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Working Off the Turkey

Working Off the Turkey

The holidays are almost over. Hanukkah is wrapping up, Christmas is kaput and New Year's is just around the corner. But for so many of us the hard work is just getting started because the worst gift of the holidays is that snazzy spare tire you bought yourself. It fits oh-so-nicely around your midsection. Woo-hoo.

Instead of giving you a hard time and cracking down on y'all like a drill sergeant, I think we need to implement a softer approach, like one that says, "Hey, we're going to shape up, but have our (small dish) of ice cream, too."

I am not a health expert, but I am a firm believer that one of the best approaches we can take to shaping up is a slow one. Just like the timeless saying that slow and steady wins the race, stepping up to the fitness plate also takes moving at a consistent pace. This means not too fast and not too sluggish. Goldilocks would love us, right?

I've made many mistakes in the past when it comes to getting in shape, especially, since I'm someone who has an all-or-nothing approach in many aspects of my life. I have jumped into an exercise program and pushed myself too hard, resulting in injuries or sickness. On the other hand, I have given myself too much time, approaching getting in shape with an "Oh, I'll start tomorrow" frame of mind.

Here is my proposal. Let's commit to working off those extra holiday cookies by engaging in exercise that is suited for our levels. That means if exercise has never been your forte, take things slowly and choose a 30-minute brisk walk instead of a tough weight-lifting session. If you have simply fallen off the wagon for a few days (or weeks), slide back into fitness by pledging to complete just half of your typical workout routine.

As for those leftovers, turn them into something healthy by taking some turkey and putting it between two slices of whole wheat bread. Or save one of your favorite sweet treats for another time of year by popping it into the freezer. When summer rolls around, you'll be glad you have that gingerbread cookie.

I want to know: What is your post-holiday shape up plan?

—Caroline Shannon

Posted: 12/26/08