The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

French Women Don’t Get Fat

I’ve always loved French culture… the way they typically don’t brush their hair even when it’s long… the obsession with skincare… their apothecaries where you can find beauty treasures not available anywhere else!

And… the way they eat!

French women eat carbs!  They enjoy breads and pastries!  They drink wine!

They eat dark chocolate and have dessert!

And yet they typically are well known for not getting fat.

There’s even a book out from years ago (no I haven’t read it – I should!) with this title, “French Women Don’t Get Fat!”

This video explores some of the ways they keep fit into old age ❤  So sweet!  And it’s mostly common sense stuff.  Nothing too hard or difficult to manage.

And the cute way they talk about staying fit, is as if it’s just part of daily living.  And it IS for them.

All it takes is moderation, or knowing your body well enough to understand when you need to “take the stairs” as they say.

When your pants start to feel tight, it’s time to ramp up your exercising, and cut back a little.  They do this on their own as a way of monitoring their weight and staying fit and thin.  No strange, difficult diets, no cutting out desserts or breads, just plain old exercising and eating fresh (not processed), homemade foods and desserts along with their healthy foods (proteins and veggies), too.

Here’s to french desserts, en modération😉

Bon appétit!

Stephanie

 

Advertisements

Health & Long-term Keto Diet

My fitness group ladies keep coming back to discussing the new diet fad of keeping your body always in a state of ketosis.  Just today (note: this was a couple of weeks ago) we looked at an article that is again… not very favorable.  And after reading it, I’m definitely beginning to see why these fads can be so annoying to fitness instructors and nutritionists.

When I first heard about the keto diet, I immediately remembered studying case studies of diabetic people in ketoacidosis in college, and was alarmed that there were apparently women who were trying to get their bodies into that state of chemical toxicity in producing ketones in their blood.  BUT those two things are different.  Ketoacidosis is a very high level of ketones, whereas ketosis is just the presence of ketones.  It’s similar, but one is life-threatening, while the other seems benign.

My fitness ladies are skeptical, quite a few have tried it and already been badly burned, having experiences that ranged from physical illnesses and side effects like kidney stones, to higher cholesterol levels that forced them to have to go back to a normal, much healthier diet.

This article delves into those issues from a scientific perspective which is nice.  My background was biology and chemistry… and very heavy on biochemistry – how those two work inside your body – so the science stuff speaks to me.

 

From an obesity researcher quoted in the article:

“But just as other “don’t eat this” or “eat more of that” diets of the past didn’t cure all, so goes the ketogenic diet. “It’s one of these diets where so many people are talking about losing tons of weight, improving their health risks, beating cancer, and all these other lofty claims,” says Stephan Guyenet, an obesity researcher and author of The Hungry Brain. “But all those big claims are far ahead of the current scientific evidence.”

It does work… reading the awesome stories on reddit are incredibly inspiring!  But again, it’s part common sense (following your macros), part fad (eating 90% fat!), and part diet (lowering caloric intake by not eating carbs, which are the bulk of calories per day we normally eat anyway).

The main benefit I saw while I was trying it myself for curiosity, is that if you’re eating crap foods, processed sugars and bad carbs, it at least teaches you those things are bad for weight loss (and overall health).

It also teaches men and women who had poor diets and lazy habits to include a TON more veggies and green leafy fiberous foods into their diet – which of course will aid in fat loss and curb hunger.

Like I said, a lot of it is just common sense, and the main part is restricting caloric intake (which always leads to fat loss, no matter what diet you’re on).


It’s the perfect diet for very overweight men or women who have no idea where to start.


More on that from this article:

“Keto doesn’t seem to be any better for weight loss compared to any other “diet,” Kashey says. And that’s due to how weight loss science works. “People get excited about the idea that the ketogenic diet burns fat stored on your body,” Kashey says. “Yes, ketones can be made from your stored fat, but ketogenic diets are high in fat. Therefore, the fat you eat is what gets converted to ketones. How do you make sure you are burning more fat than you are eating? You eat less fat. That sounds an awful lot like reducing calories.””

For women, it can be a little dangerous as it messes with our hormone production, which affects bone loss longterm. (From article):


“But it may also have some health-based drawbacks, Scott-Dixon says. “Especially in women, it can disrupt hormonal production,” she says. “You also sometimes see immunity issues and nutritional deficiencies, so you’re maybe risking getting sick, and becoming malnourished, which is sort of embarrassing if you live America.” Guyenet agrees, saying “few human groups have ever lived in chronic ketosis, so I’m skeptical that it’s a good idea.””

I’ve read from a lot of the Keto Gurus that human groups have been mostly living in ketosis throughout history.  It’s something you’d have to look into for yourself, but I personally think just following a healthy, well-balanced diet (by which I mean including carbs), is probably the best way to go, especially (as I found out personally) if you enjoy exercise or sports and do endurance or high intensity workouts.

The Keto Diet seems to scientifically harm your overall athletic performance and long-term energy.  So if you do aerobics or are a die-hard runner, the longer you’re in ketosis, you’ll be worsening at your beloved sport or hobby:

“One study of endurance athletes found the diet led to performance declines, and another found that it hurt endurance race performance. One study on mountain bikers, however, did show some promise. Any benefits of exercising in ketosis are likely offset by the drawbacks, covered here. “You know what has been proven to improve exercise performance, though?,” Kashey asks. “Carbs.””

Coming from a long-time runner and dancer, it is very hard to imagine exercising at your best level (much less racing like one study found) without the necessary carbs that fuel long-term endurance.  I thought all that was common sense, even as a teenager when our coach was explaining it to us.

The Keto Gurus (who when I researched more on their actual diet, were eating more protein than they should be to be in ketosis, and carb-fueling on days they called “Re-Feed” days, lol), will try to tell you that being in ketosis produces more ATP energy during your workouts.  It’s just not true scientifically.  The body cannot break down fat as fast and efficient as carbs when using them for high intensity workouts or in weight lifting (in order to build muscle), so while 1 gram of fat does in theory produce more ATP eventually, it’s not fast enough or easy enough for the body to do this under exercise stress.

I found a good scientific article explaining what I was feeling in my workouts when being in a constant state of ketosis.  This study that was done was involving different sets of mice, one set that was prone to epileptic seizures, and another that was normal and the control (no physical abnormalities).  The sets of mice were all put on a ketogenic diet to model the human version of the diet.  The mice prone to epilepsy, when on a ketogenic diet, were significally improved in their health and also surprisingly made “normal” amounts of ATP energy that they weren’t previously able to make (so they were under-making ATP on regular diets – whereas the keto diet helped them to be at normal ATP production).  It didn’t make them make “more” than what is normal, but it did help them make more than they used to on regular diets that weren’t working for them health-wise.

The normal mice however, who didn’t have seizure and health problems, when measured actually produced significantly less ATP-energy than what they had been producing when they were allowed to eat carbohydrates.  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646796/

So if you have medical conditions like epilepsy, being on the keto diet has been proven to possibly help restore you to normal levels of ATP production, greatly impacting your life in positive ways.  However, if you’re the typical adult without epilepsy, your ATP levels may be “significantly decreased,” on this diet due to the lack of healthy carbs.

It’s actually because of that, heavy weight lifting is not doable on keto – they actually advise against it.  Mostly because you’re not eating enough carbs in order to build and rebuild muscle!

“Therapeutic use of ketogenic diets should not require constraint of most forms of physical labor or recreational activity, with the one caveat that anaerobic (ie, weight lifting or sprint) performance is limited by the low muscle glycogen levels induced by a ketogenic diet, and this would strongly discourage its use under most conditions of competitive athletics.”

(From here: https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-1-2)

Here are some hardcore cyclists talking about their negative experiences in exercise performance on keto:

Depending on how hard you work out and how much ATP you need, it may affect your workout and training to a greater degree.

Just as a recent, personal experience I had the other day (already quite a few days in to ketosis), I was working out very hard on the stairmaster at our gym with my husband.  After only doing 15 minutes of that exercise, which was intense intervals of fast and furious climbing against increased resistance levels (large steps), and slow climbing to a lighter resistance, I had to stop and afterward, felt like I was going to black out.  LOL it was NOT cool!

After researching my experience with doing HIIT (intervals of high intensity followed by lower intensity), it turns out “dizziness” and low blood sugar (leading to blacking out) is one of the side effects of this diet.  Grrreeeaaat. Try feeling dizzy when you’re doing an intense cardio workout up high on a stair master!  Oh wait!!  You can’t because you may fall off and break something!  lol

Negative side effects of the Keto Diet:

  • Low blood sugar (bad for me… I already lean toward low blood sugar… this could be why I almost blacked out after only 15 minutes of intervals on the stairmaster)
  • Messed up electrolytes and minerals – you have to be on top of taking extra magnesium and salt daily to counteract your regular loss of electrolytes
  • Heart palpitations – because of the messed up electrolyte (salt and water) balance in your blood, again it can be remedied, but if you are prone to heart problems in your family, this could cause issues long-term and you’d have to be VERY on top of checking your blood levels
  • Muscle Cramps – again because of messed up electrolyte balances
  • Sleep problems – due to lower insulin levels and less serotonin production (causing anxiety at night).  A trick keto-gurus do to combat this is to (surprise!) eat a tiny bit of carbs at night so they can sleep better.
  • If you’re a woman, it will mess with your menstrual cycle hormones, possibly even making you not have a period (amenorrhea), which is known to cause bone loss long-term (and is generally a side effect of anorexia as well)

I guess it’s just human nature to look for a magic formula or easy route to get healthy, but it seems a little more complicated than what cutting out an entire food group (long-term) can do.  Does the Keto Diet have pros?  Yes.  Does it work?  Yes, you can check out all the success stories on reddit to see for yourself!  It’s honestly the perfect intro diet for very overweight people who aren’t exercising normally and eating loads of bad carbs in their diet.  It weans them off of the bad carbs, gets them eating a TON more veggies and leafy greens they should be eating anyway, and really does help them lose fat due to these habit changes.

 

But is it a little dangerous in how it paints carbs as the “Bad Guys” for optimal health?  Yea… and with all my training and experience in sports and athletics, I can see how this diet would be annoying to fitness instructors or coaches who understand how much protein their athletes need, along with carbohydrates for maximum performance.

 

You won’t find any Olympic Athletes on the Keto diet, and if they are, they’re definitely incorporating carbs on “Re-Feed” or re-fuel days on the weekends to compensate.  But with the protein restrictions to be in ketosis, I highly doubt any Olympians are on it, and definitely not long-term.

 

Ultimately you have to do what’s best for you long-term and do what you can realistically stick to.  There’s no way I’d be willing to give up my high intensity workouts and weight-lifting to build muscle to lose fat on this diet, when I’m already able to lose fat (and train like an athlete) on a healthier diet including carbs I love.

 

But if you can stick to it, and you’re willing to brave the negative side effects and messing with your feminine hormone production, then go for it.  To me that’s too much fuss to be tracking electrolyte balance and ketone production in my urine everyday, and part of overall fitness is keeping your mind at peace and relaxed and less stressed out (which being worried about not messing up my electrolyte balance, or if I’m messing up my period and bone density, would stress me out).

 

This blog is dedicated to approaching fitness for lifelong benefits and in a positive, relaxing way.  I want people to be aware how easy being fit really is once you have the knowledge and power to act on it, and make changes in your life.  There’s no need to pee on pH sticks everyday or track ketones in your blood.  There’s no need to stop eating carbs or a healthy amount of protein in order to build muscle.  In my opinion, any diet that cuts out an entire food group for the rest of your life, is just not peaceful or easy to do longterm.

 

 

Stephanie

Valeria’s Easy Weight Loss Hacks

 

Valeria is  a Russian model, 27, two children, and a long history of taking excellent care of her mind and body.  I adore her ❤

One of the main purposes of this blog is to show women how ridiculously EASY and SIMPLE losing weight can be when you have the correct knowledge and advice.  You DON’T have to stop eating carbs, or start making complicated meals that are super high in fat.

Losing weight should be a relaxing, simplistic, lifestyle change that fits into your already busy routine.  It should be something SUSTAINABLE over the length of your entire life!  I don’t promote the most popular diet fads or pills for weightloss or weird supplements that mess with your hormone production.

None of that.

Just simple, easy, kind of “lazy” ways to change your life so that you start seeing and getting the body you feel strong and comfortable and proud in.

And these tips are so easy & true.  I’ve been implementing the “hacks” she mentions since about 2009.  So that’s almost a DECADE of knowing these things work for maintaining a fit and beautiful body you love.

  • Eat on small, salad-sized plates- you psychologically see the plate with TONS  of food and you feel more satisfied and are less likely to get seconds
  • Fill up HALF of your plate with veggies (greens – dark leafy greens especially – are GREAT for this).  I’ve consistently lost the most weight when I was practicing this daily habit.
  • Chew your food… chew it slowly and take your time to eat.  It’s been proven you digest better and that your brain is able to understand more correctly when you’re “full” and need to stop
  • When you do eat out, always order your dressing or sauces on the side.  Yes!  I don’t bring my own usually, although I know women who do that… it’s too much work for me and this is about “lazy fitness” 😀  But just ordering it to be “on the side” that way you can carefully “dip” your food into the high calorie, high fat flavor, you WIN big time in not smothering your food in that stuff!
  • Detox water – I used to do this with lemon, but her recipe is much better (and she promotes making a big batch to keep in the fridge – yea I totally do things like that)

Hope you enjoyed her tips as much as I did!

Remember… losing weight isn’t really that hard… a TON of what you need to do to even begin is just slightly alter what you’re already doing.

Stephanie

Meal Prep – Pulled BBQ Chicken!

IMG_6219

More gorgeous Meal Preps!!!  Ooooo and this one is so tasty!!!  It’s like a healthier version of “pulled pork” except it’s with BBQ chicken breasts, shredded.

  • 3-4 lbs of chicken breast, boiled and shredded
  • Homemade BBQ sauce (super easy, just look online for recipes!) or bottled BBQ sauce if you’re pressed for time)
  • About 1 cup of white rice cooked for each meal prep container
  • About 1 cup of veggies of your choice.  I chose corn and broccoli this time since it seems to go better with the taste of the BBQ ❤

Soooo delicious!  And again, soooo healthy and makes life a million times easier for us this week when it comes to easy and healthy dinners!

If you have any ideas your family does or for ours to try, please leave them in the comments I’d love to hear new ideas about healthy meal prep options!

Stephanie

Meal Prep Your Way to Fitness

IMG_6198

One of the things I’ve found to be really helpful in maintaining a healthy diet while avoiding bad food in a crunch, is to simply meal prep.

It’s too easy to reach for something on the go – namely fast food – when you’re pressed for time or stressed.  Turns out the Boy Scouts were right in their motto:

BE PREPARED!

Just taking the little bit of extra time to portion out your healthy meals and some handy-dandy snacks you’ll find makes life a lot easier for you!

IMG_6177.JPG

Super healthy greek yogurt cups homemade with blueberries & strawberries!

I always try to cook a big dish either on the weekends or Monday night, and have a second or third, smaller option, that way dinners for the week are completely covered!

So. Easy.  It’s. Ridiculous.

IMG_6176

Left: Breakfast Eggs & Chorizo Mix to eat each morning without having to cook!  Just scoop into a couple of tortillas, microwave, add salsa and GO!

AND it saves so much money!

 

IMG_6172

$$$$$$$

Think about how much people pay to have healthy, pre-portioned meals like this delivered, and yet if you do it yourself, you can save hundreds a month!

Seriously, we’ve saved so much through doing this… and it’s all super healthy food that tastes amazing, too!

***

It also makes it easier for your husband if he’s trying to stay healthy as well, to be able to just reach in to the fridge and grab an already perfectly portioned, prepped meal in one  container.  There have been countless times my man has thanked me for doing this for him ❤ his favorite part is that I know just how much of everything to portion out, that way it’s filling and meeting macros but not over-loading.  

It’s the perfect portion control, because everything is right there and you’re discouraged from getting “seconds” – which would mean eating another day’s MEAL!

So…

Meal Prep… to borrow the famous Nike motto:

JUST DO IT!

Stephanie

Pro Tennis Beauty’s Workout

 

Phew!  Keto diet experiment is done finally, my husband actually had to make me stop – it was ridiculous not being able to make enough ATP (keto does make technically “some” and some claim it makes “more” lol, but since it’s actually harder work to convert fat into ATP, it’s not generated fast enough to be able to support high intensity workouts and heavy lifting that we’re currently doing in replacing the kind of energy used and then needed for longterm strength and endurance).  I’ll be writing a scientific post that goes into experts’ thoughts on why and how it’s not beneficial to athletes (unless they load up on carbs before an event… which debunks the entire keto claims that it’s good for athletes to always be in ketosis).

Here’s Maria Sharapova, pro Russian tennis player, working out/warming up and getting ready at a tournament.  Her diet is high protein (which keto limits as well… too much protein apparently knocks you out of that desired “ketosis”), low fat, and low carb.  Basically the way we’ve been eating for 10 years and have never had a problem losing weight.

Something I wanted to call attention to in the video was her usage of resistance bands for strengthening.  They are so cheap to get!  And they really work and can be used for a total body workout all over!!!  Definitely worth getting and implementing into your at home workouts (or to take to the gym – they’re so tiny they can go in your purse!).

And I love the tennis players’ body type.  Lean, long muscles, so strong and yet graceful.  A lonnng time ago I used to play a lot of tennis.  It’d be nice to get back into it!  Watching Maria is inspiring!

Enjoy the tennis beauty!

Stephanie

Zucchini Enchilada Casserole

IMG_6196

This was a fun recipe… even though I messed up the slicing for the enchiladas and had to turn it into a kind of lasagna-casserole dish made up of layers instead 😀  LOL  It still worked and tasted amazing!

And it’s SO healthy!

I created this recipe myself so it’s modified after what I believe to be one of the tastiest, yet healthiest versions of this meal.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Ingredients:

  • Two Zucchini’s
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (Plain – 0 sugar)
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis (optional – you can just use diced tomatoes and onions)
  • 1 jar Green Tomatillo Salsa
  • 3-4 pounds chicken (I used breast meat)
  • 2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Garlic seasoning to taste (1 tbs on chicken and then mixed into filling)
  • Pepper to taste (1 tsp mixed into filling)
  • Chili powder (optional)

Directions:

IMG_6189

Cut in thin slices, score and season the chicken breasts, then boil until cooked through.

IMG_6195

Slice the zucchinis in the way you’d prefer – either long way to create strips or with a veggie spiralizer if you want more texture.  I tried out my spiralizer thinking the long blade would create wider strips but apparently something went wrong LOL.  They were wider, but they were spirals!

Here’s where I hear Snape’s voice in my head:

After chicken is boiled, drain water and shred the chicken with two forks pulling in opposite directions keeping the chicken in the pot you boiled it in.  Once shredded, add in a little more seasoning to taste (garlic, pepper, etc.), the greek yogurt, the jar of Green Tomatillo Salsa, and the can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies.  Mix all this together in the bowl with the shredded chicken to create the enchilada “filling.”

IMG_6194

This doesn’t show the Tomatillo Salsa… Don’t forget to add it!

Now layer your ingredients in a 9×13 greased pan starting with a layer of zucchini strips or spirals/slices, then roughly 1/2 of the chicken filling, then a layer of cheese (1 cup).  Repeat a second time using the rest of the ingredients.

It should make a pretty huge pan full!

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The thing I loved about this recipe is that it’s a healthy low carb (virtually no carb it’d be perfect for people on the Keto Diet) meal that’s packed with flavor, but without the crash later that comes with normal enchiladas.

The greek yogurt (man I love that stuff!) is a powerhouse of energy, and it tastes very similar to sour cream but with ZERO grams of fat.  Yet in that one cup, you get a whopping 20 grams of pure protein!  It’s just a much healthier option than the Crema de Mexicana or heavy cream or even the fatty sour cream that people tend to throw in this recipe.  It’s also been proven to help in losing fat, and we’ve experienced this effect when we added it into our almost daily diet.

I served it with refried beans and spanish rice ❤  Hits the spot and without ANY guilt!

Enjoy!!

Stephanie

For Leg Day – Sculpting the Perfect… You Know What!

 

This girl is so cute, and redheads are just gorgeous.  Enjoy the video about sculpting the perfect butt!  She’s got a lot of great information.

Anyway….

Phew!!!!!  I am EXHAUSTED recently.  I can barely type, I have like… no energy.  We’ve been training hard since the beginning of January pretty much, and it’s been awesome.  HOWEVER, since I’m curious… and kind of determined sometimes… I decided to try out the keto diet I wrote about earlier.  You know… the one where zero carbs are allowed, the one my fitness ladies said came in last place on the best diets for 2018.

Yea… that one.

download

My curiosity may have gotten the best of me this time around.  I’m dying.  I almost passed out (started to black out!) after doing the stairmaster.  And my husband thinks the diet sucks (he’s not doing it – I’d never do that to him LOL… he’s just watching in sympathy and some amusement).

So needless to say, dizziness, low blood sugar, and less productive workouts are normal on this diet.  Your body, even after it’s adjusted, is not able to make ATP-energy.  That burst of energy sprinters use and weight lifters.

 

So… I’ll go back to confusion, light-headedness… trying to workout without passing out, kind of “health.”

LOL

Stephanie

Cycling Your Training

I wrote a post a few years ago about how my husband and I tend to cycle workouts being “on” a few months, and then “off” a few months.  It works out pretty well for the most part, and it’s nice to have a more relaxed period where we aren’t exercising so hard (or at all really), and then feel geared up to go for a few months being hardcore and getting back into excellent shape. 😀

I feel like it brings balance and prevents burnout over the long haul, to cycle your “on” and “off” months.  You don’t get overwhelmed or burned out as much because you have an end in sight and another beginning beyond that to look forward to.  It’s kind of like interval training for runners.  You can go hard for a few months because you know you’re getting a nice “break” coming up, and then once you’re rested, you begin again full power.  And during your rest period, you enjoy a very in shape bod that doesn’t take so much to maintain.

The only problem I could see women having with this is not controlling their eating during their off months, which is understandbly hard – especially during the holidays.  As long as you’re not gaining large amounts of weight through eating excessively (some splurges are normal), then it’s really not such a big deal to get yourself back in shape in a fairly short time frame.  Anything over 10 pounds is probably too much to gain in your off months.  Losing muscle is also something that wouldn’t be fun, but having dumb bells and learning some body weight exercises to use off and on again should keep you from losing too much muscle.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is what I’ve done in the past:

3 months on – Intense cardio and weights or mat workouts (Tracy Anderson)

3 months off – some light exercise every now and then, mostly eating healthy, some yoga, going for walks, playing outside with the kids (easy stuff that feels like relaxing exercises)

3 months on – By this time I’m fully ready for hard training again… it’s like my body craves it!  Heavy weight training upper & lower body, intense cardio either running or HIIT or stair master climbing (doing intervals of fast and slow).  Weight comes off fast but at the same time muscle takes it place.

3 months off – relaxing, maybe some yoga, enjoying feel fit from the months prior of getting in shape, if it’s Summer, we go swimming a lot which becomes our exercise, also a lot of walking at our water park, eating very clean (if it’s Summer lots of fruit and protein smoothies, salads, grilled chicken, etc.).

____________________________________________________________________________________________

And that’s a whole year of cycling your workouts!

In reality, we’ve recently been doing longer cycles.  More like 4-6 months on and then 4-6 months off.  Either way it’s how you personally want to set up your workouts.  There are some very few people who manage to workout hard every. single. day. but our schedules just change too much for that – either because of my husband’s work schedule, our son’s sports seasons, or me being pregnant or having just had a baby.  So now that we have more kids, it’s more realistic to schedule our cycles around what’s happening in our lives at the time or during that particular year.

Anyway, I encourage anyone reading this to try cycling your training in this way!  I swear it makes us feel so much more motivated and like it’s “doable” to know there’s an “end” in sight.  And then once well rested, starting up again feels good.  I’m sure it also lets your body heal and repair muscles and such to cycle it like this.

🙂

Enjoy!

Stephanie

New Year’s Bounce-Back is Totally Normal

26056005_10213430512290119_3970792088535370118_n

When that muffin top became a full-blown, busted can of biscuits! 😀

Yep, just after writing a post a little disappointed in all the fad diets people tend to try at the beginning of the New Year, I’m going to come out and say that wanting to “get healthy” or “start over” again, is totally normal 🙂 .

There’s something beautiful about a new year.  Maybe it’s the excitement of the fresh days of an early beginning, or the unknown of the future, and the promises that are to come.  I truly do get a little pumped up each time, and not so much in a resolution-making kind of way, but rather a general excitement for the new-beginning the year will bring.  I also enjoy looking back on the past year when it’s closing, and finding beauty in it to treasure moving forward.

So with all that said, I do believe it’s totally normal for people to want to look ahead to new and better things, to make promises to themselves about their fitness or whatnot.  I think it’d be a little strange if a person wasn’t motivated by the optimism a new year can bring… but then again, I am forever an optimist. 🙂

But yes, I am definitely relating to the picture above 😉  My muffin top from Thanksgiving has bloomed into what I would say a busted can of biscuits, as it should be after the holidays ❤  And now it’s my annual time to reset everything and bring a much welcomed balance back to our enjoyment of eating healthy.

The New Year’s “Bounce-Back,” is totally normal.  You’d have to eat ZERO pies or dressing or sweet potato casserole (and live a miserable life) to not feel the need to “bounce-back!” 😀