Why Wait for New Year’s Resolutions? The Time to Exercise is Now!

by Nicole on November 8, 2010

Jogging Path

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and The Laughing Cow.

As a food blogger and recipe developer, I am constantly faced with the temptation to eat more than I should.  I’m always cooking and baking, tasting and eating.  It’s my job!  And yes, I do try to exercise a bit of restraint in the eating department, but I don’t like to deprive myself too much.  I’d much rather use exercise to burn the extra calories I end up consuming in the course of my job.

As I’m sure you all know, staying motivated to exercise is no simple thing.  It’s a constant struggle for me to stay active, even though I know it’s good for me.  As soon as my life gets a bit hectic or overwhelming, my exercise regimen is the first thing that suffers.  Sound familiar?  With the holidays quickly approaching, stress levels are bound to increase, free time is almost guaranteed to disappear, and the temptation to skip the gym will be strong.  I know this is going to happen – it happens every year.  So I’d like to figure out how to take control of this holiday season before it arrives and takes control of me!

Here’s my plan:

Step one: Start exercising now! My life has been pretty chaotic this year.  I’ve moved two times in seven months, I’m going through a divorce, starting a new career, and basically starting a whole new life from scratch.  It’s been hard to keep up any kind of routine in the midst of all this and I just realized that the last time I put on my running shoes was over 5 months ago.  But the only way to get started again is to do just that.  I’m going for a walk this morning.

Step two: Find some support. Last year, I started jogging for the very first time in my life. I followed the Couch-to-5K program and worked my way up from 30 minutes of walking to jogging an actual 5K race without walking at all.  It was fun and difficult and rewarding and something I will always be proud of achieving.  But I didn’t do it alone.  I started the C25K program with a friend and found all kinds of online support through Twitter and Facebook.  I shared my story and found others who encouraged me and needed encouragement themselves.  I found myself checking in with my online support network after every workout.  Although it was wonderful to have a real-life friend to work out with, my twitter and facebook friends were just as helpful.  Now that I’m ready to (slowly) jump back into jogging again, I know that I will be able to do it with the help of my friends.

Step three: Stick with it through the holidays. By getting into my exercise routine before the holidays arrive, I plan to keep the momentum going right through the end of the year.  Instead of letting stress derail my jogging routine, I will use jogging to deal with the stress.  While others will be trying to start a new routine at the beginning of the year, mine will already be going strong and I can save my resolutions for something else!

Now it’s your turn to share!  Leave a comment on this post sharing how you plan on staying healthy during this holiday season, and you will be entered to win a $150 Visa card!  Official rules can be found here. Please keep your comments G-rated as any profanity or offensive content will automatically disqualify you from sweepstakes entry.  The sweepstakes will run from November 15 through December 5th.  Good luck!

And don’t forget to visit The Daily Dose of Well-Being hub to check out other 14 other bloggers’ stories for more chances to win.  And be sure to visit weekly for chances to win $100 at the “Play For Laughs” game.  If you share a really great tip, it might end up in The Daily Dose!

{ 4 trackbacks }

How Do You Plan to Stay in Shape this Holiday Season? — Pinch My Salt
November 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm
Whole Wheat Persimmon Bread — Pinch My Salt
November 26, 2010 at 7:41 pm
Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge: Panettone — Pinch My Salt
December 3, 2010 at 4:52 am
Eating Healthy through the Holidays
December 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm

{ 210 comments }

1 Amy Holly December 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I try not to sweat on what I choose to eat…I think if you have anxiety over everything that goes in your mouth during the holiday’s it’ll ruin the season for you! I start my day out with a great breakfast and a smoothie…then constantly making sure I keep my metabolism going by eating a healthy snack, lunch, snack and no carbs after 3…that’s the ideal…and lots of water…but even then I try to dance with my children and I am constantly going up and down stairs chasing and cleaning up after 5 girls! REST….lots of it too! xoxoxo

2 PauleyD December 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm
3 PauleyD December 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

My strategy is to stay healthy all year round and indulge around the holiday season. I like to work out and I tend to eat clean year round, so when the holidays roll around I don’t feel bad about sampling the goody tray.

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

4 georgi quane December 5, 2010 at 8:11 am

I feel your pain!! Try as I might, I am having a really difficult time getting back into a great physical shape!! Thanks for the tips that you have provided.

5 rae December 5, 2010 at 7:24 am

i have loved using the website sparkpeople.com. it helps you see how much crap you have eaten in a day. very motivational

6 Debra F December 5, 2010 at 3:52 am

My strategy for handling the holidays works pretty well for me. I know the days that there will be parties and family get togethers. I allow myself to indulge on those days, but on the remaining days, I am very strict with my intake….steering completely clear of sugar and most carbs.

7 Rachel December 5, 2010 at 3:26 am

Always eat breakfast.

8 Emily N. December 5, 2010 at 3:19 am

I try to include a MUFA at everyone of my meals and walk for five minutes after eating.

9 Robin December 5, 2010 at 2:24 am

I started Zumba (Gold, as I am a senior according to AARP), and am having fun and getting exercise, and plan to continue it through the holidays and beyond.

10 sharron December 5, 2010 at 1:05 am

Eat fresh.
Eat healthy.
Eat more Sushi..yay!
Walk 20 minutes every day!

11 Lynn December 5, 2010 at 12:27 am

Enjoy all the holiday foods, but only have two bites! That’s the best part anyway– after that your palate gets desensitized anyway. Enjoy it all, just not very much of “it all.”

12 jean olaughlin December 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I need a major overhaul. My first step is I have stopped eating in the living room. I usually eat meals in front of the tv. I also snack in front of the tv. By eating at the table I find I am eating less already. It’s a start…

13 Lothea December 4, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I have graduated from C25K, and have started training to run a half marathon (important note: this was my new years resolution last year..and I’m out of halves to run this year..so..that’s um..still going to be my goal next year..I’m up to 7 miles! Yea me!)

14 Steph December 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Since the weather has been so pleasant (nice cool mornings!) I plan to start walking my son to preschool. 2 miles each way, pushing the Bob Stroller, should help keep my Christmas pounds at bay!

15 Kay Nicholas December 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I try to walk everyday. Winter weather will probably have a bad affect on that project. Plan to watch my snacking during the holidays. Takes perseverance!!!!

16 Julie (Bananas for Bourbon) December 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm

The holidays is always a challenge! I plan to keep with my exercise plan and enjoy the heavy holiday meals with moderation. Higher calories just means I just need smaller portions. I can do it!

17 Andrea December 4, 2010 at 7:03 pm

The hardest part of exercising for me is getting out the door. Once I’m out, I really enjoy it. So I usually make a workout “date” with a friend…knowing that they’re counting on me to be there is great motivation!!!

18 Lillian December 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I’m a baker too… but actually the more work I making some for others, the fewer sweets I eat! Putting more walking into my day.. and having apples and tea handy for any snacky cravings.

19 Carrie December 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Well, reading this, you’ve convinced me to start the couch-to-5k program today. I’ve been a slug for weeks and weeks. This should get me through the holidays beautifully. Thanks!

20 Kristen M December 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I plan on staying healthy this holiday season by staying true to my current walking schedule. I find that consistency/normalcy is the key for me staying balanced. If I stick to what I know, the rest falls into place. Walking is also beneficial to me as a stress relief during the busyness of the season. I will also continue to go to the farmers market (CSA) so that I have no excuse to not munch on yummy fresh foods.

21 beth December 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm

i make lots of veggie sides, exercise portion control & don’t go back for 2nds. until the next day, anyway. ;)

22 jackie white December 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Seems that the best part of my day is spent at work…. so we’ve recruited each other in our project lab (2 women, 2 men) in a joint pact to FEEL GOOD! We have an indoor route mapped out (Minnesota snow!) and agreed to walk it twice a day. We bring in fruit or vegetables as snacks, along with hard-boiled eggs. We agree that it’s not about the weight loss numbers, but how we feel that inspires us to MOVE. So far, feeling GREAT!

23 Bob December 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

First, not to eat tons of ice cream like I did last summer. Everything in moderation! Second, to utilize much more of our CSA vegetables in a healthier way. Sausage and Peppers tastes great, but there are other ways to use the peppers. Third, start going to the Y during the week. Occasional weekends just don’t cut it. :)

24 Heather December 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I’m a baker so with the holiday season comes more baked goods including cakes and cheesecakes. I have to admit I don’t exercise and luckily have a good metabolism, but I like to do things that keep me moving. I love cleaning the house, organizing, walking around my neighborhood and taking my 3 year old to the park. This year I made an effort to eat smaller portions and wait 20 minutes before I get seconds especially during the holidays. I also only drink water which keeps me healthy. All of these things combined make for a happy healthy me! So I can still have my cake and eat it too!

25 scott schluter December 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I plan on walking every lunch time and eating a lighter lunch.

26 miche December 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm

My 40th is approaching fast!! and of course I wanted to be so much closer to my goal weight but I won’t give up! I started eating healthier 2 months ago and now totally motivated to start the couch to 5k program! the little bit of exercising I do motivates me liberates me and gives me the time to myself I need :) thank you for the inspiration …nice to know I’m not alone :) PEACE LOVE AND HAPPY MOVING

27 Heather December 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I’m a baker so with the holiday season comes more baked goods including cakes and cheesecakes. I have to admit I don’t exercise and luckily have a good metabolism, but I like to do things that keep me moving. I love cleaning the house, organizing, walking around my neighborhood and taking my 3 year old to the park. This year I made an effort to eat smaller portions and wait 20 minutes before I get seconds especially during the holidays. I also only drink water which keeps me healthy. All of these things combined make for a hppy healthy me! So I can still have my cake and eat it too!

28 Josh McPhie December 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Hello,

I’m an avid foodie and have the same issue with wanting to eat everything when I make it. The problem with good food is it tastes way to good!!! Being that my lady friend and I do not wish to be unhealthy foodies, we are in the midst of training for a 50 mile trail race. I was a professional triathlete in my past life, so I decided to make a fairly serious goal. Also I use body rock TV as my strength training. She is an online personal trainer, who provides her services free via youtube, you just have to ignore the excessive amount of boob lol: http://www.bodyrock.tv. Good luck to everyone getting into shape!

29 Mary December 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I want to get my routine back in gear – I fell out of gear when a few big hurdles showed up. That said, I’m super busy – opening a restaurant with my husband – so I’m not going to overcommit to anything right now. I’m trying to get out for a 30 minute walk every day. To really make it easy and achievable I’m going to let myself split it up into 2 15-minute walks when needed (who doesn’t have room for 15 minutes, right?)

30 Audrey Quartier December 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm

It’s such a wonderful time of year. Most of my friends and family do their best baking now and I want to try everything. It’s funny because I don’t really crave baked goods like I do protein, yet I have a cookie party each year and consume mass quantities of carbs. As part of my routine to fend off the excess (beyond my already excess) I like to turn on great “moving” music. Something to generate extra shakes and jiggles when I walk from room to room, or even while I’m sitting at the computer. It seems to rev me up, consequently burning a little (I won’t say the word). It also lifts my spirits during the winter season. Happy Holidays!

31 SJ Martin December 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Hoop dance! It is like hula hooping but so much more fun. You can burn up to 600 calories an hour just grooving to some great music with your hoop.

32 Calli December 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I’ll just keep doing what I always do.. Yoga & mix in some cardio. Eat what you want, but make smart choices and definitely watch portion size.. that’s key!

33 katrina December 4, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for this post! I’m in the middle of a thought process myself: as a foodblogger, many of my posts have leaned toward “goodies”, even though my daily eating has been leaning more toward healthy foods in smaller amounts than I used to eat. When I make baked goodies, I share them with everyone from friends to the local post office workers to the local library – just so I don’t end up nibbling. I’ve just started walking again as soon as I get up, but wish I could make a commitment to the two yoga dvds sitting next to the television! It’s just too easy to walk by and forget to set aside the 45 minutes for yoga – ideas are welcome!

34 andy luem December 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Hot Yoga! Bikram yoga is perfect for this time of year. It warms you up and makes you feel energized and ready to cook and shop. Remember to breathe deeply and live well.

35 Avery Karnes December 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

It’s the end of the semester, and finals are starting, but my boyfriend and I have dedicated 30 minutes-1 hour everyday to bundle up and go for a jog. We are both in Pharmacy school and life can be hectic, but so far we have been able to run for a little bit everyday, and plan to keep it up next semester!

36 Virginia December 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I plan on staying on the traditional/real foods “diet” and that’s that. Made from scratch foods, thank you very much!

37 Roxan December 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I plan on staying healthy through my regular yoga practice – I practice about 4x a week :)

38 Margaret December 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm

It helps if I’m involved in the cooking–that way I know exactly how much butter went in to that toffee! I’ve also been exercising more often, and I’m hoping to keep with it over the busy holiday season.

39 Kelli December 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

All things in moderation! A little of all the good stuff combined with good old fashioned exercise!

40 Jill in Austin December 3, 2010 at 12:51 am

Thanks for talking about the Couch to 5 K program! And thanks for the motivation!

41 TraceyCK December 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

My plan is to get up a half hour earlier to go to the gym – I can do that at least 4 days a week no problem!! So far, so good.

42 Kelly Meyer December 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I joined Weight Watchers a few months ago, so having that support going into the holiday season will help a lot!

43 Samantha D December 2, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I joined a local gym a couple of months ago and from exercising alone I’ve lost weight! I can feel my body craving activity when I’ve skipped a few days. So to keep things going well, I want to get a really good routine going AND modify my eating….perhaps after the holidays for that. ; )
Love the blog–thanks for the contest!

44 Tanis P December 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm

My biggest two keys to surviving the season this year are going to be sleep and hydration. By maintaining those two, I tend to stick with everything else well! Also helps knowing I have a 5K fun run on New Years Day!

45 Judith December 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm
46 Judith December 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Easy to follow, genuine advice, Sleep, regular healthy eating, hydrate, and exercise. Those are the main keys to a healthy life.

47 won December 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm
48 won December 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I just try to park the farthest away from the store that I can during this time of year. It is forced exercise that way.

Also, if I am going to eat a lot of things I wouldn’t otherwise I try to do it earlier in the day rather than later.

Happy Holidays.

49 Jane November 27, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I have set a few goals including everyday walking my dog, 15 minutes of stretching, weights, and yoga and a weekly tennis match. I believe a little every day is easier to commit to than too much and finding excuses not to exercise.

By the way, LOVE your blog.

50 tiffany November 27, 2010 at 8:13 am

Thank you for writing this. You are a great inspiration for me. I have put on a little extra weight and would LOVE to lose it. I feel the same way about working out as you did and had the same challenges in P.E. Once again thank you and I will let you know how it goes.

51 Carrie Symes November 27, 2010 at 3:41 am

I am starting a Fit Club to have all my friends join in with me!

52 Ellen November 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I jog a lot, but I would like to add a bit of strength training into my routine. Just some 10 lb weights and some core exercises will make a difference I think. I would also like to get back into yoga, for strength and relaxation!

53 Jaclyn November 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Since I’m already a big time jogger, I plan on bulking it up with some HIIT, high intensity interval training. I’m hoping that’ll keep my weight in check and maybe, hopefully (?), shed a few pounds despite all the good foods with this holiday season. Taking smaller portions and watching all of the desserts I eat is also a definite goal on my Holiday To Do checklist.

54 Cathy W November 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I’ll take longer walks, and shop till I drop. Now that;s fun exercise!

55 VB November 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Well, my biggest problem is that I rarely stop eating when my hunger’s satiated, instead keeping at it until my plate’s empty. So the first thing on my agenda is make myself take smaller helpings, so that I eat less. The next: to do some stretching and yoga exercises as soon as I wake, since I can always find an excuse to not do them if I wait till I’ve had my tea. These two steps together have helped me get into shape very easily in the past…

56 Debbie November 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I live in Co. so it’s hard in the winter months, but I love to hike and have a favorite hill right here in town (across from work) and I stay determined to put on my gear on any day it is above 18 degrees..I don’t know why I stick with 18 it just seems a breaking point… haha I also went to my first yoga class last week and am really looking forward to doing that all winter, such a opening up experience.. I felt so alive and energetic afterwards…My moto for eating to much is “I am only one meal away from feeling good about myself again”

57 Kerry November 23, 2010 at 1:53 am
58 Kerry November 23, 2010 at 1:52 am

I’m going to try to not deprive myself of anything, otherwise I will eventually cave and really overdue it!

59 Terri November 23, 2010 at 1:13 am

I plan to up my 2 hour -3 days a week workout by 15-30 mins. It worked that last couple of years and of course I will indulge but not over indulge.
tshaw6580@yahoo.com

60 Alyssa November 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I’m in week three of the couch to 5k program right now! I’ve been working out regularly and eating right since March, and I’ve lost 25 pounds. I decided it was time to start jogging, so I bought myself a pair of running shoes and started!

61 Jen S. November 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

What a great way to try in healthy eating and the holidays. I jokingly call this time of year(Oct-Jan) the “candy season.” Loads of candy, chocolate, fatting foods etc. Oh my if you include Valentine’s Day and Easter it can sound silly and never ending long!
To stay healthy I try to walk, weather permitting, weekly and even to the grocery store. Since starting this trend in my college years I know I won’t over buy junk food if I have to carry it all back home. To stay healthy I buy locally/seasonally as much as possible. Plus my new building has a gym so I figure I better use it 1-2 times a week to get my rent’s money worth! Its’ also perfect for meeting my neighbors.

62 Beth A. November 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm

This year my “resolution” for this time of year is to stop eating out. WE’re tight on money like we’ve never been before, so we’re eating at home more and more. This is helping with calories, because I almost NEVER cook high calorie foods like you can *easily* pick up at fast food joints. I know this will help my waistband too…

I’m sorry “Ronald”…but our love affair is over!

63 Erica November 22, 2010 at 5:28 am

holidays are always tough because we travel. my favorite form of exercise is skiing… followed by walking around whichever city I’m in. It’s all the better when followed by your squash/sweet potato gratin… mmmm

64 Jean D. November 22, 2010 at 2:53 am
65 Jean D. November 22, 2010 at 2:52 am

Who needs a stair-stepper machine when I can take the stairs on my own? When I can avoid the elevator or escalator, I do it. At home, I use the upstairs bathroom when I have to go, adding several flights a day to my routine. It’s a simple way to stay fit year round, and it works for me.

66 Mary M November 22, 2010 at 1:44 am
67 Mary M November 22, 2010 at 1:42 am

Drink water and use the Weight Watcher Point system to get through the holidays.
marybug2@yahoo.com

68 Libby's Library November 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm

My goal and tip, is to NOT deprive myself, but to try to exercise a little more, and drink more water.

thanks for the fantastic giveaway

69 ANGEL JACKLYN November 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm

TWEETED THIS GIVEAWAY AS WELL! http://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/6476081171275776

kytah00 at yahoo dot com

70 ANGEL JACKLYN November 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I’VE ALWAYS SAID YOU CAN’T EAT IT IF YOU DON’T BUY IT! WORKS FOR ME! kytah00@yahoo.com

71 Georgia November 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Tweeted here to!

http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/6420663887728640

gmissycat at yahoo dot com

72 Georgia November 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Best thing I can do is take all my vitamins and just watch that I don’t over do when eating. Love the holidays!
gmissycat at yahoo dot com

73 Jen November 21, 2010 at 2:24 am

I plan to stay in shape throughout the holidays by watching my portion sizes and staying active. I like to run and go for long walks with my dog and a friend recently turned me on to the Physique 57 workout videos–I love them!

74 Claudia J November 20, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I always do pre-workouts to fill up the days I can’t. That way you wouldn’t have to worry and could still indulge in all the good stuff! Make working out a routine, once you get used to it, it just becomes something you can’t get rid of. Also, you could set a couple of meals for just soup, salad or fruits, and drink a lot of water! And if you must, just take a bit of it. Give it away to friends, leave it out of your sight!!

75 Tyler Reavis November 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I have a calorie counter app on my phone that helps me stay on track with my eating. Drink plenty of water. And hey, it’s the holidays! Indulge just a little bit. :)

76 Leanna November 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Make a challenge with a friend and then put a tracking form on the fridge for everyone to see. Accountability is everything.

77 Susan Smith November 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I keep walking during the holidays. I don’t do a lot of baking so there aren’t a lot of temptations in the house. When I visit other people’s homes I try to drink a lot of water and fill up on proteins, fruits and vegetables and limit my servings of snacks and sweets

78 Margaret November 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I also did the couch to 5K program this year. In June, I started running with a group, and we completed a 5K in September. I also belong to a gym where I take morning classes in kickboxing, weight training, etc. It helps me to have friends that I know are expecting me to be in class, or to meet for a run. I am motivated because I know that I can do these things at age 52!

79 Debbie D November 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

Hey! I am not too far from you in Fresno!

It is so hard and I admire what you are doing very much. I have just started to learn to temper chocolate and make candies. I just love baking and making candy!

That said, I lost 222 pounds with gastric bypass (7 years ago through a lot of hard work and exercise) but have been slowly gaining again (due to not so hard work and not consistent exercise). Not good!

I did a half marathon (walking) a couple of years ago. Lost some weight for that through training but again, had been slowly gaining. Since this summer, I have been pretty faithful on my exercise bike 5 days a week, doing an hour and fifteen minutes before I go to work. I then walk the park near me (4.5 miles total to and from and around the park) on Sunday mornings. I have also started taking ballroom dance lessons. I try to get in two lessons (or three) a week. Try doing a hour and a half of east coast swing! It is a blast but what a workout! I am drenched in sweat by the time I am through! I am down another 30 pounds or so and have another 30 or so to go. However, that chocolate dipped honeycomb candy keeps calling my name! UGH!

If you are interested in a fun workout, try some dancing. You can be single and go. At a good dance studio, everyone dances with everyone. It is a blast!

I also found that doing a week of vegetarian meals every month also helps. Veggie soups, salads and dinners of spaghetti sqash mixed with some veggies or tomato sauce is wonderful. Air popped popcorn is also great as a “dessert”. Low in calories, high in fiber. I do spray it with a little butter spray and then coat it lightly with different flavors/spices to kick it up a notch as the big E would say. Delicious!

I am so glad you posted this. I am in your corner, totally encouraging you! We will do this step by step, moment by moment. Good for you! I admire your courage!

80 Deanna November 19, 2010 at 9:33 pm

I’m training for a marathon in March! The words seem surreal but I’m up to 12 miles. I’m doing it with a friend and we are really going to watch our holiday scales. A few less pounds would be great to make that marathon easier. That accountability is key! Portion control is going to be my mantra at the celebration table and I’m going to try to curb all the snacking and tasting I do while preparing all the goodies. I think that adds up to a lot for me.

81 Juliana Whisman November 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I am in the same boat….love to cook, love to bake, love to taste…and needing to burn those extra calories! I decided this year that to stay motivated I would sign up for a 5K, then a 10K, then a half-marathon, each spaced throughout the year to allow for training time. I enlisted friends for each race and talk about feeling accountable to training and being in the gym regularly! It’s made such a huge impact in my life…and my final race is Sunday, so now I’m looking for more motivation for the next (most critical) month!

82 musingegret November 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I play the ‘substitution game’ I started with myself when I kicked smoking. Whenever I had the urge to light up I dropped down on the floor and did 10 stomach crunches, rolled onto my side and did 10 leg lifts per side and then stood up a did 10 pushups against the wall. Whew! It got the endorphins flowing; I felt good about working through a craving and I wasn’t eating! I don’t circle parking lots looking for a space up front; I take what’s available and revel in a long walk pushing a cart to net me more exercise. I don’t consider multiple trips into the house to unload groceries an onerous chore; I just keep tellling myself it’s great exercise and keeping me strong. Self-talk is a great attitude changer!

83 Jen November 19, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I plan on watching my portion sizes (so difficult when I want to try EVERYTHING!). I will mix up my cardio by jogging and walking my dog. And I am a big fan of the Physique 57 workout DVD’s. You can do them at home, on your own time and they kick your butt!!!

84 Lee Clark November 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I plan to work out even on the actual holiday and make my own healthy version of your favorite holiday meals and take them to my family’s house.

85 Michelle November 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I think yoga is such a great way to get in shape and help make yourself more conscientious of your body, how you use it, and what you put into it. Plus, if you find a group class, there will be a teacher to tell you exactly what to do! Sometimes, that’s the only way I can motivate myself to move :)

86 Dawn S November 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I walk and run w/ my two dog – they are great companions and workout buddies. Also, if I don’t feel like going, they stare me down and guilt me into getting out the door. I’ve lost about 6 to 8 lbs from last year this time, but the inches dropped are way more (wish I had been tracking inches vs. lbs) And I dropped from Size 10 to Size 8 …not to mention I feel fabulous. Keep up the good work!

87 Nappie Dee November 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

You hit the nail right on the head when you mentioned the support of a network of friends, both real and virtual. The biggest motivator I have to keep getting out there is the fellowship of others on the trail. Every winter here in St. Louis there is a series of runs held every other Saturday, December through February. While many people treat these as serious races, I am not one of them. It’s an opportunity for me to see and run with a bunch of friends I might not otherwise see throughout the winter. And it gives me some serious burliness points!! All the encouragement and comraderie of that first 2 mile winter run three years ago led to my first half-marathon last year, followed by another half this past October. Eventually you find you have a circle of friends sharing your runs with you!

88 Jennie November 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I have to be consistent about working out every morning, even on holidays. Just knowing I will have to step up on that stairmaster the next day sometimes makes me hold back just a bit.

89 Jacquelyn November 19, 2010 at 7:36 am

As an indoor cycling and yoga instructor who is down with an injury I was really concerned with how I was going to be able to make it through the holiday season without adding on a few pounds, but I have made the switch to swimming and I find that it is doing great things for my upper body and my respiratory system. So I think you should definitely get out there and try new types of exercise and find one that makes you smile while working out.

90 Lori November 19, 2010 at 5:38 am

I have been exercising pretty consistantly since July. I usually start out pretty strong, exercising 3-4 days a week. After a couple of months though, I usually start getting bored and working out less and less. When I start back up, after not exercising for many months, I would tell myself that I was doing it not only to look good, for myself, but to stay healthy for my family. That helped, but I still needed more motivation to keep going. When bordom struck, after a couple of months, I started to experiment with different types of exercise, types I never thought I would try; Bodypump, yoga and running. In the past I would walk on the treadmill for 25-30 minutes, do some abdominal exercise, and call it a day. You can only do that for so long. Switching it up has not only kept me interested in going to the gym consistanly for almost 5 months now, but it has also made a big difference in how I look and feel!

91 Kirsten K November 19, 2010 at 4:20 am

Round is a shape, right? That is proably what I will be by the end of the holiday season. However, I am going to try to keep it to a baseball size vs beach ball. A few things I do to burn some calories is the Twist, the Charleston and walking in place. I pick a favorite TV program and do them for at least 30 minutes. Try to speed things up during the commericals. Here is a quick tip to look better instantly……..stand up straight and pull your stomach in!

92 Sarah H November 19, 2010 at 2:25 am

My plan is to work hard on the farm. There is no need for exercise classes and a gym when we have cows to milk, fences to mend, critters to feed, and winter gardens to tend!

93 Jennifer Patzkowsky November 19, 2010 at 1:14 am

To stay motivated, I am planning to do a race with a friend right before Christmas. When I go home, it will be hard to keep a regular exercise routine, but I can always go for a run. It will be nice to get away for some alone time. I love my family and friends, but I really treasure my personal time.

94 Tracy November 19, 2010 at 12:39 am

My plan is simple. I have a very active young dog, and now that I’ve moved into an apartment, I have to take him out each and every day. I’m up to three miles now, and am slowly trying to jog more of it.

95 Suzanne Barker November 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Well – I am trying to go the gym 3-4 times a week and workout in the swimming pool. Easier on my knees and that 90 degree water is really nice. Also – trying to eat my largest meal at lunchtime with a light dinner (yogurt, cheese, crackers or soup). Portion control is still an issue – particularly when eating out. I usually ask for a container so I can pack up about half my meal to go for lunch the next day. Still have 30 lbs to go and hope to have it gone by June at 1 lb. per week although I don’t expect this for week of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

96 Christine November 18, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Hi Nicole -

LOVE your idea. I have found my self recently thinking that January would be a good time to re-start my running program, but you are right – RIGHT NOW would be the best time. In honour of my 40th birthday last year, I did a couch to 10k program, but only ever ran one 10k. When the super-hot weather came, I let it go. My husband travels extensively, and I decided that it was too difficult to get babysitters to get back with my running group until he is back in a few weeks. And now I have been oddly avoiding my very expensive yoga membership! But you know what? You have inspired me to get out one way or another – with the group or without, during the christmas cookie explosion! (Nthing like some clicks on the shoes to re-think those decisions!!… even if is only on the elliptical, I can do something everyday. Do you have some favourite tunes to run with?

97 Sarah November 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I think one of the best plans is something I started 6 months ago – no more soda!!! I was (still am) a Dr. Pepper Addict and I’m officially on the wagon. :) It’s been a great and healthy change! (And I feel like I have more money too – no more $30-$60 a month spent on sodas!) Also, I’ll do my best to avoid buffet style dinners – instead, I want to do h’ors deourves and smaller meals. And always healthy veggies with hummus or black bean dips instead of ranch. And I think my little dog would love for me to take him running when it’s cold outside (instead of the really hot Tennessee summers). Drinking lots of water and getting lots of sleep is always a good thing, too.

But, I don’t want to avoid sweets – just eat them in moderation!

98 Ali November 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm

I go to the same classes at the gym every week. That way I see the same group of people every week and they notice if I’m not there. I also mention my workout plans to a friend, that way I feel somewhat accountable. I also find that meal planning and cooking at home makes things easier, as well as cheaper!

99 Julie November 18, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been very active, and I’ve been spoiled with a body that hasn’t betrayed how unhealthy of a lifestyle I live. I’m an expectant mom with 3 children already, so, really, who has time for the gym? Who can afford the expense of finding a sitter to go to the gym or the stress of packing the herd into the car even if the gym offers childcare?

That said, I know it’s about now that my family’s genes tend to start “acting their age,” and I expect that with this pregnancy, it will be much harder for me to return to my pre-pregnancy body again. That and because I’m eating for two, I am determined to be responsible in my diet. That’s pretty tough, though, with a fall/winter pregnancy. It’s so hard to chow down on fruits and veggies when so many of my favorites are out of season and the ones that aren’t, with the exception of apples, require more prep than I have time or energy for.

Anyhow, enough about the trials. What I’m going to do:

* drink my water, 64+ oz/day
* get sleep, 8 hrs/night, for real
* continue to chase my boys around outside, weather permitting; continue to dance around the house, acting the fool every other day.
* Only eat what I’d feel comfortable feeding my baby. With that mindset, I’ll avoid the extra pat of butter on the baked potato, pass on the optional salt, and read more labels to avoid artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, as well as HFCS.

Then once the little one is born, spring will be here, and I look forward to long walks (and some jogging) with the stroller, fresh fruits and veggies, and chasing my kids at the pool and playground. :)

100 Meghan November 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

To tell you the truth I have always been an exercise freak – run marathons, love yoga – but sometimes it is so hard to get the motivation during the winter when you’re inside and it’s the same old routine all the time. So I say change it up! Do lots of different things, try new things – that’s what helps me stay motivated during the dreary winter months (I live in Chicago, so extra dreary). Also, I really try to only eat till I’m full and not overly stuff myself – and that’s hard on Thanksgiving!

101 Briana November 18, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I signed up for a boot camp class at my local YMCA. It runs through November and December and meets 3 times a week at 6am. It’s tough, but I know it will be worth it to avoid those holiday pounds and have some accountability! I’m busy with work this time of year, so it helps to just get it over with in the morning. (and to avoid the office treats) I also love to cook and entertain, so I definitely need outside motivation to keep me in shape!

102 Lynn Hunnicutt November 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Three tips:

(1) Get more than one friend involved. That way someone will always be there when you go to work out.
(2) Do it first thing in the morning, and get ready for it the night before. That way, you’re up and into your running shoes before you can think of all the reasons not to go.
(3) Do it because it makes you feel good, not because it makes you look good. Of course exercise does both, but if you’re having fun while exercising and feeling good all day after it’s over, you’re more likely to stick with it.

103 Julia Dawn Mason November 18, 2010 at 9:19 pm

We have cut down on portion size, eat earlier than we used to do and grow some of the foods we used to buy so we get the freshest cabbage, romaine lettuce tomatoes and green peppers. Also getting more exercise by taking 2 dogs(a mini long haired male black and tan dachshund and a piebald standard size long haired female dachshund) for walks 2 or 3 times a day and the weight is coming down.

104 Carol November 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I am going to stop letting my treadmill collect dust! I’m a semi-senior and walking, especially using my treadmill, is good for me and it is kind to my weak knees; also the treadmill is set up so I can watch TV while I walk. Forcing myself to put on my sport shoes and get moving is exactly what I need to do. I work full-time and I’m ready for a break when I get home so I have to designate a time to get moving again and stick with it. When I last stuck to my walking routine I lost weight and that encouraged me to be more careful with the foods I choose to eat and the portions.
Here’s to getting healthier with a sensible, patient approach!

105 laura k November 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm

The most important part of my plan for staying healthy through the holidays is not to stress out about it too much. I accept the fact that traveling is going to disrupt my regular exercise schedule. I accept that I will be eating a few large, celebratory meals (with pie!). I promise not to beat myself up if I gain a few pounds, because I know that when I’m back to my normal routine it will come off. And I’ll do my best to keep eating lots of vegetables and whole grains, and getting as much exercise as I can, whenever I can in this busy holiday season.

106 Mrs. L November 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I started going back to the gym, only a few days a week and only to use the treadmill 20-30 minutes each time but it’s a start. I bought a pedometer which really told me how much (or not) I move around on my job (at a desk). Both my husband and I are having eyeopening moments about how little we move each day even when we go out to do ‘errands. Plus we started using our “Lose It” app to track calories on our phone. That is another eyeopener. Much more calories in foods than we were estimating. We’re trying to just cut portion size instead of totally giving up foods we love. All small steps, but it’s a start we’re happy with.

107 Karla Schmieg November 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hi, what I plan to do this year is the same thing I have been doing for the past 2 1/2 years, I plan to eat when I am hungry (only) and I plan to stop when I am full and even if I don’t feel like it I will go to the gym and will do my usual classes. When I first heard about “eating when I am hungry and stopping when I am full” sounded fine and dandy and I thought well “I guess I will try it, why not, I don’t have anything to lose I am fat anyway!!”…….. well the jouney has been amazing, I am happy to report that I am 68 pounds lighter and I went from size 20 to size…………. 10!!, some days I look in the mirror and I can’t believe it, I dare you to try it, you will be hooked, you just have to eat slow, eat ONLY when you are hungrey and STOP when you are full even if you ONLY have ONE more bite left and I am not exagerating, it works!!! Best wishes to all!! ;)

108 Amy Cruz November 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

The first step in my weight loss/fitness plan is to immediately drop about 20 or so pounds in 1 day! How will I do that you ask, by having this watermelon of a baby December 6th!!! :) After that steps 2, 3 and 4 and so on will be to chase my 3 kids around, not having any time to eat, all the while watching as pounds shed off my frame! And when I’m able, I will get back into some real shape by doing my Zumba dvd’s on my own personal hard wood floor kitchen studio!!!! Now that is a plan!!

109 Krissy November 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I just looked up your Couch to 5K program. What a great program! I just forwarded the link to my husband with the hopes that we could do it together. I’ve never been a very good runner, but I’m hoping this program will give me the confidence. Thanks for sharing about it!

110 Angie November 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I plan on doing the Couch to 5K also! My friend/neighbor and I are starting tomorrow morning! Hopefully through Facebook and my blog (and my Mom who won’t stop bugging me about it) I can keep it up through the Holidays. And my Husband is already on his own routine to be ready for a Fit Test the Air Force requires him to pass, so he is motivation for me as well!

111 Evelyn Ibarra November 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm

After being diagnosed with malignant melanoma in January 2010, I plan try train for the New York City Marathon next November and raise $$$ for melanoma awareness at the same time. At 54 years old this will be quite a trick, but hey… I will be running for a great cause…… me!!!!

112 Jessica November 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I have started walking at lunchtime with a coworker. On rainy or cold days, we walk the halls inside, and go up the stairs several times in our circuit. I need to do more than this but at least it’s a start! I am the least active now (small child, but with a 3/4 job) and have trouble finding time to exercise in earnest, but walking is a start. Next up is getting back into regular aerobics.

113 saradav November 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I have found the OTC diet pill, Alli, to be helpful and easy to use to help manage weight. I just take it when I know I am having (or just had) some high fat foods. I also try to get in a bit more walking.

114 Jackie H November 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Eating smaller meals more often makes me feel like I’m still treating my tastebuds! Doing this for the past few weeks, I’ve been able to cut down on my portion sizes, and therefore the number on the scale! Some people are not always very supportive, especially around the holidays (“Jackie, are you SURE you don’t want to try a piece of my red velvet cake??”), I know that feeling healthier and better about myself will be much more rewarding than the temporary sugar high I’ll get from any dessert! :) Good luck to all of us!

115 Diana November 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I’m pretty outdoorsy and the weather is fabulous in Austin over the winter, so I plan to continue rock climbing and swimming through the holidays. I’m also a fan of pawning of my baked goods to friends and family so I don’t have 4 dozen cookies just sitting in my apartment, staring at me.

116 Amber November 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I started running and going to the gym in Dec 2009. It was all so new to me. I had been into sports as a teen, but with the move to college my physical activity dwindled. My husband pushed me. He competes annually in a 70 mile canoe race on Memorial Day weekend. He wanted to do the race with me. I reluctantly agreed and started training. The first few weeks were brutal, but I quickly fell into a routine. We finished the race in just over 10 hours. I was so proud of myself for pushing through my fear of not finishing to bringing him his best finish place in the 5 years he’s been paddling in the regatta. I’m gearing up to start seriously training again as it fell out of favor with so much traveling and house projects. I plan to get through Thanksgiving and then hit the gym hard.

117 Katie November 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Just today a co-worker tried to get me to sign up for a Warrior Dash (a 3-4 mile run with obstacles such as hill sprints, rope ladder climbs, and mud pits mixed in) taking place in July. My response to her was, “I’ll think about it.” But after that conversation, I thought, why am I just going to think about it? Just because I’ve never been a runner doesn’t mean I can’t start now. It’s almost eight months away, and I was already talking myself out of it. Enough. Nothing was ever accomplished by simply thinking about it. So, my challenge to myself is to set a goal and go for it. That’s how I will make it through the holidays along with enjoying the offerings of the season in moderation and continuing my healthy “clean” diet as best I can. The C25K resource looks like a great place to start in working towards my goal!

118 Sara November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

The exercise has been a challenge for me this year, since I broke my foot in June and had other health issues prior to that. It was a tricky fracture to diagnose, plus I was on steroids (which lengthen healing time)…so I’m still in a walking boot, now with arthritis in my foot.

And yet, I’ve been steadily losing weight during that time, practicing a technique I never thought I could master: eating only what I really want and need, and stopping when I am no longer hungry, as opposed to being full.

In the meantime, I do best when I keep the sugar and starch to a minimum, and eat enough fat and protein to heal myself. And, I try to be as active as I can. It may not be the most glamorous approach, but it’s working while keeping my body and soul happy.

119 Erin November 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I started running last year too. Both of my roommates as well as my best friend were training for half marathons and I could barely run a mile and it bugged me that they all had this running connection that left me out of the loop. So I joined a training group through my local running supply/shoe store (Fleet Feet; check them out! They have quite a few shops in NorCal, most of which do training groups, I believe), which turned out to be the best thing for me. I got up to running the 5K for a Turkey Trot race last November, then again in February and July (summer was way harder than winter) and moved up to a 10K group this fall; I’ve got the 10K Turkey Trot on Saturday!

The group that I’ve been training with for the last six months (we’ve all been moving up together, it’s been awesome) wants to move on up to the half marathon for February, so I think I’ll be moving up with them. Training starts December 11th, so that should counteract any holiday indulgences ;-)

Good luck with your running!

120 Merrell Skipper November 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm

At the end of October I set a goal to lose 15 pounds by 1/20/11. I’m going on a cruise and my plan is to eat to my hearts content during those 4 days. I only need to lose 10, but this way I can gain back the 5 without guilt. My plan is to eat 1200 calories a day and I keep a journal and write everything down. For Thanksgiving and Christmas I will eat all the wonderful comfort foods, but it will be a moderate indulgence. Also, I walk my dogs a mile or two a day, and do weights/crunches/squats 3 times a week. So far I’m down 5.5lbs and my clothes are fitting better every day.

121 Ruby November 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

We have discussed joining a gym, but I’m hesitant because they never worked for me in the past. I spend money, don’t really like them.
I would like to do the c5k thing tho as I love being outside, i love fresh air.
Having a partner would be great!

122 Gemma November 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I’m so glad to hear you have successfully completed the couch to 5K program! Congratulations. I started running for the first time three years ago and it was a difficult, slow start. I’m super proud to say that I have now completed several half marathons and one full marathon. I NEVER would have imagined that 5 years ago. One thing that really motivates me through the harder running seasons is new gear, as silly as that might be. I invested in some great winter running gear last year and canceled my gym membership. I’m happy to say that I ran outdoors all winter in Chicago! I’m hoping I can keep it up again this year. Getting up early to enjoy the limited winter sunlight is a great motivator for me too. My last bit of motivation? I think I am going to sign up for the Illinois Marathon in spring. I’ll really need to keep my training going to be able to successfully complete that!

123 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I’m doing a 6 Week Holiday Health Challenge on my blog:
http://gamereviewwiki.com/bikinibirthday/2010/11/17/the-holiday-health-challenge/

My Commitments are:

# I commit to keep a food journal
# I commit to eliminating processed sugar
# I commit to increasing my daily physical activity
# I commit to practicing yoga twice weekly
# I commit to flossing my teeth every day

124 Nama November 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I love it when I hear Couch-to-5K success stories! That’s how I starting running, too, and now I’m training for my first half marathon. It’s incredible, and I never imagined I’d become a runner who loves it so much. As this half marathon is in January, I HAVE to keep up my training through the holidays if I want to make my goal. :) Great motivation!

125 Maura November 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I need to get back into a fitness routine. My boyfriend is quitting smoking and wants to get back in shape, too, so hopefully this is something we can do together.

126 Tabitha November 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I like to participate in gym classes especially body pump. One of the best ways to burn fat is to gain muscle. Body pump is a great class for beginners and helps you learn techniques on lifting weights.

127 Elizabeth November 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I started the couch to 5k program a couple months ago, but then my dog chewed up my ipod and I lost motivation without the program of telling me when to walk and run. So i have a new ipod now, but it is cold out (and only going to get colder), so I have been putting it off. I am going to join a gym on Dec 1st and start up the couch to 5k again. I also do the Shred videos, but after a while I just need some variety!

128 Amanda November 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm

it’s awesome to hear that you are back at jogging! i miss having an accountabilibuddy! it’s been crazy challenging trying to keep up any sort of regular exercise routine while on the road the past few weeks and I don’t really get a break from traveling until after xmas. my plan is to not let my inner lazy voice win and force myself to get up and get jogging at least 3 times a week! (right now i’m averaging two so i need to get my butt in gear.) and serious congrats on restarting C25K! :)

129 Evette November 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Walking will be my key- time to think, time to breathe and center. I love food- and will enjoy it as always during the holidays. But in moderation. I love to cook-the more decadent- and am lucky i have family and friends that enjoy eating it all!

130 Jen M November 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Right now I’m doing the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred dvd workout. I think in January I might give the Couch to 5K program a shot!

131 Phoo-d November 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

My goal is to stay active during the holidays, working out at least 2-3x a week. This will be the first holiday season ever where gaining a small amount of weight is okay, but I know that the bigger I get (I’ll be in my third trimester) the harder it will be to move around. Last year we started a regular workout schedule prior to Thanksgiving and kept it up through the holidays. It worked wonderfully!

132 Tara Kieninger November 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

A little running, a little walking, a little Zumba, etc. And I have extra incentive to get in better shape – I am coaching a local Girls on the Run group in the spring!

133 Lisa allen November 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Music. Music. Music.

I buy awesome music that I only listen to when I’m running. It gets me excited to get up and go.

134 Tara November 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Step 1 – I plan to keep biking – dressed in the many layers it takes not to freeze while doing so and looking like a total dork! My legs are like tree trunks so when I wear cycling tights, it’s not pretty – but at some point I realized I just don’t care what anyone thinks. My legs are the only thing that get my 200+ pounds up hills, and make it possible for me to bike up to 25 mph. So warm and frightening biking clothes for me! Plus: less weight = faster, which I really look forward to!
Step 2 – Keep eating better! I usually eat healthy and nutritious foods, but WAY too much of them. I’ve cut down to reasonable portions of the same food, and realize that being hungry is something I have to deal with.
Step 3 – Bring healthy stuff to holiday parties that I want to eat, and have a light dinner before going to parties to keep temptation down. And, keep the drinking to no more than 2 drinks (and nothing really fru fru).

135 Heather November 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

There’s a wonderful independent coffee/tea place a half hour’s walk from our apartment through a beguiling historic neighborhood. My plan is to go there for a cup of tea every day. That means an hour’s walk and outside time (so important during a frigid Pennsylvania winter). I like that that I’ll be setting a positive example about making activity part of one’s lifestyle for my 3-year-old son, who’ll be with me (albeit probably in his stroller). Making a cup of tea part a of the ritual will get me out into the cold, whereas the prospect of an hour’s walk on a chilly overcast day probably would not.

136 Suzanne November 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

Walking. Walking the dog. Throwing the ball for the dog. More walking the dog. Repeat!

137 Genevieve November 18, 2010 at 7:24 am

I plan on trying to exercise at least 3x a week even if its for 20-30 minutes. I find that during the busy holiday season its hard to make time, but that if I just give it 20 mins its easier to do more often rather than longer workout sessions few and far between. I also plan on letting myself enjoy the holiday treats, theres nothing like swearing them off that makes me want them more!

138 Gloria November 18, 2010 at 6:31 am

School will be out, which is a bummer, because I take PE classes throughout the semester. But I have a husband who goes to the gym every day and he will make me go with him while school is out!

139 Tabathia B November 18, 2010 at 5:39 am

tweeted
http://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/5132781508104192
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

140 Tabathia B November 18, 2010 at 5:36 am

I plan on walking at least three times a week and on the weekend while the kids are enjoying the park
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

141 Abby November 18, 2010 at 5:26 am

About a year ago I was planning a vacation, and decided that I needed to tone up before I went. In six months, what I thought was “toning up” was actually 20+ pounds of weight loss. I felt great. Unfortunately, vacation came and went and so did my motivation. It’s been about five months now and I feel a bit sluggish. Not to mention that I am starting to see again what I worked so hard to get off. So, I’ve decided to resume my work outs. My motivation now is just how I felt when I was doing it regularly. My confidence was so much higher, my stress levels were lower, and I generally felt so much better, both physically and mentally. Plus, it is a great feeling to hear people ask “have you lost weight?” and be able to tell them yes! With the holidays coming up, I don’t want the people who haven’t seen me since my weight loss to see me now and notice that I’ve fallen off the wagon. Oh, and just the feeling after a workout, that wonderful feeling of rejuvenation– just for myself. :)

142 Laura November 18, 2010 at 4:30 am

I just went for a swim, how’s that?

I have not exercised for a while and I feel it! I just told myself that I need to stop this exercise funk and just do it! I wrote down my weight on Monday and plan to lose 15 pounds for my birthday in June. I plan to eat more vegetables, skip dinner as I am rarely hungry at night, and move more. I am not a runner, my joints are not happy if I run, but swimming and walking are perfect.

I am sorry to hear about your divorce, I had no idea! I hope you will settle nicely in your new place and meet lots of nice people.

Be well,

Laura

143 Ellen November 18, 2010 at 4:27 am

my advice? don’t set yourself up to fail but making grand work out plans that will be difficult to keep. instead, look at your schedule for the next day (or next week) and pick some times where you can fit in activity. ANY amount of activity is great! 15 minutes here and 30 there all add up. i figure, if you can make it through the holidays without gaining weight, that can be considered a success. it is not really a time to lose weight :)

144 Meg November 18, 2010 at 4:04 am

Cross-country skiing! It’s a great work out and you really work up a sweat. It’s a wonderful feeling to be warm outside during the winter months.

145 Delia November 18, 2010 at 4:01 am

I am starting a new job on Monday. (Yay!) The job will allow me to eliminate one more excuse for not exercising; my lack of time. As an on-call worker I wasn’t able to schedule my time, with a regular gig, I can plan on exercise. I want to hit the gym, I want to walk, and I want to run. I have downloaded the Couch to 5k podcasts (through Itunes). Stay tuned.

146 Mary November 18, 2010 at 3:53 am

This may sound crazy but I plan to eat 1 lb of raw and 1 lb of cooked veggies everyday until the end of the year to get/stay in shape. 1/2 the battle is healthy eating and hopefully all those good nutrients will cause me to eat less of the bad :) .

147 Katie November 18, 2010 at 3:51 am

I’m starting my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge on November 28th.This will give me the energy boost I need and the nutrition to get me on the right track!! I’m also joining a gym with my daughter, making healthier meals, and watch my food portions.

148 Lori November 18, 2010 at 3:25 am

I’m planning to hit the gym more often and hopefully do more than shower and sit in the hot tub. :) I’m planning to eat in moderation as well. Enjoy and savor what the season has to offer without going overboard.

149 judd November 18, 2010 at 3:25 am

When it rains it pours….
Eat, Drink, and be Merry…..

150 MelissaR November 18, 2010 at 3:15 am

I just had my third baby 4 months ago and I’m still in the clothing slump.. nothing seems to fit right. I plan to “get on the floor more” with my kiddos, wrestling and playing while pretending to work out. It helps us all have a little fun and exercise.

151 Susan T November 18, 2010 at 3:05 am

I plan to take spin classes at least 3x’s/wk and continue to work on strength. I am limiting the alcohol I consume and spending time working out with my daughter.

152 Frieda November 18, 2010 at 3:01 am

I’m a lover of all things carb: bread, pasta, cookie, you name it. My secret to keeping the weight off? I save 50% of the calories by giving at least half of my goodies away. My friends, neighbors and family are my appreciative guinea pig taste testers ~ It’s a win/win!

153 Sarah Maizland November 18, 2010 at 3:01 am

When I gave birth to my son I had put on a significant amount of weight. Significant. SO I signed up for weight watchers. This worked for me because it enabled me to eat what I wanted and not deprive myself. I ate ice cream every night and I lost 30 lbs over 3 months. I have tried exercising to loose weight but no luck. But I do find that exercise helps decrease my appetite. I just started doing crossfit out of a friends garage. I believe that this along with not depriving myself (in hopes of avoiding binging) will leave me the same weight come 2011.

154 Maggie Hagan November 18, 2010 at 3:00 am

How will I be staying in shape? ‘Tis the season for love.. if you know what I mean ;-)

155 Poppie November 18, 2010 at 2:52 am

I started my ‘life change’ two months ago and plan to continue it through the holidays. I am going to the gym every day and eating healthy and the pounds are coming off!! We will be visiting my in-laws for Christmas, but this time I will not fall of the ‘food’wagon!!
My moto is that thin and healthy feels better than what ANY chocolates (or other fatty food) taste like!

156 Leah November 18, 2010 at 2:43 am

I know I don’t want to go up a size, and I love food too much to give anything up, so my only option is to keep exercising! My motivation comes from watching The Biggest Loser. If someone twice or three times my size can do it, so can I! I love Jillian Michaels’ workout videos, and when I’m running, I imagine Jillian yelling at me to keep going! One foot in front of the other… Finish strong!!

157 Chelsy E. November 18, 2010 at 2:32 am

Honey, I plan on enjoying myself! Moderation and balance are key. I plan to eat what I love in moderation and exercise through my long runs and pilates classes. I also love to bake healthy meals for my family, like my whole-wheat pumpkin walnut bread. My advice to you is to get out in the fresh air…nature can be so inspiring, whether it’s taking a walk under the shady trees in your neighborhood, or hiking a local trail, mother nature is at your feet…enjoy it!

158 Nadia November 18, 2010 at 2:31 am

I had lost 40 lbs, but recently gained back 15, on my journey to lose 100+. It’s been a challenging couple of weeks, so it’s been important to me to get back on track, and I simply won’t accept waiting until after the holidays. So here’s the plan. I’m going back to running every other day (I was doing the couch to 10k program). Running has become my me time and a way to let go of daily stresses, and running with my buddies makes it more enjoyable. I’m also back to journaling what I eat, and maintaining portion control. And if I indulge in that slice of pecan pie, you better believe it’ll make it’s way into my food diary, and I’ll adjust what else I eat, accordingly so that I stay within my calorie ranges! ;)

159 Sylvia November 18, 2010 at 2:18 am

I plan to keep up my new habit of running outside with my boyfriend and two little dogs. They remind me if it’s been a while since we’ve had a long jog. Also, I plan to contribute healthy dishes to holiday parties when I can.

160 Beccs November 18, 2010 at 2:18 am

I walk every time there’s a choice, even if it’s a bit less convenient

161 danielle November 18, 2010 at 2:03 am

i recently bought Dance Dance Revolution for my XBox… i used to play it all the time on an older console and figured it was a great way to keep in shape. and i’m hoping to get kinect as a holiday present. for some reason, when exercise is a video game it’s so much more fun.

162 Lori November 18, 2010 at 1:56 am

i will be continuing my goal towards losing 100 lbs… i’m down 25 so far and still losing. i’ve gotten into a normal morning routine and usually get about 45 mins of exercise, 5 days/week. smaller food portions, healthier food choices, planned menus, regular exercise… but no fad diets for me. for me it’s about discipline, self-control, and utilizing my resources.

163 Miss Masina November 18, 2010 at 1:51 am

Weight Maintenance over the Holidays…. SEX! with my sweetie since we are both on vacation. A good boot knocking burns calorie fast! And yummy sex endorphins help me feel hot in my own body which makes listening to the “im full” signals easier. Also, escaping the family to walk the dog when I start to feel stressed, instead of eating more cheese and crackers!

164 Maureen November 18, 2010 at 1:36 am

My hubby and I are planning on taking the dogs out for a walk every night after dinner instead of just parking ourselves in front of the television. They LOVE the outing, run off a lot of excess energy and we get a good work-out!

165 Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) November 18, 2010 at 1:33 am

Winter = yoga season for me and my daughter. She loves doing kids videos and I add in difficulty level to make it more of a workout for me.

166 Robin November 18, 2010 at 1:32 am

I started Zumba last week; it’s really fun, and doesn’t feel like exercise. I am also trying to cut back on sugar,which is really, really hard, especially with all the yummy desserts you post.

167 Candie November 18, 2010 at 1:29 am

I plan using our WII fit and eliptical machine this winter. I need to work on my flexibility and the wii yoga really helps.

168 Sonya November 18, 2010 at 1:24 am

I just plan on controlling my portions and not over indulging. :)

169 Shannon November 18, 2010 at 1:17 am

Forcing myself to get out of the office during the day for a short, brisk walk (15-30 minutes) every day not only adds a little bonus movement into my day, but I get some added sunshine during the dark season (it’s dark by the time I leave for home), get to refocus and refresh and get away from the computer screen. It’s really great. And while it doesn’t seem like much, it — like all other things — adds up. It makes me happy on MANY levels.

170 Chef Barbie November 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

ironically, culinary school is my workout plan. I lost 9 lbs in my first quarter. the kitchens at school are a hot sweaty place. i am working my butt off, literally!

171 Nicole November 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

I plan on staying on track by planning my meals and only shopping once a week during the holidays. Since I work a job where I get to spend the holidays at home, I will only go into town once a week to buy groceries and make healthy decisions while I am there. If it isn’t in my house, I can’t eat it. This combined with lots of dog walking should do the trick.

172 Suzy November 18, 2010 at 1:11 am

Eating sensible breakfasts & lunch at the office. Hiking & mountain biking on the weekends. And enjoying the actual holiday but the days before & after right back on track

173 Jennifer November 18, 2010 at 1:10 am

I have a trainer at my gym who I see twice a week. She keeps me on track. So, I’ll continue to see her through the month of December and beyond. I also have a dog who while 6 still has the energy of a puppy. I take her out for a nice long walk every morning. Hopefully these two things will keep me from gaining any holiday weight.

174 Caroline Rogers November 18, 2010 at 1:09 am

I try to follow the Eating Clean program by Tosca Reno and walk 3-4 miles 3-4 times per week. During the holiday I will indulge (moderately though) and then move on.

175 Lauren November 18, 2010 at 1:06 am

I plan on encouraging my family members to walk with me everyday, even if it is only for a bit. I’m committed to parking the car as far as possible from the mall when holiday shopping. I’m looking at low-calorie, delicious and nourishing recipes now so that I am ready for the holidays. I also plan on starting 30 days of yoga on December 1st.

176 Karyn November 18, 2010 at 12:58 am

I have 2 very active dogs, so they force me to exercise. Even if the weather’s bad, they still need their play time. So I crank up some dance music and I run around the house with their toys, and they chase me. It ends up being a great workout.

I think it also helps that it’s really just my husband and I. We won’t be having any big gatherings with family or friends, so the likelihood of me making a lot of rich and fattening foods is greatly reduced.

177 Kathleen November 18, 2010 at 12:55 am

Many great ideas! I particularly like the suggestion to start now rather than waiting, as this establishes consistent good habits of health and fitness rather than setting expectations so high that failure is inevitable. My own approach is to incorporate the healthy habits into my daily routine. I too love to cook and taste and sample- yet I also ascribe to use healthy wholesome ingredients and enjoy all things in moderation. A quick walk around the block while something is in the oven is always a way to “earn” a taste treat at the end of a kitchen creation session. Happy holidays!

178 natalie November 18, 2010 at 12:54 am

You can do it! For many years (2005!), I’ve been stuck in the 5K rut! It wasn’t until I found some support my best friend to starting running longer distances! It was pretty easy to start adding my mileage every week. I ran my first 10K two weekends ago, and just yesterday I ran 5.5 miles for no reason. I love running in this weather, beats TX summer heat any day! I’m planning on running a 1/2 marathon at the end of February, so I’m hoping having a goal in mind will keep me motivated to continue working out over the holidays. Also, I love running in Houston, TX at Memorial Park. It is one of my all time favorite places, so I’ll be very motivated to run there while we are visiting family!

179 Dustin November 18, 2010 at 12:52 am

I’m going to be in between Florida, Michigan, Sicily, and Malta this December so my main hurdle might just be finding a place and time to wash my sweaty clothes! I’m going to focus on body weight workouts that I can do anywhere with no equipment needed. Traveling to Sicily for the first time in over 3 years and not knowing the next time I’ll get to visit will keep me on a steady diet of pizza and pasta. Christmas comes once a year…I might not see Sicily for another 3 or more, so portion control is out of the question;)

180 Brooke November 18, 2010 at 12:44 am

I’ve got an extra challenge through the holiday season this year- I’m pregnant! So, I have the usual holiday temptations PLUS my crazy craving to combat. My plan is to satisfy those cravings, but focus on smaller portions and yummy healthy options amid the usual butter laden dishes. We run and go to the pool together as a couple- the steamy air at the pool helps combat winter blues as well!

181 kokomama November 18, 2010 at 12:44 am

I’ve been doing extra stretching and some pilates during my breaks between classes.

182 Margot November 18, 2010 at 12:43 am

I think this is great! I was just thinking that my goal would be to lose six pounds during the holiday period. My baby son is turning one on Thanksgiving and I have lost all but the last 12 pounds of pregnancy weight (I had three babies in 37 months). I did really well tracking myself with the MyFitnessPal iPhone app and website earlier in the year. I just lost focus. This is great gift to give ourselves during the most hectic and food-laden time of year!

183 louise November 18, 2010 at 12:42 am

i plan to stay in the shape of round… just kidding, i work out 5 day a week but I am trying to find a cycling group to join so i can eat more… not kidding

184 Missy Rains November 18, 2010 at 12:36 am

I will continue to walk a minimum of 2 miles in the indoor swimming pool and eat a diet that is 2/3 plant based. I have lost more than 50 pounds since April eating this way.

185 Courtney November 18, 2010 at 12:36 am

I stay in shape by having workout buddies – it’s easy to make excuses, but it is a lot harder when you’ve got people expecting you to work out with them. I swim with a Master’s team 3 times a week, and I run with a co-worker 3 times a week. The people I work out with keep me accountable, and makes exercise much more fun.

186 Debbie M. November 18, 2010 at 12:34 am

My plan is easy. Don’t over eat; eat enough to satisfy, go to the gym or walk the river trail and always let the other person take the parking space. I don’t know why but parking spaces during the holiday season seem to stress people out. Not me, you can have it…I will walk.

187 carmen n. November 18, 2010 at 12:33 am

I do the best thing possible for me. it’s all about moderation! I exercise daily and then the day before and the day off thanksgiving and christmas I will indulge. In the mean time i find healthier ways to indulge in the christmas spirit. Sugar free cocoa w/ peppermint extract for my candy cane cocoa. Chocolate chip cookies made w/ sugar subs and organic dark chocolates. I make it all work within my daily calorie and nutritional limit i have set for myself. I also write everything down. However the best thing that keeps me going personally is reading your tasty twitters!

188 rae November 18, 2010 at 12:31 am

Inspiration. I am taking along a friend to jog with me.

189 Emily W November 18, 2010 at 12:29 am

I try to squeeze in a workout video + shower while my 8 month old takes her first nap. If that’s all I get done, then I’m happy with that. It’s a great way to start the day. Other than that I’m trying to get out and go walking more.

190 Coreena November 18, 2010 at 12:27 am

I am going to be focusing on varying my exercise regime by doing all different classes – spin, step, weights, combat, yoga. Riding my bike and walking instead of driving. Taking the stairs – always. And focusing on eating whole foods, rather than processed and in correct portion sizes. I have already lost 10 pounds and now I need to shed another 22 pounds. Exercise is great!

191 Sierra Gemma November 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

5:30 am 1-person dance parties: get it over with early, have fun, and get your day started!

192 lauren_alyse November 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

I’m an absolutely horrible runner, I’ve got no endurance whatsoever. So, to inspire and motivate me to maintain a workout schedule during these holidays of delectable foods & treats, I signed myself up to run a 5K. Now I’m literally forced to begin a steady work out schedule of 4-6 days a week so that I’ll actually be able to complete the run. But it’s okay–I registered with Nike+ Running and am using their helpful “Walk to Run” coach program. It tells me how far and how long to walk and run each day, and is totally keeping me on track and motivated. After I complete my 5K, I think I’ll start training for a half marathon (Nike+ Running also has a coaching program for that and many other runs) and I will constantly be trying to improve my running time!

193 Anthony November 18, 2010 at 12:25 am

Since my mom’s wedding is in June, I need to get in shape so I can look good in that tux! Eating lots of dark, leafy greens and jogging every day. When I first started a few weeks ago I couldn’t jog more than 5 minutes without resting, now I can jog for 15 minutes without even breaking a sweat! (although, admittedly, quitting smoking really helped with that)

194 Emily Dingman November 18, 2010 at 12:23 am

I am going to try and keep my momentum up, I have lost 23 pounds in the last six weeks and I am going to keep on losing. I have been using caloriecount.com to keep track of everything I eat and every bit of activity I do. I have been a very low calorie diet consisting mainly of protein and fiber-rich foods. I also did not start exercising right away. I just upped my amount of non-excercise activity, like constant fidgeting and tapping my foot and my fingers. I hope that on Thanksgiving the insane calorie intake I have will “shock” my body so much that I don’t gain! If I keep it cool until Christmas dinner then maybe the same thing will happen again! I am hoping for another twenty pounds by the beginning of 2011!

195 Margaret November 18, 2010 at 12:22 am

Walking Walking Walking. Which is what I have always done to keep my weight down. And eating less.

196 mandalynne November 18, 2010 at 12:21 am

Since I am pregnant, I will be happily gaining pounds during the holidays. However, there is no need to gain weight in excess! I happen to have developed a sensitivity to dairy during this pregnancy, which will help-only indulging in cheeses, eggnog, creamy deserts and sauces sparingly. I am still trying to stay active, going for walks a few times a week, and I just bought a prenatal yoga video that I hope to get started on soon.

197 Ana November 18, 2010 at 12:21 am

I’m planning on staying in shape by using healthy holiday recipes and taking my niece out in her stroller for long walks!

198 thezestyonion November 18, 2010 at 12:19 am

Boot Camp at my gym ~ love it!!

199 Bekka November 18, 2010 at 12:09 am

Well, after Thanksgiving is over and done with, me and a school friend will be starting a rather intensive exercise regime. She used to be on her High School track & field team and almost placed 1st in the national championships, but after her roommate moved out this summer, she hasn’t been exercising at all. I’m not as exercise-experienced; I only went to the gym four days a week during High School to run on the treadmills and do some light weights to maintain my ideal weight, but since I graduated I’ve stopped exercising and gained an unsightly 30 pounds. My friend and I are going to use her knowledge of the training involved with track and field to whittle away the 30 pounds I gained and to regain the muscle strength she lost. We’re hoping to see some fantabulous results after starting, even if it’s simply feeling healthier.

200 Stephanie F November 18, 2010 at 12:08 am

I’m going to focus on small portion sizes in order to not overdue it during all the holiday meals.

201 jmk November 18, 2010 at 12:06 am

My plan is to plan exercise as part of my day, every day. Eat when I am hungry, not just because there is food in front of me. And limit my alcohol intake….

202 Julie (Bananas for Bourbon) November 18, 2010 at 12:06 am

Lots of exercise, and keeping things light here I can. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean everything has to be overloaded with cream and sugar. :)

203 Colleen November 18, 2010 at 12:02 am

This year I am starting my mornings off with a run with my puppy. he keeps me going and laughing all the way. It’s such a great way to start the day and tire him out…with the sun rising earlier it makes sense to get it over with :)

204 Liz November 18, 2010 at 12:01 am

I like finding creative ways to workout while doing other things – extra laps while shopping, parking farther away from the store, push ups in the kitchen, squats while doing dishes, grabbing a family member for a walk while visiting. I also try to snack on fruits and veggies before diving into the heavier stuff during holiday celebrations.

205 ladywild November 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I’ve been using the LoseIt app on my iphone. Its a pain in the neck to keep track of everything I eat and do all day long, but its been great so far. The tedium of entering the food into my iphone really makes me think before I eat. Silly to have to control myself this way, but I figure its a good start to new habits. Keeping up with exercise is helpful too. I can look back and shame myself when I skip too many days.

206 RH November 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I’m vegan, so it’s easy for me to avoid a lot of the heavier foods during the holidays since they are already off-limits. Luckily fall is my favorite season, and I love walking and biking, so now that two of my loves have combined my ass is starting to look pretty great!

207 amanda @ fake ginger November 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I’m doing the Shred. I love the Shred because it’s only 20 minutes a day but you come away feeling like you had a decent workout. I’d love to get outside and run but with 2 kids it’s hard to find time to do that.

208 Mami2jcn November 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm

This year I’m keeping a food diary and making sure I don’t go over on calories.

209 Dawn November 17, 2010 at 6:03 am

I plan on taking advantage of the extra daylight in the morning, now that its dark by the time I get home, it really effects my activity schedule! Time to switch it up!

Thanks!

210 leanne November 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Since we’re getting married not too long after the holidays end, our “plan” includes a lot of walking, a lot of salads, and a lot more cooking at home.

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