How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Did you know that the average person gains between 5 and 10 pounds throughout the holidays? Do you want to know how to avoid holiday weight gain? The answer my Holiday Bootcamp: 21 Day Fitmas!

holiday-bootcamp

This year, I am putting my foot down when it comes to this weight gain thing. I am saying NO! In fact, I am saying, I am going to lose 5 pounds as I count down the days to Christmas. How good does that sound?

Now I bet you are wondering how I am going to do it? And I want to make sure you know there is absolutely no secret. The keyword here is accountability! And what if I told you that could join me too? Together, we can hold each other accountable throughout this holiday season with my Holiday Bootcamp.

So you are probably asking, HOW! Well, let me tell you and I promise no my Holiday Bootcamp has no gimmicks just real results.

For 21-Days I going to follow the 21-Day Fix Extreme program. This will be my 4th Beachbody Program I will complete this year! I have completed 21 Day Fix, Shift Shop (3x), and Core de Force (currently completing). Starting December 4th through Christmas Eve, I am counting down the days to Christmas in the best way I know how, by crossing off workouts on my calendar. Yep, no chocolate advent calendar for this girl!

With a concentrated workout program that is just 30-minutes a day, the next piece is I will be following the easiest meal plan I have ever followed. No counting calories, simply, if it fits in the container, I eat it. That means I can still enjoy my favorite holiday foods and drink wine at all the holiday parties without all the guilt.

Now you are probably thinking, “How am I going to avoid eating all the Christmas cookies?”

Well there are a few ways that my Holiday Bootcamp can help with this and it all starts with my Christmas Cookie Superfood Shake recipes. These taste just like my favorite holiday treats without all the sugar! Gingerbread, pumpkin pie, thumbprint cookies, fudge and so much more! I seriously cannot wait to share these with you.

But when I head out to a holiday party, I am not always going to be bringing along my secret recipes so I am also going to share my tips and tricks for beating the holiday party scene including healthy cookie recipes, modifications of your favorite recipes, the list can go on and on!

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Holiday Bootcamp = Accountability

To top it all off, I am doing this with my team and together, we get the results we want thanks to the accountability factor. I have a group of ladies I wake up with every morning and video workout with and you can join us too. There is a group that wakes up 5am EST running through 8am EST (you don’t have to stay on for the whole time).

Let’s summarize what I will be doing during my Holiday Bootcamp and you can too with me:

  • 21-Days of 30 minute at home workouts
  • 21 Days of Holiday Themed Superfood Shakes
  • Healthy Holiday Meals
  • 21 Days of Healthy Holiday Party Tricks
  • Lose around 5 pounds in just 21 Days
  • Holiday Presents (did I forget to mention, there were presents involved)?
  • 21 Days of Accountability (This is BONUS for my VIPs)

But the best part, the fun doesn’t stop when the holidays are over! When you join my Holiday Bootcamp you get:

  • 1 year access to Beachbody On Demand, consider it the Netflix for workout programs
  • A 30 Day Supply of a Superfood Shake that will help you beat your cravings through New Years
    • My VIPs get this at a discount
  • Easy to follow meal plans that take into consideration all dietary needs
  • Portion control containers that help you get rid of calorie counting
  • Access to me for an entire year as your coach
    • We will work one-on-one to reach your health, fitness, and nutrition goals
    • We will also customize a plan that works for you to achieve the results you want
  • Access to the whole team for accountability far beyond the holiday season
  • Bonus: My VIPs get access to our virtual workouts to help you get your butt out of bed each morning (this is no additional charge)

You get all of this for just $160 for the WHOLE YEAR….call it a Christmas present to yourself that just keeps on giving!

 

christmas-bootcamp

So I have told you what I am going to do for my Holiday Bootcamp, I have told you all that you can get, I just haven’t told you how to sign up. The best part, you have a couple of options, leave me a comment below and I will reach out to you or you can email fitnessmadebreezy.courtney@gmail.com. Let’s make this the healthiest holiday season yet!

I can’t wait to beat the holiday weight gain this year and I can’t wait for you to join me! As a bonus, the first person to sign-up from this blog post will receive this Exclusive – SOLD OUT – The Be Brand Headband from me as a thank you gift!workout-headbands

5 Tips for the Young Professional to Set Themselves Up for a Successful Holiday Season (Next Year)

Christmas may be over for this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start looking ahead to next year. Don’t worry, I hear the groans. But trust me, I have been following these five things the last couple of years and it has paid off. I started developing my strategy during grad school and it helped as I entered the workforce. Each year I seem to fine tune it and add to things that help me out the next year.

Tidy Before Heading Home for the Holidays

If you are like me and many other young professionals, you probably don’t spend the actual holiday at the home where you spend most of your time. Chances are you are headed back to your childhood home, wherever one of your parents live, or to other family and friends.

But what makes coming back home even easier is when your house is tidy and clean. Now, this may not seem like a tip to make your next Christmas even easier but it is something that can make putting away Christmas decorations when you return easier. This means you have a little bit of extra time to put in the extra care of packing up efficiently.

For me, I like to make sure my bathrooms are cleaned and I have vacuumed the whole house and scrubbed the floors (WNY winters does a number on my floors with salt and wetness). I also like to make sure I have fresh bed sheets to jump into when I return and have done all the laundry. These small tasks may seem like they won’t mean much but trust me, there is nothing better than coming home to a clean house.

DeClutter

Every year as we start to pack up the Christmas decorations, we throw away the broken lights and ornaments. It is also important to go through any of your baking supplies that may have gone bad. Look at those cookie cutters, are they rusty? Toss them out and buy new at the after-Christmas sales. How about looking at your fabrics? Is it time to get a new Christmas rug or hand towels? Toss out the old ones and hit the sales now so you are prepared for next year and can start fresh. If you don’t like tossing out a towel, use them as rags for odd jobs around the house or outside.

Shop the Clearance

Every store that sells Christmas decorations and items put their stuff on clearance as of December 26th. That means today is the day to go out and replace what you used up this year or broke. Maybe you have always wanted a holiday wreath for your door but didn’t want to pay $30+ dollars for it. Looking at the prices the day after Christmas, you could get one for $15 or less. But don’t wait because the good stuff goes fast.

I always buy extra wrapping paper, bags, boxes (the ones you don’t have to wrap), bows, gift tags and tissue paper at least 50% off. That way, I know that is one less thing I have to buy next year as I start buying gifts.

Last year, I found this “Santa Sack” that was meant to put gifts in but instead I repurposed it to organize Brian and my Christmas clothes like socks, PJ pants, sweaters, etc. I bought two and used the second for my holiday table clothes, pot holders, and placemats. This has really helped because I can put them in my Christmas decoration bin and know exactly where everything is. Remember, you decide how you utilize things, not the store.

If you are in the market for a new Christmas tree, after Christmas is the best time to buy your dream tree. Maybe you aren’t willing to pay upwards of $200 for the tree but the day after Christmas stores are begging to get rid of them and you can find on up to 75% off. This year I bought two mini trees for just $5!

Holiday Scents

Bath and Body Works often holds their semi-annual sale at the end of December and January. This is a great time to stock up on the seasonal scents you love at a steep discount. They usually send out coupons before the sale as well so you can save even more. Who knows, you may even start your Christmas shopping in January!

Other stores put their holiday scents on sale as well. Things like Glade products are great to stock up on and keep for next year. Last year, I bought Glade spray that smelled like Christmas trees. It is perfect for the bathrooms around the holidays because it matches my candles and the smell of the tree (or scents sticks in the tree).

Organize Your Decorations

It can be easy to just ball up all your lights and throw them in a box but what good will that bring you next year? You will spend hours and be more stressed out during December than ever before. This year there are so many things out there that can help you. There are light organizing boxes that have separate compartments for different sets of lights; as well as, things to wrap your lights around.

When you are taking down your tree, if you have an artificial tree, leave the lights on it. Better yet, buy a tree with lights already on it. That way you don’t even have to deal with the lights at all. You should also have ornament organizers. I remember growing up, we had cardboard boxes with all the ornaments in them. If they were flat they were laid out in several layers with tissue paper in between. If they were glass, they were in a separate box in their original box to protect them. Now, they have ornament boxes that can make the organization of your ornaments much simpler. Not to mention make sure that they are all cared for and make it safely through the off-season.

For my tree, I have a tree storage bag that I not only keep the tree in but all my lights as well. I also keep my garland that goes on my stair railing and mantle in the bag. That way, next year all of that is together when I bring out the tree as it is usually the first thing that gets put up.

Wrap Up Your Wrapping Paper

After I restock all my wrapping products, I get them all organized. I have a wrapping paper storage bin that houses all my Christmas wrapping paper. I keep this separate from my other wrapping paper and bags. That way, I only need to pull this bin out of the basement once a year.

The holidays don’t have to be stressful. Setting yourself up for a successful holiday season starts at the end of the previous one. You can make your life easier once December rolls around by following these tips and making them your own.

4 Holiday Tips for the Early Career Professional

It is no secret to anyone who knows me, I like to be organized and I like everything to go as planned. But we all know that never happens. Which is why around the holidays, I try to get as much done ahead of time as possible. That way if something comes up at work, with my freelance clients or with my team (I am coaching again at Nichols) I am not forced to rush through something.
Happy Holidays

But getting organized at the holidays is no easy feat and takes planning and discipline. It can be hard to manage everything, especially if this is your first holiday season in a new place, with a new job or it is your first time on your own.

I have been there and figured out what works for me so that when my vacation from work starts (December 23rd) I can sit down with some cookies and a holiday cocktail with my family and not be scrambling. In the last couple of weeks, I have had many of my friends and co-workers ask how I get everything done so early. So I thought I would share my secrets to staying sane with so much going on around the holidays.

Don’t Procrastinate

I think this year I bought my first gift in the spring. I don’t like just buying gifts for the sake of buying them. Which is why throughout the year as I see things that I know someone would like I buy them.

Almost all of my Christmas shopping was done by the middle of November; I would say approximately 90%. (I will also say that all the birthday presents for my family through the month of March have also been purchased and wrapped, not to brag). But when you are in the spending mood it makes things easy.

One of the things I don’t like about the holidays is all the wrapping that must be done. I come from a big family which means there are at least 50 gifts under my tree right now. So my secret is to not procrastinate the wrapping. The second I get something, I wrap it. I use a lot of the pre-wrapped boxes (the ones with the designs on the covers; as well as, a lot of bags. This makes it easier.

But you may be asking yourself how do I remember what is what? That is my tip #2.

Keep a List (and Check It Twice)

Every year, I have an entire excel file stored on my computer that outlines who is getting what. Sadly, my computer decided to delete this file in mid-December this year. Thankfully all of my shopping was done at that point and everything already had labels on it. If that had happened any earlier, my system probably would not have worked out so well. My recommendation to myself next year is to keep a backup of this list whether it is on my external hard drive, a USB drive, or a physical paper list. So that I am not stressing if this happens again.

Because I had this list, I knew exactly who I had already bought for and who I still needed to buy for. I don’t get as elaborate as I know some do with prices and things like that because frankly the amount I spend on people doesn’t really have to equal out in my mind because the gifts I buy for people are ones I know they will like and are so specific to them that price doesn’t matter (outside of breaking my bank account of course).

The only time price does matter at this point in my life is for office parties or the Girl’s Annual White Elephant where we set limits. I am sure this may change when I eventually start a family.

Amazon Prime

This year, I bought several misc. gifts from Amazon to have on hand as I was thinking about specific gifts for people. These were gifts that I knew two or more people in my family would like so if I found something for one of them then this gift would go to the other.

At the holidays, I always get my money’s worth for my prime membership because I order so much. And even better was this year, Discover offered 5% cashback on all purchases made on Amazon July-December. So it was like everything was at least on sale a bit. Or all my Christmas purchases were getting me closer to my cruise!

For the first time this year, I used Prime Day and Amazon Deals. They were great to see what was coming up on sale and buy it before the deal opened up to the masses thanks to my Prime Membership.

I highly encourage anyone to get Amazon Prime due to the free 2-day shipping benefits. Not only is it great for the shopper who buys ahead of time but also for the procrastinator who needs a last minute gift for a birthday or holiday! Plus, with all the added benefits of Prime Video and Music, it is like getting Netflix for free. Personally, I find their movie selection way better on Amazon Prime but Netflix still takes the cake when it comes to shows. At just $99 a year that is less than you pay for your Netflix subscription over the course of the year, so why not?

Decorate When You Have Timedecorating for the holidays

I am someone who grew up in a decorated house at the holidays and I just remember the look on everyone’s faces when they walked in. It is hard to not smile when you see the stockings over the fireplace or the Christmas tree in the corner of the room.

But we all know life gets very hectic (and I don’t even have kids yet). So don’t stress about decorating. Do it little by little or all at once, whatever works for you. Since this is the first year for Brian and myself in our new house, I went out and bought more decorations (I usually wait until the day after Christmas to get them all on clearance but I splurged). We had a lot already from our last place and from me in college but I wanted the house to feel like a home at the holidays.

We have an artificial tree because we aren’t home for the actual week of Christmas like many young professionals and know we would just come home to a dead tree and needles all over the ground.

I started decorating the house the weekend after Thanksgiving and it worked out great. Our tree only had lights on it for about a week as we wanted to make sure we decorated it together. But we weren’t worried. We knew we would be able to do it and eventually it got done.

Don’t Stress this Holiday Season

The holidays are stressful enough with trying to get wrapped up before the books close at work and have everything organized for your family time. Don’t sweat the little things this year. Setting yourself up for success early, before the malls get crazy and deals start selling out can pay off. After all, no one wants to be like those who are trying to get an Amazon Alexa just days before Christmas. All those people will be waiting until January 20th for it to be delivered. Being ahead of the game can save you the time of having to panic about what your backup gift will be.

It may be too late to not procrastinate this year but why not set yourself up for success next holiday season with post-holiday tips.