right now as I type this, the Salted Toffee Pretzel variety 😉 Before I started this journey, I would have reached for a muffin or some other not so wise food choice. Now, when I'm busy and hungry I grab one of these.
I also like to have one before I work out and when I have a Protein Crisp I'm not bogged down by heavy foods and I have all the energy I need to complete a full exercise routine and still have energy left to get back to what's next in my busy day.
There is also a Peanut Butter Crunch option which is equally as good. My older sons and I have been known to fight over the last one in the box and I will not say which son, but one of them actually keeps them in his room so I keep buying more because I think we're out of them.
Protein Cake Bites
I like to have these for dessert. I find usually one in a package does the trick and I either save the other two for another day, or I share. The 3-pack has a total of 20G of protein so they are another great choice for getting protein incorporated into your diet.
These are available in several flavors including Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Chocolate Frosted Donut, and Peanut Butter Chocolate. They are so creamy and delicious and sometimes, I do eat the whole pack all at once.
Exercise. This, in some respects, has been more of a challenge for me, even more than eating right. I always found a reason not to exercise and the reason topmost on my list was time. Instead of complaining and putting it off, I found an exercise program that takes all of 18 minutes to do. I love it and actually look forward to it daily and 18 minutes is totally doable.
If time is one of your biggest reasons for not exercising, find a program that will fit in your schedule and then, schedule it. If you add it to your schedule it helps to cement in your mind how serious you are about this lifestyle commitment.
At first, it may seem like a drain but you'll soon find that when you miss a day, you really do miss the routine.
There are so many options available out there, take the time to assess what you're goals and desires are, write them down, and then start searching for a program that fits. If you find you try it a few times and don't like it, begin your search again but don't quit. A month from now, 3 months from now, a year from now, you'll look back and be so grateful that you made the commitment.
This seems to be the one everyone "knows" about BUT it's a matter, just like the first two tips, of doing it! Be sure to drink enough water. Water is life and in addition to eating right and exercising, you need it, plus, it just can't get any simpler than drinking water, now can it?
My middle son encourages me to drink a glass of water when I'm hungry and shouldn't be...like right after I eat dinner!?! Usually, I drink a tall glass of water and realize I wasn't hungry after all, I was just thirsty. This is one of those times to listen to your body and give it what it deserves.
You Can Do This
I want to encourage you that you can do this even in the busy holiday season when there seem to be so many more opportunities to go off course.
I thought because of my age and not having the metabolism of a 20-year-old, the process would be too hard but it hasn't been at all. Quite the contrary, it has been so easy, that I feel a bit guilty for putting it off for so long. I'm living a healthier lifestyle, I feel SO MUCH BETTER, and it has been easy, super easy.
All it takes is a small commitment each day to being prepared, eating better, doing some form of exercise and drinking water.
The eating better is easy especially when you keep foods on hand like those from Optimum Nutrition which have helped me to feel full and anything but deprived. So here's to a better today and tomorrow and you can get through the holidays and maintain your health and wellness while doing it easily.
Check out the Optimum Nutrition Facebook Page (there are amazing recipes on there including one for a protein pumpkin
If you need any extra encouragement, please let me know. Email me, leave me a comment, or message me on my Facebook page. We are all in this together.