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Local News

Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: Santa’s Slim-Down Program

If all you want for Christmas is to lose weight, then help yourself to these satisfying tips

Dear Fun and Fit: Each Christmas I seem to gain a few pounds. People call me jolly, but I think they’re being nice to my face because they want something from me. In truth, I am verging on rotund and starting to weigh down my sleigh. How can I keep from gaining weight this year and surprise the Missus when she welcomes me home after a hard day’s night work? Ho ho ho and how how how?

Fun and Fit:Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA
Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA

— Santa Claus, North Pole

Alexandra: Santa baby, most people — yes, I mean you, SC, and our readers! — make resolutions, vows, promises and pinky swears about all the food they’re going to avoid, followed by all the walks they’re going to take. When this doesn’t happen 100 percent, guess what? Y’all berate yourselves. Now how is feeling bad about your so-called “failure” going to make you feel all warm and glowy about being fit and healthy?

So, here is my take on how to successfully help yourself over the holidays:

1. When the big holiday spread is laid out, look it over before putting any food on your plate. Decide which things you really love and just know you’ll have seconds of. If it’s that sweet potato with marshmallows concoction, may I just say “ewwwwww”? Then choose what you like fairly well, but can live with having just a single helping. For that food, take one fewer spoonful than you took last year. Then all you’re left with is the food that you have to try because Favorite Auntie Elf made it “special” and you’ll hurt her feelings. For that stuff, just take a teaspoonful (or none, if you can get away with it) and move it around the plate a bit!

Even if the stuff you picked for seconds is junk, at least you’re taking in fewer calories overall and it is just one day out of 365. Notice I’m not recommending eating junk on a regular basis. Bad advice. Bad. Bad.

Kymberly: What??!! I love yams and sweet potatoes. I’m taking your spoonful Alexandra if you keep up that baditude. May I also have your cranberry sauce?

A: Have at it!

For my second tip: 2. On the days that aren’t a food-laden holiday, but might be more of a stressful, busy, leading-up-to more stress and lots of chores kind of day, there are still ways to help yourself. If you’re going shopping — do your elves really make all those gifts by hand? I think not! — take each purchase to the car, then go back to the next shop, rather than holding on to all the bags. That little bit of extra walking counts as exercise! And as you walk to the car, do a little bicep curl holding those bags. Dorky? Maybe. But having toned arms is pretty cool. I’m not advocating buying more stuff just to have more to pump, although ...

K: Hmm, dorky and fit, or cool and unfit? I pick door No. 1.

A: Dorks rule!

3. I hate the word self-control. Why? Because it sounds like a pantyhose ad. I prefer to say “self-choice.” This is a hectic time of year, and it’s not easy or fun to prepare healthful meals all the time. But you can only eat what you bring into the house, right? So whether you grab something to go or do a quick and easy meal prep, decide before you buy. For example, if you know you’ll be out late shopping, pick out the night’s dinner before you head out. It’s so much easier to make good choices before you’re grumpy and tired (yeah, I’ve done mall shopping with kids).

4. Consider making yourself a mental scale.

K: Note, she said “mental” scale. Don’t go stepping on any weight scales. They don’t reveal anything about your fitness level or whether you look good in red.

A: True enough. When you start to get too busy or tired to take your walk (or whatever your preferred type of exercise is), ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low and 10 being high), how badly do I want to give up the exercise?” Then ask yourself how you’ll feel afterward if you do the exercise. For example, “I want to make sure the Santa Sofa doesn’t get lonely” ranks a 7 because you really are tired, vs. “I’ll feel like a 10 after I exercise.” Then it’s easier to make a conscious, deliberate choice because you’ve ranked your priorities.

K: So I shouldn’t leave out the cookies this year? Just the carrots? Will I still get great gifts?

Dear readers: What tips do you have to share with others who struggle over the holidays? And what kind of cookies are you sending us (we love peanut butter)?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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