The circus is coming to town!!

I grew up in Venice, FL. A tiny little town on the Gulf Coast of Florida which is known for its shark teeth AND as the former winter home of the Ringling Bros Circus. The circus was (and still is to some extent) a BIG part of Venice. When the circus would arrive "home" for the winter, they would close down "the circus bridge" and walk the animals from the train depot to their winter quarters. It was an amazing sight to behold. When James and I had children, we knew immediately that the circus would be something that we'd take them to, and we have. Every year we have gone. Every year. We love it. The kids love it. It's become an annual tradition and it always falls right around Haley's birthday! This year our family has been invited to the Tweet-Suite on opening night January 2 at 7:30pm! The kids are going to flip when I tell them! I've also been given a family 4 pack of tickets, so the FIRST person who responds to this post with the day/time that you want to go gets the tickets.

If you don't win the tickets, don't worry!! Using the code FAMDEAL you can get a family 4 pack for just $88.00!! That includes 4 tickets, 4 small lemonades, 4 small popcorns, and 4 lollipops. You just can't use this deal on Saturday January 5th.

Good luck!!


5 tips to avoid the Holiday bulge



As a former fat girl, the time between Halloween-New Years Eve was like paradise for me. I ate unabated. The Halloween candy started arriving in the stores in early October, and that kept me going until Thanksgiving. Then I had pie, pie, pie, stuffing, stuffing, stuffing, refined carbs, refined carbs, refined carbs. Thanksgiving quickly morphed into Christmas which meant cookies, cakes, egg nog and so much more! I don’t think I need to tell anyone what is available during the typical American 3 month pig-out. Since I’ve radically changed my diet and lifestyle, I no longer participate in this annual holiday gorging. Okay, so here is my list

1) WORK OUT!! Don’t stop your normally scheduled workouts!! True, you can’t out exercise a bad diet, but if you stop exercising all together during this time because of what you perceive as more important obligations, then you are going to a) gain weight and b) fall off the exercise wagon. And let me tell it to you straight…THERE IS NO MORE IMPORTANT OBLIGATION THAN YOUR HEALTH. NONE! Now, if something serious comes up, then yes of course you need to take care of that, but I’m talking about the daily in and out of the holiday season. Look for fun ways to liven up your exercise routine during this time period. Where I live this is prime race season. Lots of local races, Turkey Trots, Jingle Bell 5k’s. Many gyms also offer holiday workouts the day before the actual holiday, so you can get a great workout and not feel guilty if you have a few of your mom’s homemade Russian Teacakes. If you aren’t currently active, this is a great time to START!! Get out and take a walk and look at all the festive holiday lights. After you get in your walk/work out, tweet me about it @jennymetamorfit #fitgift and I'll give you a virtual high-five. Smile

2) If you are invited to a holiday party/meal, and you know the host/hostess, ask them if you can bring something. And then bring something that is SAFE for you to eat. When I go to a party, I always always always bring a HUGE mixed green salad with nuts, chick peas, red kidney beans and every vegetable under the sun. It is so colorful and presents beautifully and again it’s HUGE. This is my safe food. I go back to it throughout the night. If I feel myself getting pulled toward the buffet table for some creamy spinach dip and pumpernickel bread, I STOP and go back to my salad. I also bring a HUGE fruit salad and this is my “go-to” dessert item. I have “rules” when it comes to desserts, and if the dessert doesn’t fit into my rule, I still want to have something yummy to munch on, and fruit salad always hits the spot. I buy mine at Publix.

3) At the holiday meal table SCAN before you eat. I always go through the line EMPTY handed and plan out what I’ll put on my plate, looking for those “power foods” that will fill me up and keep me satisfied for a long time. I also prefer to go through the line when no one else is around. This gives me the POWER to make my own choices without being influenced by other people. Now, what if your holiday meals are sit down? Same rule applies. Scan, plan, and stick by your decisions. YOU and only YOU are in control of what goes in your mouth.

4) Alcohol. Water. I love beer. I do. But I don’t drink “good” beer. I drink Michelob Ultra. 95 calories, 2.6g carbs. It doesn’t leave me feeling bloated or “full.” This is both good and bad. I hate feeling bloated so that’s the good, but the bad is because I don’t feel full, I can drink more. Drinking more can often lead to bad food choices. But again…I have my handy dandy safe salad, so if I find myself getting the alcohol induced munchies, I head back to my salad. And my salad tastes good with beer. Snickerdoodles and beer, not so much.  I bring my own beer to holiday events. I don’t even ask if it’s okay. I just bring it.  I also make sure I have two glasses of water between every beer. Water does fill me up, so this is another trick that can help to avoid the buffet table. Drink WATER!!

5) Be honest and ask for help. This can be a very tricky area for a lot of people to navigate. They know they need help, but don’t know how to ask for it. People want to help, but don’t know what to do to give help. Tell those people around you that you are on a lifestyle change and would appreciate their support and understanding. Be honest and precise with what you need. For example, my mom always makes these wonderful little meatballs every Christmas, but when I began my journey I was honest with her about how I loved these meatballs and how I would have a difficult time with them on the dinner table and if I gave her a recipe for a leaner version would she consider making them? She said YES. That’s all I had to do was ask. She did that for two years, and then she asked me for help and said if I wanted leaner meatballs, I needed to make them LOL. But she gave me her infamous meatball bowl thingy, and I made them last year. I “might” make them again this year, still working on my menu. My sister always brings a veggie tray because she knows that’s a “safe” food for me. And one year my uncle made a sugar free pecan pie (he made it with Stevia and applesauce) because he had heard of my “food rules.” See…people want to help. They just have to know what to do!!

These tricks have worked for me for 4 years and I hope they can help you enjoy the rest of the holiday season and if I can help you at all, just ask. But please be specific with what you need Wink

The Gift of Fitness~A December Challenge

Wow, December 1st already. Where has this year gone?!?!? I know I have been insanely busy but it just seems like yesterday that I was curled up with my family watching Dick Clark's New Years Eve waiting for my Weight Watchers commercial to air nationally. Was that really almost one year ago?

Throughout the course of this year, my personal fitness has changed. I added a LOT more strength training, and cut back on some of the cardio, involved my kids and husband a lot more and 2012 has really been my best fitness year yet! But this post is not going to be about me! It's going to be about YOU!!  Denise from Run DMT and I are going to challenge each and every one of you to MOVE in December. Why wait until January 1, 2013 to start your resolution to be fit? START TODAY! Start DECEMBER 1st. Get a jump start on living a healthy, fit lifestyle! Spread the word by regifting our fitness challenge.  Share #fitgift with your readers and followers.  Blog about it and add the button to your sidebar.  Tweet it too.  “I’m giving myself the Gift of Fitness this December with @denisermt and @JennyMetamorFit. #fitgift”