Rose: Holiday Survival

Tomorrow, M and I are headed to Boston to spend Thanksgiving with his family. We went to Boston last year, and it ended up being such a relaxing time. M’s family is so low-key — we typically spend most of the holiday watching football in sweatpants. Who could complain about that? It also helps that his brother his a top-notch chef, so the spread is pretty killer.

Holidays are a notoriously rough time, which is why Jenna and I are hosting our next challenge group. As I plan and pack tonight, I have a couple of thoughts in mind for staying on track throughout the next couple of days. No doubt it will be hard with all the grub. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve that have helped me in the past. The cycle sort of works like this:

exercise

* Get up early. I used to snooze like no other during the holidays. Now, I seize the day. I get up early (for me) and get my workout done first thing. I try to get up so early that no one notices I even worked out. Knowing I’ve exercised gives me true peace of mind.

* Drink Shakeology daily. This is my go-to breakfast for so many reasons. If I’m having an indulgent meal later, at least I know I started the day off right.

* Pack exercise clothes. I take a gym bag with the essentials, along with my at-home workout DVDs. If I’m lugging the bag along, I have to use the stuff — right?

* Find a nearby class. This year, I’m taking advantage of the fact that my friend Dana lives in Boston and is teaching an Insanity class on Saturday morning. This is a double-whammy: I get to workout AND hang out with Dana. Win, win.

* Indulge … in moderation. I will eat big on Thanksgiving but not that big. It’s helpful to remember that this meal comes around every year. I won’t go hungry.

* Bring your own dishes. This year we volunteered to make the pies. And I know exactly what is going into them!

What tips and tricks do you use for surviving the holidays?

Rose: Suck it Up Already

I have two thoughts rattling around in my head today: suck it up and shake it off.

suck it up

I’ve been phoning it in when it comes to my workouts. I would like to say that I’ve just been too busy, but I never buy that excuse from anyone. You should always make time for you health. It should be in your top three things, really. Without it, you can’t really do the rest. So, I don’t have that as an excuse (even though it felt like it at the time).

For whatever reason, my motivation waned throughout the month of October. I wasn’t sticking to a regular workout program. I was trying to make one up, but that proved to be totally willy nilly. Because of it, I didn’t stick to a plan. I didn’t really have a plan. And so, I had a little heart-to-heart with myself over the weekend.

I asked: where is your motivation? Why are you feeling like a slacker? Are you actually slacking or being too hard on yourself? What is the deal?

Here is what I figured out:

* My motivation is being sucked away because of other things. I am saying yes to too many things, taking on too many projects and the result is leaving me exhausted. For the rest of 2015, I am going to be mindful about saying, “Let me think about it” instead of a happy “yes.”

* I am feeling like a slacker because exercise brings me joy. Some of the other things I’ve been doing? Not so much joy. I need to incorporate exercise into every day to feel complete, happy and whole.

* I am not as big of a slacker as I think I am. Some people don’t exercise at all. I’ve never gone more than three days without working out in two years. I should pat myself on the back for that.

* The deal is that I am tired. The deal is that I have too many interests. The deal is that I need to prioritize in a way that makes sense for me.

* I need a plan. Plain and simple. I need a plan designed by someone else that will keep me on track.

And so, here is what I’m doing with that information. I am going to follow a plan. I am going to follow the 21 Day Fix workout plan. The DVDs are great: they are 30 minutes in length and include both strength and cardio. DONE. I am going to work on saying “maybe.” I am going to work on sticking up for ME. In essence, I am going to be true to myself — as much as I possibly can be.

Thanks for reading this honest post!

Rose: Things I’m Loving Lately

A few simple things have been bringing me a lot of joy lately. And, as we inch closer to Thanksgiving, I find myself being grateful for these little things.

1. My Avalanche pullover.

pullover

I adore this hoodie. Mine is similar in shape to the one featured above but a different color. I have literally been living in this thing since late October. I needed something warm for a chilly Penn State football game, and my stepmother bought this for me. I love the way it fits me and the neck guard comes in handy. And, as the temperatures continue to drop, this gem certainly keeps me warm at night.

2. Amazon.

amazon_logo_RGB

Thank you, creator of Amazon, for making my life so much easier. Thanks to this site, I have 80 percent of my Christmas shopping accomplished — all with the click of a button. Some friends and family members have created wishlists, too, which makes shopping a cinch. Plus I can watch movies and TV shows for free thanks to my Amazon PRIME membership (which was worth every single penny).

3. DIY Projects.

DIY

The holidays always have a way of inspiring me. I want to make presents. Bake cookies and pies. Get crafty and make cards for people. This then extends into other projects like new lampshades
. Over the past few days, I’ve been scouring the internet looking for ways to make my own headboard for the guest bedroom. I have lived in apartments long enough to know that if you don’t decorate them, you’ll live to regret it. So I’m putting things in motion now.

4. Enchiladas.

clean

I never seem to tire of this meal. A little spice and zip. A hearty portion. This is the perfect meal for a cold late fall evening.

What are you loving lately?

Rose: DIY Lampshades

I haven’t been home for a weekend in a while, so I made this weekend count. I have an endless list of DIY projects to tackle, and one has been on my list for quite a while. Ever since I remodeled my bedroom, I’ve been wanting to jazz up some funky old lampshades. I’ve shopped around, but no stores quite had what I was looking for. Thanks to the brilliance of Pinterest, I found an online tutorial providing step-by-step instructions for making your own cloth lampshades. Voila!

lampshades

These lampshades were in rough shape. I’m not sure what quite happened to them, but let’s just say I blame the cats. The trouble is that these lamps screw at the top, which is sort of uncommon now. I couldn’t buy a shade that fit, but I didn’t want to trash these either. See my dilemma?

DSC01023

After spending far too much time at Joann Fabrics, I decided upon a print that matched the decor of my bedroom. Sure, it looks like macroni, but the purple was perfect. I followed these instructions to a T and the end result looked something like this:

DSC01027

They weren’t perfect, but they were pretty darn close. Plus they only took about 30 minutes to prepare. I think they look perfect with the gray-yellow-purple scheme I’ve got going on …

DSC01030

What’s interesting is that they look quite different when the lights are turned on. I like it, but I must admit that I’m still getting used to it being a little dimmer at night.

DSC01033

Have you ever tried something like this? How did your results fare?

Jenna & Rose: Holiday Help Clean Eating Challenge

It is absolutely no surprise that the holidays are the most challenging time of the year to stay on tracking with clean eating and exercise. Our family is centered around food. It is EVERYWHERE. Between the plates of cookies and the bowls of chips laying everywhere, it can feel overwhelming. The thoughts of “well, it is the holidays. I’ll just clean things up come January 1.” start to take over.

Not this year. There is no need to feel guilty, negative, or overwhelmed this holiday season. We are here to help and we will do this together!

We will be hosting a Holiday Help Clean Eating Challenge from December 1-24. Three coaches, triple the support. We will give you the tools you need to focus on clean eating in December. You’ll cut the cravings, and learn what it means to feel great this holiday season. And hey, you might even lose weight, too.

HolidayHelp

This challenge is designed for newbies, and we will be incorporating Shakeology (a great early Christmas present for yourself!) to help us stay on track. Click here to apply, and we’ll follow up with you about your goals and intentions.

We hope you’ll join us!