Staying On The Workout Wagon Through The Holidays

Falling off the Wagon

The holidays are quickly approaching and this year I vow to not fall off the workout wagon. This will be a really hard challenge for me. There’s so many parties and dinners coming up I don’t know if my healthy living lifestyle will survive. I’ve devised a plan to keep me from falling completely off the wagon. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Keep my workout schedule as close to normal as possible. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday are usually my workout days. I doubt I will see a workout on Thanksgiving so my plan is to go on Wednesday and get a good bit of cardio in. This should lessen my guilt when I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Plan my cheat days in advance. Friday and Saturday are my splurge days. I try to eat very clean Sunday through Thursday and slack off on my cheat days. It keeps me sane. The holidays don’t fall on my cheat days to I plan to adjust. Next week Thursday and Friday will be my cheat days and I pray it doesn’t roll over into Saturday.
  • Practicing portion control. Though I would love to eat an entire plate of dressing, I won’t. Nor will I eat three small plates of dressing consecutively. This year I plan to eat normal and maybe even smaller portions
  • Make my favorite foods healthier. I’m on the hunt for healthier ways to make my favorite dishes. Instead of fat soaked collard greens I’ll make roasted green beans and instead of sweet potato soufflé I will make baked sweet potatoes. Baby steps, baby steps.
  • I will NOT obsess over the scale! The truth is, I probably will gain a couple of pounds during the holidays, but it’s ok. If I stick to my plan the cardio will hopefully balance out my meals. If not, there’s always that New Year’s resolution to lose weight (lol).

As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Wish me luck! I can already taste the yummy desserts, mac and cheese, dressing, and cocktails.

What’s your plan to stay on the workout wagon through the holidays? Share it!

The Takeover – Reclaiming My Life


I’ve always seen myself  as a determined young lady. Failure has never been an option and I know that my best days are always in front of me. I like to call myself an optimistic realist. Imagine this bright-eyed girl’s surprise when I found myself in uncharted territory. I started a new job with big hopes, dreams, and plans. Instead of being the one to absorb information like a sponge and thrive, I found myself struggling to even tread water. How did I go from taking off like a rocket to sinking like a brick so fast. With the demands of my new role I travelled a lot even weekends, worked 12 hour days and lunch and sleep were luxuries. My dream job played out more like a nightmare. Not only was I struggling mentally but physically too. It was time for my annual physical and I was actually looking forward to it. That’s when I got confirmation that my life really was out of control. In three months I’d unknowingly gained 10 pounds and had elevated blood pressure. I’d never weighed this much in my life and have always been very healthy. This was alarming to say the least. They ran blood tests to rule out any medical conditions, but it all pointed back to STRESS. I left the doctor devastated as I drove back to the office trying to figure out what to do. This job won’t the death of me. In the past year two of my former classmates have died around the age of thirty. During that drive back to work I decided that come hell or high water I am taking back my life.

The first step was reduce my stress at the office. As much as it pained this overachiever I had to stop caring so much. I was physically doing everything in my power to do a job well done and yet it wasn’t enough. Never again would I be the victim of unrealistic expectations. I could have worked all day everyday and still never finish my projects. In that moment I decided that I would work normal hours, take a lunch and put the Blackberry down. That was probably the easiest part. Knowing the possible consequences of going against the culture I had to convince myself that being fired wouldn’t be the end of the world. The weight was lifted once I was able to overcome the stress and fear . As long as I can look myself in the mirror and know I gave 100% I can cope. Even Peyton Manning got fired. Sometimes it’s just not a fit. At that point I was ready to handle either outcome.

Now that I have a life, attacking those 10 pounds became top priority. I was able to start cooking again instead of eating out. I started exercising 5 days a week and planning my meals. Nothing or no one was going to take me off of my plan. Between Michi’s Ladder for nutrition and Jillian Michaels and P90X I was a mad woman. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to track my food intake, weight, and exercise. This is when I also found my theme song. Within three months I’d lost 10 pounds and boy did I feel AMAZING! I got my swagger back. I check my blood pressure periodically and it is back to normal too. I even ran my first 5k! None of this would have been possible if I’d succumbed to the pressure and stress. This is me pre-race in the black.

After being depressed and down for so long it was time to re-introduce my friends to the Jasmine they’ve always known. The happy girl who’s always looking for something exciting to do and most importantly smiling. I don’t know who that other girl was but she is gone for good so let’s party! Being able to meet a friend for lunch or make plans after work and know that I would not have to cancel at the last-minute felt great. Finally, my husband and I could have dinner together without me wallowing in negativity or in tears because I was at my breaking point. After volunteer coaching for almost ten years and having to quit because of work it felt good to get out there as much as I could. It rejuvenated me. My fuel is life and my love of it. It’s my energy, my everything. The happier I am, the harder I work.

Since becoming a more confident healthier person my productivity improved. I no longer had to work paranoid looking over my shoulder afraid of being fired. I’m ok either way. You’re probably thinking why didn’t I just quit and find another job. The thought definitely crossed my mind, but I feel like I have something to prove. This job isn’t too hard for me. I want to conquer it and all the obstacles that came with it. My pride won’t let me quit because someone thinks I’m not good enough. I’m too good. In the mornings I pull up to the office stress free with a smile on my face ready to conquer the world. There’s a lesson in every obstacle and I want to learn all I can. I’ve never backed down from a challenge and I’m not starting today. This my biggest failure yet my greatest accomplishment. Without a doubt I can say that I work to live, not live to work. Remember, headstones really don’t read job titles. Life is too short and too precious. Take back your life! You owe it to yourself.


Office Offenders: Are You a Bad Officemate? - Here's hoping me and my coworkers win the Mega Millions so we never have to speak to each other againLet’s hope the sentiment in this picture doesn’t apply to you. Working in an office is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn all about different backgrounds and cultures. Unfortunately you can also learn a little too much about your coworkers too. Over the past few weeks I’ve been compiling a list with  friends and coworkers of the top 20 office offenses. If you are guilty of any of these I encourage you to stop immediately. Here they are in no particular order. You tell me which offense should be #1!

  1. Bringing odorous food for lunch. No one really wants to smell your fishy lunch for the next two hours.
  2. Cubicle/hallway meetings. This is especially annoying if you are holding a meeting outside of my cube that doesn’t even involve me.
  3. Speaker phone in a cube. Does everyone need to hear this?
  4. Forgetting to use your inside voice in the office. Excuse me Ms./Mr. Rude, why are you yelling in the office?
  5. People sitting on my desk. I sometimes eat here and don’t want your butt juices on my desk! Not to mention that I am a germaphobe.
  6. Standing over my shoulder while I type something. I’ve managed to compose several emails without your assistance so why are you hovering?
  7. Looking at my phone or email to see who is calling/emailing me. Nosy!
  8. Trying to talk to me while I’m on the phone. Unless the building’s on fire I will be with you momentarily.
  9. Radios without headphones. Personally I am not a fan of ’80s Pop so please don’t torture me with it daily.
  10. Yelling over the cube, but having a long conversation. If you are going to have a conversation over the cube one of you should at least get your lazy butts up and go over to the other one’s desk.
  11. Taking things off my desk without asking. No it’s really not ok for you to “borrow” things from my desk.
  12. Touching my mouse, keyboard or phone. Again, I am a germaphobe. Are your hands clean?
  13. Leaving the bathroom “untidy”. Umm, yeah. If you sprinkle when you tinkle be a sweetie and wipe the seat please.
  14. Double dipping food at office gatherings or using your bare hands to grab chips. Manners, another lost art.
  15. Taking someone’s food out of the fridge to make space for your stuff. Oh I’m sorry I forgot you’ve attained fridge royalty and mine is a lowly peasant.
  16. Leaving your food in the microwave unattended. It’s noon and there are five people waiting on one microwave, don’t leave to go run an errand while your food heats up.
  17. Asking me for something after you see I’ve already shut down. I will have that for you first thing in the morning.
  18. CC’ing or better yet BCC’ing the world on emails when it is unnecessary. Sometimes it’s just FYI and sometimes you are just trying be a sneaky tattle-tale.
  19. The dreaded “reply all”. I don’t need 30 “thanks” and “ok” emails clogging my inbox. Use wisely.
  20. Coming to work sick. I don’t want your cooties! Thanks, but no thanks. I caught the flu from an idiot who knowingly came to work infected. Cost me $100. How rude!