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by Kayla Fioravanti

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   It is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of life and lose control of our own health, especially around the holidays.  Without our health, the chaos of motherhood can be overwhelming, exhausting and draining.  The more we ignore our own need for balance and health, the less effective we became as mothers and wives. This year, let's make up our minds to change some habits and stay healthy during the busy holiday season and beyond!  

   We all know what we need to do to get healthy- it's just a matter of taking action.  


First Step

   The first step is always the hardest.  How many times have you thought about getting your life under control?  You probably have a list of excuses a mile high that keep you from changing your habits-you're too busy, too tired and too overwhelmed.  The last thing you want to do is add another commitment to your life, especially one that you think might set you up to fail.  Who wants to lose weight, only to have it come back, bringing more pounds with it?  It's time to realize that just going on a "diet" doesn't work.  You have to change your habits forever.  But don't allow that thought to be so overwhelming that it paralyzes you. Let's take the first step and look in the mirror . . . really look.


Easy Peasy Changes

   Stop consuming refined sugar, except for maybe two pieces of dark chocolate each night.  This is a fail-safe measure to ensure that you never feel deprived. If at all possible, stay away from artificial sweeteners as well.  Eat whole foods and eliminate all processed foods. Don't eat empty calorie foods-everything you eat should have something of value to offer.  Simple changes like switching from white flour to whole wheat will make a difference.  When you go out to eat or are at a party, have a side salad instead of French fries and eat the veggies instead of the potato chips.  The pounds will start to melt off you with these simple changes in eating habits.  


Making Time for Exercise

   Start out slowly-fifteen minutes of exercise three days per week.  Each day add a minute to your regime.  Soon you will feel so amazing that you will look forward to your exercise time and want to add to it.  Even if exercise infringes on your schedule, you will start to feel so energized, enthusiastic and refreshed on the days you exercise that you will accomplish more than ever.  In taking time for yourself just three days a week, you will have more to give your husband and children. Be creative and steal every opportunity to get your heart pumping, stretch your muscles or move your body.  Find time while you help your kids with homework to stretch or squeeze in some Pilates exercises. Rather than parking up front when you go shopping, park your car farther away and walk.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.


Be Realistic

   The key to success is setting realistic goals.  Your lifestyle changes are for a lifetime, so set goals in realistic chunks.  Know how may pounds you ultimately want to lose, but set your first goal at twenty pounds, and then add twenty more until you reach your goal.  There are no overnight successes, no miracle cures, and no shortcuts to being healthy.  


Balancing Act

   Your kids, your husband, your work, and your house all seem to need you every waking moment-you may believe there's not a spare moment left for you. But without your health and sanity, your family will feel out of balance. Carve out those fifteen minutes for yourself and reclaim them. Once you start, you will find that you actually have plenty of time to be healthy and much more to give to your family.


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