Blogmas Day 3: Guest Blogger Simone, Staying Healthy and More Importantly, Happy Over the Holidays

Hey, Leigh Ann here real quick! Huge thank you to Simone for joining in on the holiday fun! Simone is my fitness coach, motivator, and friend (mostly virtual friend because of dang Covid). She’s a brand new mom and a badass girl boss whose dedication to wellness is truly inspiring. I’m looking forward to living out some of these suggestions over the coming months! Without further ado, here’s Simone!

The number one question I’m getting asked most recently is this: “HOW CAN I/DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?” I have always & will always answer this question the same way- holiday season or not. I truly believe I solved the “motivation mystery” a few years ago & I want to share it with you (and anyone who will listen) as it WILL change your life!

Motivation is not a one size fits all mold. I can’t just scream some tough love at everyone & expect it to work. I can’t baby everyone to make them feel better & I certainly can’t motivate all with results, money, rewards, community, etc., as everyone’s motivation (intrinsic & extrinsic) is so, SO different! So… how do I respond currently? Well, I think it’s important in these wild times more than ever to give yourself grace. We DO NOT need to workout every day, rest days are just as important for our fitness journey as workout days. In saying that- getting your workout in is all it will take to get you in a better mindset. Taking 20-30 minutes for yourself and putting your health (and sanity) as your first priority is at times more important that anything else! If you’re lacking sleep and energy, perhaps do a yoga class or a shorter workout. Anything is better than nothing!

WHENEVER I FEEL UNMOTIVATED, I always come back to my WHY. Why do I want to commit to this program? Why do I deserve to feel good and confident and healthy and energetic? Why don’t I want to workout? What would I do instead? Would I just mope around & get nothing productive done, or would I use that workout time to journal or clean or take a bath? I want you to workout because I know it will make you feel better, but I also understand the importance of listening to your body! Just like one day of working out won’t make you skinny, one day off won’t make you fat!

Many people try to avoid holiday weight gain by being overly restrictive during the most festive time of year. While their intentions to prevent weight gain (and perhaps shed a few pounds in the meantime) are good, being overly restrictive with food can backfire, especially during the holidays when we’re faced with indulgent holiday meals, festivities, and higher-than-normal stress levels (fact). Want the (not so secret) secret to avoiding unwanted weight gain this time of year? Strive for balance and moderation when it makes sense. Try not to abandon your healthy habits altogether; keep up your vegetable/fiber intake and stick to your workout routine. You’ve worked too hard all year to just give up now and “restart” in the new year. Try implementing some of these simple strategies to make the hectic holiday months a bit more balanced.

1. Stick With Your Regular Habits During The Week
Don’t get caught up in the holiday bustle and let your regular eating or workout routines fall to the wayside. Keep eating nutritious meals in the correct portions and exercise as usual on “non-holiday” days. This strategy will give you a little more wiggle room for indulging or kicking back and relaxing a bit on Thanksgiving & Christmas.

2. Go Booze- Free!
Let’s face it- there are plenty of parties coming up! Work functions, neighborhood parties, friends-giving, family get-togethers… the list is endless and most have adult beverages at the forefront! So don’t forget that alcohol is a source of empty calories and, over the course of a month or so, those nightcap calories can really add up. If you want to avoid holiday weight gain, save your alcohol calories or limit to once a week.

3. Select a Smaller Plate
Research shows that the bigger the plate we take, the bigger the portion we put on it. Opt for a smaller plate (and avoid going back for another helping!) Don’t limit yourself, but be sensible!

4. Eat Only The Foods That You Love
If you’re going to indulge in one serving of high-calorie finger foods at a party, go for the ones that will bring you the most enjoyment; just strive to keep the amount modest and always be mindful. Seasonal treats — such as homemade holiday meals, decadent desserts, and cocktails — aren’t truly enjoyable if they just leave you feeling regretful afterward. So, if you’re going to torture yourself after you eat a treat, maybe reconsider it. But, if you’re going to allow it- ENJOY IT: savor it, accept it, and then move on.

5. Sign Up for a Charity Walk or Fun Run To Kick Off Your Day
There are many charity events and fun races happening during the holidays. I’ve always wanted to do the Turkey Trot here in Columbus! Why haven’t I? Anyway, holiday races are a great way to stay motivated since you’ll have to train during the hectic holiday season. Plus, you’re less likely to blow it out at a party the night before! Better still, encourage friends and family members to get involved for added fun and motivation.

6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation not only messes with your mind, but it also makes you feel hungrier, too. It’s not always easy to do at this time of year but, by getting enough sleep, your body will be better at regulating hunger and you’ll be less likely to overeat.

7. Bring Your Own Healthy-ish Dish To A Party
I am always “that person”. With as many food intolerances as I have right now, I always ensure that I bring something. Whether it be a veggie tray or hearty salad or a protein of choice, I ensure I have a healthier alternative to enjoy at holiday gatherings. You’ll be surprised how many others appreciate it also!

“People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be!” – Harvey MacKay.

When you set unrealistic goals, all you are really doing is setting yourself up for failure. If you want to be successful, you need to set yourself up for success. Take a good, hard, REALISTIC look at your goals, actions or “to-do” lists and make sure that you genuinely believe that they can be achieved. Setting goals can be quite over whelming, especially if you are like me and just want everything right now! However, the time will pass by whether we like it or not…I don’t want it to get to the end of the year and not have anything to show for my many hours of training and eating right.

I use the SMARTER goals structure (as outlined below) to really help my put a focus on what I am doing and why I am doing it! Hope it helps you to get motivated and smash your goals.

S – Specific:
What is it that you want? What is your goal? What are you going to do to achieve those wants & goals? How will you know when you have achieved your goals?
M – Measurable:
Can your goal be measured? On the scales? By using a measuring tape? Photos? Body fat percentage? Fitness test? Time taken to run a certain distance? etc. Ensure that you can record your goals, that they are physical and measurable!
A – Achievable:
Is your goal achievable? Have you reached this goal before? What prohibited you in the past?
R – Realistic:
Is your goal realistic? Genetically? Physically? Within the time limit? Injuries? etc.
T – Time bound:
Are you setting a time limit or time restrictions? Is it realistic and achievable? What is your motivation for this time limit? A wedding? Birthday? Holiday? etc. Will you continue with this goal, should you need more time?
E – Enjoyable:
Do you enjoy the process that it will take to reach your goals? Nutrition? Training? Sleeping Patterns? etc. Is this a routine that will continue after you have reached your goal?
R – Resourceful:What do you need to achieve these goals? What can you do should you feel like you are losing focus? What/who is in your area that can provide additional help or advice?


Connect with Simone!



Again, HUGE thanks to Simone for sharing today! In the past few months she’s inspired and motivated me, welcomed me to a community of awesome people, and embodied wellness as a state of mind and body, not just a number on the scale. Wishing you all a healthy holiday!



9 responses to “Blogmas Day 3: Guest Blogger Simone, Staying Healthy and More Importantly, Happy Over the Holidays”

  1. Sheryl Avatar

    This was a great blog. Lots of great tips on ways to think differently

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leigh Ann Lilly Avatar

      You would love Simone! I especially like the smarter part because I could really apply that to all areas of my life haha. 💙


  2. Shelly DS Avatar

    Taking food to a party would be a very hard thing for me to do lol otherwise, great tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leigh Ann Lilly Avatar

      I have a bunch of food allergies like Simone, so this is my party approach too, but previous to having food allergies, not a chance I’d bring my own food to a party haha! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shelly DS Avatar

        Oh no, that must suck! I mean the point of a party is to go for the food 🙈


  3. nirajshah2003 Avatar

    Getting enough sleep is so important in order to say both physically and mentally healthy. We shouldn’t underestimate how important a good sleep is and we should never take it for granted. Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to read some of my blogs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leigh Ann Lilly Avatar

      SO true! I struggle so much with sleep, but when I do get a good night’s rest I feel like a different human! And absolutely will check out your blogs 😊


  4. Toma Ruh Avatar

    Thanks for the tips!

    Toma ❄️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Helen Avatar

    Great ideas!! I particularly love the idea about bringing your own plate to holiday gatherings ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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