Tag Archives: holidays

Skinny Guide to Stocking Stuffers

9 Dec
Fill this puppy up with some inexpensive goodies. Courtesy of Tumblr

Fill this puppy up with some inexpensive goodies.
Courtesy of Tumblr

Christmas is fast approaching, and I haven’t done any shopping. I don’t usually buy many gifts. I tend to bake and send cookies off to the fam. They like it, and it saves me money.

I’ve mentioned several times in this blog how cheap I am. And if you’re anything like me, you need to be mindful of your duckets. But what about the holiday gift for the skinny person in your life to keep them on the right track in the new year?

Every workout warrior loves to armor up, but gear prices can leave you frustrated. Here are a few stocking stuffers to appease your sweaty friend without giving you sweaty palms.

1. Socks. You know your distant aunt who’s been out of work for a while but always scrounges up the coins to buy kids socks? You could be that aunt! You could be the one to buy your friend the funky socks that will get them noticed on the running path. You could be the one to buy that six-pack of Hanes your friend’s been meaning to pick up. Because one thing we gym rats never have enough of is socks. My personal preference is ankle socks, but I’ve been known to grab a pair of church socks when I’ve run out. Socks—you’re welcome.

2. Water bottle. Hydration is key. I can’t stress this enough. Just like new parents never have enough baby bottles, gym rats never have enough water bottles. We love them in all sizes. There are the little ones that clamp onto our running belts. There are the giant ones that we leave at our desks all day. There are the ones that won’t poison you if the bottle’s been left in the car for a while. There are even tiny squeeze packs that just make you question what the inventor was thinking. But your athlete will always be grateful to have a new bottle to keep them hydrated.

3. Beanie. It’s cold right now. While some of us will look at this as an excuse to skip the exercise class, your friend has been grinding away at the pool or in barre class. When the body temperature gets that high, layering up with extra jackets, coats, etc., is a hassle. Still, your friend needs to guard against the elements. A simple hat will work wonders. Have you ever gone out into freezing temps while your head is still sweating? It’s like a million bees are stinging you in the head. Your friend will appreciate your kind gesture at keeping the bees away.

4. Travel sizes. Depending on your friend’s gym, the amenities may not be all that appealing. People can be gross. The one saving grace can be having your own body wash, shampoo and the like. Lucky for your budget, these items cost about a dollar individually. You could stock your friend up on all the good soaps and lotions and mouthwash for less the $10. It’s like a Bath & Body Works gift set without all the bottom notes of alcohol. And this is a gift for both of you: you don’t want to be around someone funky and your friend doesn’t want to use the old shampoo in the gym shower. It’s a win-win!

5. Gift cards. When all else fails, just throw money at the problem. No one has ever said, “No,” to a gift card. No one. Even if it’s a gift card to the most random store, your workout warrior knows how to find what they need. But, to keep things simple, I suggest looking at the brands your friend wears and some of the stores they go to. You know, as you would for anyone for whom you’re buying a gift card. Sporting-goods stores are always a plus, as are lower-rung department stores like Target. If you don’t know the right socks to buy, trust me that your friend does and will with a gift card.

Whatever you do, make sure that your gift comes from a place of love. Your friend will grateful for your efforts.

Have you done your holiday shopping yet? What are you most looking forward to?

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Stress: Not Something to Be Thankful For

24 Nov
Pro tip: Do it early!

Pro tip: Do it early!

Some people thrive off of change. I’m not one of those people. I’m a bit of a control freak who likes to have my ducks in a row and Plans B-Z at the ready should anything go awry.

That’s why the holiday season is both a blessing and a curse for someone like me. This time of year brings on a number of stressors and unforeseen obstacles that you can’t really plan for. Between travel, gifts, loved ones not being there, loved ones there who you wish weren’t and the break from your routine, it’s enough to make you scream. I’d like to be able to role with the punches, but I’d also like to know where they are coming from.

Stress is one of many factors that can derail your weight-loss journey, causing a negative effect on your health. It can cause you to overeat, get headaches and even depression. And no one wants that when there are babies to hold and pie to eat.

I’ll be travelling this year, as I always do for the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll get to see a lot of family that I haven’t seen in a while and a new addition who I can’t wait to hold (hey, Harper!). The things I can prepare for are already taken care of. While I can’t control who makes the potato salad, here are a few things I’ve done (and you can, too) to alleviate some unwanted pressures.

1. Clean up. Because I’ll be gone for a few days, I cleaned up my apartment before I left. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a slob, especially when I’m in beast mode. But even still, no one wants to return to a messy  home. The stress of getting to and from the airport, rental cars, lugging luggage, etc., is enough to make you want to shoot yourself. Having a clear path from the door to your made-up bed will only make you smile on your return home.

2. Stay hydrated. One of the many benefits of water—besides keeping your internal system flowing—is what it does for you on the plane. Cabin pressure makes the air very dry. And if you’re a nervous  flier, you’ll be tempted to test out the mini bottles of alcohol. Resist temptation. Alcohol only causes further dehydration, which can make you even more uncomfortable on the plane. Drink some water or some hot tea to keep a cool head until the plane lands.

3. Preparation is key. Just like your weight-loss journey, your travel journey won’t take you far unless you’re prepared. Friends can attest that I have a horrible habit of packing my bags in the wee early hours the day of my departure. What can I say? I work best under pressure. But what they don’t know is I’ve already picked up my clothes from the cleaners and separated out what I’m going to take with me while I’m away. The next step is just folding and rolling into the suitcase. I’ll get eight hours of sleep if it kills me.

4. Set aside some me time. I’ll be with at least 30 family members over the course of five days. At some point, I’m going to need to sit in a quiet corner by myself. And that’s OK. I’m introverted; it’s what we introverts do. If the prospect of being in a crowd is too much for you, go for a walk. Take a book to a corner. Pop in your headphones for a few minutes. A little me time will make the “we” time much better.

5. Don’t forget who you were before you left. Beast mode has been really good for the past few months, but now I’ve got to set that aside for a week. That’s fine because we all need time off. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop taking care of myself. I’ll still be mentally check-listing the food that I eat and the activities I’ve done. I’ll set aside a couple of days to go for a run just so I don’t lose that part of myself. And maybe I’ll get a few people to come along with me.

This is the time of year to be thankful, and I’m ever so thankful for my family, friends, health and livelihood.