Friday, November 30, 2012

5 Ways to Beat the Holiday Bulge

J shares 5 ways to stay healthy for the holidays.
My suggestions were more blunt ("Learn to cook," "Don't eat crap that's not really food," "Get off your butt an hour every day," "Cold weather isn't going to kill you," etc.) but her suggestions are friendlier.

1. Hold the extra holiday calories
  Use healthy recipe substitutions, eat a light snack before a holiday party 
2. Be Mindful of Holiday Drinks
  Treat drinks like the desserts they are; as an occasoinal indulgence, substitute ingredients and choose smaller size
3. Sweat Off the Sweets
  Turkey Trots, Snowshoeing, gym classes
4. Practice Healthy Habits at Work
  Walk during lunch break, walking meetings, bring healthier snacks to work so you're less tempted by candy, etc.
5. Manage stress
   Manage holiday stress by planning breaks in activity/travel; do some basic financial planning and budgetting.  


I do need to work on #5 more though, procrastinate less for less stress.  

Otherwise, I like the financial suggestion. I actually hate money and obsessing over money, but enjoy balancing it and understanding it, so I was happy to discover Mr. Money Moustache recently.  He focuses as much (or more) on spending less, yet also recognizes value on quality where it matters, meaning the answer isn't buying the cheapest crap and food from Walmart that you can.   I always manage the monthly budget, but just finished refinancing condo, car ($100 and lower rate), and moved money around to new accounts that paid cash bonuses. 

A few years ago, my salary was 4x what it is now, but if anything we're only happier now.  With more money, it's mostly easier to just be sloppier about details.  I would've bought a replacement expensive bike rather than riding the ones I had for a decade; I would've signed up for whatever race I felt like; I'd probably have a smart phone.  Ironically, instead we did things like upgrade our kitchen, fixed the furnace, fixed the clothes dryer -- and I spent a half-hour fixing a $20 hair dryer the other day!  -- that I never would have done since I could've paid someone to do it cheaper.  But the satisfaction is much greater.  No cable each year buys an international plane ticket.

And the cheapest and best hotel is always sleeping on Free Dirt outside.  Even a winning lottery ticket wouldn't change that.


  1. I was always unhappy during the times that I made the most money. Once you figure out that the stress isn't worth it, it frees you. You have to be more budget-conscious, but it can be very satisfying to figure out how to creatively finance big things when you have very little to work with.

    As far as the holiday indulgences, I wouldn't have been quite so nice in my suggestions as J was either. Obesification season is upon us.

  2. Nice post overall on the subject of overindulgence. I remember some great quotes by the 100-year-old marathoner, Fauja Singh, on how he felt that simplicity and a streamlined lifestyle were the keys to his continued good health. I couldn't find the full quote, but I remember him saying that everyone he had known who had a full belly their whole lives was long dead.

    Love the quote about Free Dirt. Now THAT would be a great name for a blog.