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Fit Fridays-Patience & Healthy Holiday Eating

by Jennifer Taylor

Here is the latest edition of Fit Friday's in The Den. Kalea Delezenne has written a great article about patience which is good since I am finally getting around to posting this on Saturday. I have also included an article about how to eat healthy at your holiday gatherings.

Happy Holidays All!

Jen Taylor


By Kalea Delezenne,
ACSM -Certified Personal Trainer
MSU Graduate-Kinesiology & Health Promotion Degree 
Trainer at The YMCA Downtown Wellness Center    

The Holidays are right around the corner, and in their wake we will find tons of glorious calorie laden goodies; cookies and fudge and peanut brittle, oh my! As the egg nog begins to flow, our pants become a little too tight, chocolate mars the corners of our mouth and as we remove ourselves from the indent we have made on the couch a loud grunt can be heard from the rooftops as well as the all too familiar

‘just one more, it’s the Holidays after all.’ Two weeks from now with the promise of our New Years resolution fresh on our minds we shall begin our quest to get in shape. “Shouldn’t take too long,” we tell ourselves, as we pull on our workout clothes and lace up our sneakers. As we push the ‘up’ arrow on the treadmill our feet begin to pound on the belt, our breath becomes ragged and the motivational song playing through our headphones suddenly becomes a little too loud. Sweat trickles from odd places, our heart beats faster and ‘oh geez it’s only been five minutes?’ chants through our brain along with various forms of ‘this sucks.’ Which leads us to obstacle number two: patience.

Patience in our culture is considered old fashioned and boring. If we aren’t smashing our way through life, living for the moment and meeting every whim NOW then we are missing out! Go, go, go!! Luckily for us, our body is there to remind us that in order to look like (and be like) the person we have in our minds, (who just happens to be a svelt, healthy god-like version of our current self), it is going to take words that have become less than fashionable: time, commitment, hard work, dedication and patience.

Our body did not get to look the way that it currently does in a week and a half, and it will take time for it to achieve its potential. That is why exercise and physical activity are called training. Over time, our body adapts to the demands that we place on it, whether they be good or bad for us. If we choose to eat poorly and not exercise enough it will show. Contrary, if we choose to eat well and not only exercise frequently but mix it up, it will also show.

Learning to have patience with ourselves is tough. Now, this does not mean that we give up and figure what we want will just magically appear if we wait around or put out minimal effort; it means that we put in the 5 words mentioned above and know that we WILL see results we are hoping to achieve, it just may take longer than we hoped. Remember that things get better with time and age (wine, cheese, whiskey, and even leftovers usually taste better the second day!) Why? They have had time to season and come to fruition, we reap what we sow, and nature does not rush.

Is your resolution to become more like the Adonis you envision yourself to be? Then it is time to make a change and this change begins with YOU. Your mission, should you choose to embark on the journey, is to put in the effort regardless of how you may feel that day. No more excuses. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will you be. Relax and put in the work. A year from now the vision you have in your head will actually be staring back at you in the mirror and it will be better than you ever expected.

For the beginners (at home workout): Day 1 of our Adonis Plan:

  • 5 jumping jacks
  • 5 pushups (modified are fine if you need to do them. They are not girl pushups! Keep your shoulder, elbow and wrist in a line and belly button pulled in tight. Remember to breathe!)
  • 30 second wall sit (keep your weight through your heels and resist the urge to push against your thighs with your hands.)
  • 5 situps (exhale as you sit up and keep your feet on the floor. You can place them on your heels is keeping them flat doesn’t work for you at the moment. Unable to do a full sit up? Place your feet under a couch or have someone hold them. This will give you an anchor of support until you are able to do them on your own!)
  • 15 second plank (keep your belly button pulled in towards your spine, back flat and butt down.)


Proper push up form (keep your eyes looking up and lead with your chest!) Modified is the same except you are on your knees instead of up on your toes.


(The top picture is also plank form.)

Wall Sit. Keep your knees over your ankles and back flat against the wall. It is alright to rest your hands on your thighs but try not to press down!

Sit ups. Feet can be flat or up on your heels. Try not to link hands behind your head (place on either side or on thighs like the picture as you may pull on your neck with them linked. Not our goal!)


4 Ways to Eat Healthy During the Holiday Season

By FitDay.Com

The holidays are a time for us to gather with family and friends to celebrate. For better or worse, with celebration comes food. If you have been working very hard at eating healthy, losing weight, or maintaining your weight, this may be a difficult time for you. The last thing we want to do is over-indulge in all the delicious food that surrounds us during the holiday season. What are some things you can do to avoid over-eating and sabotaging all your hard work?

Prepare Yourself Before the Party

One of the biggest mistakes you can make before heading to a party is to skip a meal or arrive hungry. By eating a light, healthy snack before leaving your own house, you can set yourself up to make better choices.Try a low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, or a small bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk.

Bring a Healthy Holiday Food

If you are hosting the party, you have control of the ingredients that are added to the favorite holiday recipes - but as a guest, it is not as easy. However, just because you are a guest does not mean you can not offer to bring a healthy, low-fat dish to add to the selection. Most hosts will welcome an additional dish, and the other guests may enjoy having a healthier option to choose. Consider a simple dish like roasted string beans, or if you offer to bring dessert, consider a pumpkin pie without the crust or baked apples.

Be Mindful During the Party

The first thing you should do is remember what the celebration is about. Your mind should be focused on enjoying the time with your family and friends. During mealtime, fill your plate up mostly with vegetables. Try not to over-indulge, but you should not feel like you have to avoid any item. Choose items that are your favorite in smaller portions, and eat slowly to savor every bite.

Avoid drinking beverages that are high in sugar and calories, or at least limit your intake to a single drink. Alcohol adds extra unwanted calories and, if too much is consumed, it lowers inhibitions, which can lead to overeating. Try consuming water with a lemon or lime, skim milk, or diet / sugar-free beverages.

One great way to avoid snacking throughout the party is to plan fun activities to participate in with other guests, such as games or making crafts. If it is available, set up a tournament with a gaming system that is interactive. That is a great way to burn some calories and avoid the buffet of snacks sitting out on the counter or table.

Keep Moving

This time of the year should be enjoyable. However, you need to keep physically active, maybe now more than ever. Physical activity reduces stress and gives us more energy. Try fitting in a workout before the party because, more likely than not, you will be tired from all the celebrating afterwards. During the party, go on a brisk walk with some of the other guests or, if there are children around, toss a ball outside. This can give you a burst of energy and a chance to catch up.

If you like participating in races, sign yourself up for a seasonal 5K run/walk or some other fitness event that will keep you focused and motivated to stay active.

Remember: The holidays are for celebrating with family and friends. If you must splurge one, two, or even three days during the holiday season, then that really is not going to ruin all of your hard work. It takes an extra 500 calories each day, or 3,500 calories a week, to gain a pound. All the extra snacking can really add up, but you can easily pass up all the treats in the office and keep goodies out of your own home. If you do this, you can feel good allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you look forward to every year.

Amy Reidenbach is a registered dietitian with a desire to help others learn about nutrition. She has many years of experience in the food service and health care industries. Amy holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University. Amy uses her personal life experiences to fuel her passion for nutrition and the overall well-being of those around her.