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Holiday weight has been blamed on adding five pounds to our waistlines each year. For me, the stress eating has always started in September, run right into the holidays and given me a good ten pounds to work off come January. The emotions of the football season are hard to keep at bay. The ups and downs of wins, losses, injuries, and coaching transitions all have me craving comfort foods and hibernation.
Tailgating and travel goodies are another In-Season culprit. When your husband has to work from very early in the morning until very late in the evening finding time to exercise with littles at home can seem impossible. With seventeen seasons and eleven years of mothering under my belt now, I’ve learned a few tricks.
Mindset is key. Cardiovascular exercise and strength training are vital for everyone to practice in order to live an extended life of health. Although these two things don’t guarantee a healthy life, they are a key component. When exercise is put into the category of necessary self-care it becomes a higher priority. I learned early on that part of what allowed me to be my best self for my husband and kids was time for myself. Bible study, exercise and girl time continue to be my weekly go to’s.
Money can’t be a hindrance. We used to live in a town that didn’t have exercise options with babysitting. Not only that, I couldn’t have afforded a membership if it was available. Walking, YouTube, the library, thera-bands, and garage sales can be your best friends when you are on a budget.
Creativity will go a long way. My only option for cardio exercise most of the day was to take my two kids under three for a walk. That could be an issue with bad weather or naps. One day I walked around the house with the monitor while they napped. Other times, getting up way earlier than I would have preferred was my only option. Now that our kids are older on days our schedules allow my husband and I will start the day with a walk. We make a point to find hilly roads.
Avoid snack traps. Although exercise is vital to continued health, the other challenge of football season is tailgating! Whole books have been written on the delightful foods that can be consumed at football games. Pinterest is a snack avoider’s worst nightmare. Away games are even worse as time and options can be limited. I’ve adopted many of the suggestions given for holiday party attending to keep the snacking in check, and I take it a step further. I pack fruit and vegetables, grab bags of smart pop from the grocery store and bring water bottles. I still taste the goodies brought each week. If I didn’t, I’d feel as if I was depriving myself and compensate later.
Track it. It can be tedious at first, but My Fitness Pal is the best way I’ve found to keep the calorie count under control. Besides the fact it’s annoying to keep pulling out my phone to log food, seeing the “calories consumed” number rise keeps the snacking at bay.
Redirect the stress. Weeks of big games can include tension felt by the whole house. My husband does not intentionally display his increased intensity, but those of us who know him well can’t help but notice. I used to cook up comfort food after a loss or when stress levels were higher. Often I’d pick up ice cream to drown our sorrows in. Now, I spend that energy cleaning, exercising or focused on a hobby. Embroidery keeps my hands busy whenever needed.
For many women personal health drops down the priority list the more hectic life gets. For sisters in sports the crazy is going to continue to come around making the need to create healthy habits in the in-season vital.