Flip the Excuse

A Healthier You

Flip the Excuse

Staci NormanContributor: Dr. Staci-Marie Norman, PharmD, CDE

Oh, my goodness… the holiday season is upon us once again!!! It amazes me that no matter how prepared I think I am for this season, it always seems to catch me off guard and can throw my ongoing quest for healthy habits into a tale spin. This year seems to be no different, but I am determined that I will not fall victim to the “I’m too busy” monster that can make eating healthy, exercising, and putting my health and well-being at risk.

Being too busy is my go-to excuse, and I bet it is for many of you. But this year I’m going to try really hard to “flip” this excuse to help me stay with the habits I have been working so hard on all year. What do I mean? Well, this year, one of my goals has been to develop an exercise habit that I can maintain. I’ve been an active person most of my life, but exercise is not something I LOOOOVE to do or really like to do if the truth be told. But I know that I need to exercise to help in weight management, keep my bones strong, and hopefully help with my genetic disposition to diabetes. I’ve tried to do this on my own, but I have come to the realization that I need accountability, so I enrolled in a program where I work with a trainer once weekly and then have workout assignments 3 or 4 more times during the week. So, in the past, it would have been very easy to make the “I’m too busy doing….” excuse and not hit the gym. This year I’m using getting to the gym as my excuse to not do some of the extra little errands that pop-up during this time of year. I’m trying hard to keep my priority focused on this one small aspect of my self-care. What has been amazing to me is that I still have been finding time for some of the more important “pop-ups” but I’m also feeling more energetic and good about myself because I am getting some “me time” while getting gym time!

“I’m too busy…” also gets me when it comes to maintaining healthy eating during the holidays. My husband and I really try to eat a balanced diet, full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy (see how I worked that in?!) that are important for a healthy diet, but eating out is our downfall! With two kids in college, we have made a concerted effort to curtail eating out to help with the budget, but also the waistline. But it is easy, especially this time of year to grab take out because “I’m so busy…” This is how I’m trying to flip the excuse, but it does take planning. It is very easy to fall into the grab-and-go trap, especially if there isn’t anything easy to assemble at home for dinner. If you have some staples in the refrigerator or freezer that you can throw into the oven or microwave, you could use the cooking time to get those presents wrapped, or Christmas cards addressed. Now, I’m too busy not to eat at home! When you do go out to eat, make it a time that you can really enjoy dinner out with that special someone in your life to catch up and help rejuvenate your spirit.

During the holiday season, healthy eating seems to be put on the back burner. We all have that special something we look forward too, that thing we only get around the holidays. Please, enjoy that special something, for me it’s kieflies (eastern European Christmas cookies), but don’t allow it to become your excuse to put the rest of the diet on hold. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself thinking, “I ate that and fell off the wagon, so I might as well eat this too.” Don’t fall into that trap. Enjoy, but don’t throw the rest of healthy eating out the window. And for those big holiday meals, think portion size! This can help you to enjoy a little of everything!

I hope you can “flip the excuse” this year and make yourself and your health a priority. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Dr. Staci-Marie Norman, PharmD, CDE received her bachelors from Purdue University (’94) and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma (’96). In 2000 Dr. Norman added to her credentials by becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is currently the Clinical Coordinator and staff pharmacist for Martin’s Pharmacy. Dr. Norman is a national faculty member for the American Pharmacist Association, teaching certificate programs in both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She serves on the advisory board that oversees development and revision of these programs. Along with teaching and development responsibilities for APhA, Dr. Norman serves as a peer reviewer for research grants and publication submission. Dr. Norman has also spoken for Abbott, Bayer, Lilly, Mannkind, and Lifescan as a diabetes specialist.