Happy Thanksgiving!

Ok guys… Here we go. The holidays are officially upon us.

The holidays can make fitness hard, but don’t throw away what you work so hard for the rest of the year. Enjoy yourself, but keep your eyes on the prize. You can do it! Will of steel!

This might help:

Thanks, Active.com!

Thanks, Active.com!


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tying Myself to the Tracks

My husband made these treats. In my kitchen. I think he hates me.

My husband baked these treats. In my kitchen. *sob*

Need some motivation to reach your fitness goals? Goals like… say… not bulking up over the holidays like a bear preparing to hibernate?

Share your goal with everyone you know. Tell them your deadline, too. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it. Pin it. Encourage people to inquire about your progress.

Accountability in the form of avoiding public failure can be worth it’s weight in gold.

So – Here’s mine:

On December 6th, 2013 I will be celebrating my First Health-iversary. That date will mark a full year of maintaining 100 lbs of weight loss, one year since I started Happy Exhaustion.

I intend to mark my anniversary by proving that I really, truly have kept off every pound.

I will post a picture of myself standing on a scale – numbers and all.

*insert the abject horror of a girl with no photoshop skills here*

With any luck, I will be standing on a scale that says 142 lbs. That’s what it said when I wrote my first blog post on that day in 2012!

All that stands between me and that seriously triumphant picture is a little math…

16 days + 4 parties + 1 husband practicing his holiday baked goods (today involved homemade pies with homemade fruit compote… God, give me strength) + 1 Thanksgiving = Wait… I might not have properly thought this through…

Hold me to it, interwebs!

I’ll do it with your help!

The Devil Drink

It's like Sophie's Choice!

It’s like Sophie’s Choice!

Blog disclaimer: Always drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Don’t drink more than you can handle. Know your limits. Know when to say when. Etc. Etc. Etc.

We good?

Ok – so: What’s your hooch of choice?

At the occasional leisurely brunch I enjoy a Bloody Mary. At a sporting event? Corona. Coors Light in a pinch. Classy evening soirée? A nice white wine. And my true love? A modest serving of top-shelf vodka. Cheap vodka hurts my head, but I do adore the good stuff.

All of us who like to unwind with a drink have our favorites. I’d wager you can probably list not only your own, but also your spouse’s, your college roommates and best friends’. And, while it is important to step away from the bar if you begin to develop a dependence, lots of us look forward to our drink of choice at the end of the day.

You can probably relate.

How do I know you can relate? Because you’ve sent me your emails, texts, and carrier pigeons, all asking the following: How can I lose weight without giving up my cocktails?

I have heard from dozens of people who feel frustrated because they’re ‘doing everything right’ and CANNOT shake the last 5-10 lbs. They work out at least 5 times a week! They eat clean, whole foods in limited quantities! They drink soooo much water! WTF?!

Wow – that’s tricky… Well, what about booze?

That’s when we usually get down to the real issue.

Those soothing glasses of yumminess are maddeningly jam-packed with calories. Yes, even if they have ‘skinny’ in their name.

If you simply weren’t factoring your alcoholic beverages into your daily calorie count, TA-DA!  Simple fix. Mystery solved.

But for the majority of people who consult with me, when we get down to the brass tacks, the truth is that weight loss just doesn’t rank above their nightcaps. Lots of us want to drop a few pounds, but if we’re being honest, we know that we don’t crave a smaller number on the scale as much as we crave our cocktails.

That’s fine. Just stop beating yourself up over what’s not working! You know what’s not working, it’s just farther than you’re interested in going – at least for now.

I wish I had a magic solution, but…

If you’re going to keep drinking, I can help you figure out how to maintain your weight.

If you’re ready to put the bottle down, I can help you lose weight.

But, if you aren’t blessed with the metabolism of a humming-bird, I know of no way to allow you to kick back with a beer every night and lose weight at the same time.

Is it physically possible to lose weight without giving up alcohol? Sure. You just have to all but starve yourself throughout the rest of your waking hours.

Over the summer, I discovered the following: If I want to maintain my sweet spot of 140-145 lbs, I can’t drink. At all. I just don’t have the willpower to eat so little during the day! To make the math work with liquor added at the end of the balance sheet, I need to spend all day feeling hungry and cranky. It’s not worth it for me.

I can, however, enjoy a cocktail a few days a week if I’m ok with maintaining closer to 150 lbs. It’s just a question of priorities. When I want my personal best, I need to avoid alcohol altogether. When I’m feeling relaxed and groovy and don’t mind carrying an extra 5 lbs around, then a nice glass of wine is invited to the party.

Need one more fitness-related reason to avoid the Devil Drink? Drinking tends to make you feel ever-so-slightly less strongly about your sober goals. The girl who drunk-dials her ex after one too many glasses of wine is the same girl who says ‘eff it – let’s order pizza!’

Not that I would ever be inspired to blog about the Devil Drink by a minor hangover mixed with humiliatingly tragic, blurry-around-the-edges memories of mindless late-night consumption of handfuls of stale candy corn…

The bar sign I made for my son's superhero birthday party is right...

The bar sign I made for my son’s superhero birthday party is right…