Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
July 11, 2011    

Planning now
for the holidays

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Amy Culver

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Planning now for the holidays

Every time I tell my husband that I want to write about this topic at this time of year, he tells me that I am only going to make people angry.  But I want to do it this year anyway.  It's July, the middle of the year, and now, right now, is the time for you to start (at least a little bit) making plans for the holidays.

There you have it.  My intentions are spelled out in the first paragraph.  If that makes you angry, you can stop reading right now.  However, if you are intrigued and would like a few tips that just might make your holiday season a bit more enjoyable this year, please read on!

First off, why not consider getting your weight down before the holidays, so that if you gain a few pounds, it's not such a disaster?  Planning to do this starting in October or November is very unrealistic. 

Remember that losing one pound per week between now and Halloween will bring you down fifteen pounds.  And that's just one pound per week.  Not too bad, eh?  Then, if you are a bit careful over the holidays and only put five pounds back on, you are still ten pounds ahead of where you are now.  Who wouldn't take those results?

Aside from the numbers, if you are well entrenched in better eating habits by the time the treats show up, they are much more resistible.  Your attitude might be more along the lines of:  "I don't want to ruin the work I've done," rather than:  "Oh the heck with it, I'll start my 'diet' after the New Year."

Now, aside from the food, you can also help yourself out by starting your shopping now.  No matter how much you hate shopping (not an issue for me, by the way!) you still have to do it at times.  So, every time you are out, watch for anything that you can pick up and put away for later.  This works for birthdays, Christmas, whatever.  For example, I was able to pick up a few stocking stuffers among the non-holiday-specific Easter gifts this year.  Also, keep in mind that you can buy gifts after the holidays when they are cheaper. 

Shopping a bit throughout the year allows you to take the financial hits a little at a time rather than all at once.  Just remember to keep everything in one place and make a list of what you bought and for whom! 

Make notes from commercials you see, ads in magazines, and so on.  I have a folder in my email labeled "Gift Ideas" that I use to keep notes and links to websites.  Then, when gift occasions arrive, I have lots of ideas available.

So, what does all of this have to do with healthy living? 

Well, think back to Christmas' past.  Remember the stress (and stress eating)?  Remember all the hastily grabbed fast food meals?  Remember the total lack of time to exercise?  Wouldn't it be nice to avoid at least some of that?  I'm getting better at it as the years go by.  I make notes and I learn.  It's never perfect, and every year presents new challenges, but I keep working at it.

One thing has been consistent, though.  I have never, ever had a year in which I said:  "Gee, I wish I had been less prepared for the holidays."


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