Category: Christmas

The Run Before Christmas …

Welp, Christmas is over. I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas. Mine was spent mainly with family — which is the best way to spend Christmas if you ask me.

We didn’t do anything fancy — just the usual. My Dad does a reading of The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve for all us kids — and grandkids. So we did that on Saturday night. And, then on Christmas Day we had our usual brunch of quiche, copious amounts of Jell-O (because we’re Mormons) and sticky buns that go right to the hips.

But, all of that is secondary to just spending time with family. For me that’s what makes Christmas. I wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone else.

On Christmas Eve morning — a group of us met at Liberty Park for “The Run Before Christmas” (I came up with that title — thank you very much). The initial plan for all of us was to meet at the park and then carpool up Emigration Canyon for a 11 mile run back down the canyon.

While most everyone running still did that — Jill and I decided to stay at Liberty Park and run the perimeter. As fun as a canyon run sounded — we are both training for the Jackpot Running Festival in February which is a looped course, so we felt that some looped miles were more beneficial than a canyon run.

I feel shocked saying that.

A photo posted by (phat) josh (@fit.phat) on

Because nobody loves a canyon run more than me. Being a bigger runner I need all the help I can get and when you can get gravity on your side — there’s no better feeling.

Anyways — we cranked out 12.5 miles or so going around the park. They weren’t pretty. We didn’t track splits. We didn’t care. We just cared about getting time on our feet and distance on our legs.

it was therapeutic.

Plus, it’s always fun running with Jill. I don’t think we ever run out of anything to talk about. That’s not only why we’ve been friends for nearly nine years now — but, we make great ultrarunning friends. If you can make conversation for over 20-30 miles — you’ve got a keeper of a friend.

We are both running the New Year’s Resolution Run next Saturday morning at the Olympic Oval in Kearns — and, we’re planning on cranking out some major miles in the 5 hour time limit. But, again, the key isn’t necessarily the miles — just the time. And, 5 hours is PERFECT ultra training for feet time.

Wow. I can’t believe 2017 is beginning next week. That is just crazy to me. This past month — and pretty much — half year has gone past WAY too fast. But, the past three months have truly been a blur. Ever since my 50 miler time has gone by too fast.

But, I am looking forward to the new year — I love this time of the year. It’s a great time to look back at the year and plan for the next. Make some new goals and refocus my own going goals. It’s a time for new beginnings.

So, here we go!


The shirt says it all. #🚫🎄👠

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

SOCKS FOR CHRISTMAS! Don’t worry, I’m 35 — this is a GREAT gift. #socks4christmas #BOOYAH!

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

296.95 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1519.23 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2216.23 miles



A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

Tis’ be Christmastime …

It’s been a while since I’ve consistently written here on the bloggy blog, but I am starting to get back to it. Well, not fully until the first of the year. But, I am planning on keeping up with my mileage updates. So, this is more of a report on mileage than anything else.

This past week I’ve focused on ramping up my miles. Not dramatically, but I’ve been doing a couple miles each day on the treadmill. And, it’s made a big difference in my energy levels.

Everything has gone well, except on Thursday I threw my back out which made working out tough. I still did my miles, but I walked them instead of running them. I’ve been having back problems lately and I hate it. More of a sign of my age than anything. So I have been focusing on stretching and pain pads.

I should be fine.

My focus is just building up the miles and preparing myself for my ultras in February and April. Not to mention my 50 miler from SLC to Provo in March.

Plus, I need to focus on my diet. Not just keeping on track diet wise during the holidays, but more so focusing on my thyroid diet. Meaning, cutting out the gluten, dairy and added sugar. Basically, back to a paleo strict diet.

But, I am going in for a few tests next week for my thyroid, because there is speculation I might have Hashimoto’s disease. And, if that’s the case — cutting out gluten and dairy would be crucial to diet success. Success I found with the Whole 30 this past summer.

I’ll be blogging a bit more about that later this week or in the hear future. Especially once I find out what’s going on with my body.

But, this being the week of Christmas — MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I’ll blog more later!


A movie so nice, I ended up seeing it twice. #rogueone #classicmovieticketphoto

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


RUNNING MILES

276.45 miles

RACE MILES

400.05 miles

WALKING MILES

1473.1 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

2149.6 miles

MILES TO GOAL

517.4 miles


A photo posted by The Runcast (@theruncast) on

Wishing you and yours all a very Merry Christmas

I am going to keep my message simple, because I don’t think anything I add can make or break your Christmas. But, I want to sincerely wish you and yours a happy, healthy and memorable Christmas.

I am grateful for many things in my life — but it’s the people in it that have made all the difference. Ever since I started sharing my weight-loss and running journey through my blog — some five years ago — I could have never imagined my life today.

The people I have met, ran with and befriended have enriched my life immensely. I have been able to not just befriend once strangers, but to experience life with many — joys and sorrows.

As a gift to you all, I share my favorite scene from my favorite Christmas show — Mr. Kruger’s Christmas (starring Jimmy. If there is any movie that intimately portrays what Christmas means to me — this movie does — specifically this scene.

So please have a safe and very Merry Christmas — make memories, make amends and let the love of the Savior bless not just your season, but your lives.

Bless you all. And, thank you for being a friend (sorry I just couldn’t resist).

Love,
Joshua

A Very Merry Hansén Christmas™

I wasn’t planning on really blogging much this week, in fact, not much at all. But, here I am doing so. I took a number of pictures over the holiday and I thought I’d share a few … dozen … on the bloggy blog. I could have easily uploaded these on Facebook, but I felt that it’s a tad bit more personal here … so it’s been posting here.

I hope the holiday was a great one for you and your family. I had a great holiday spent with my family and awesome friends. Each year I feel even more blessed for the people in my life. I know that each person is in my life for a reason and I try not to take them for granted.

Anyways, lets get to the pictures …

Festivus (December 23)

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I still had to work on Festivus … the nerve, huh? But, at least I celebrated in style.
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My co-worker gifted me the 100 Days of Real Food book. I am really excited about this, because this is the next step in my fitness journey. I need to eat real food and this will help me A LOT.
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If you’ve ever watched the Seinfeld episode about Festivus this would make sense to you.
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When I got home from work I helped my Mom make Jule Kage (Norwegian sweet bread).
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Jule Kage before baking it in the oven. This is BY FAR my favorite Christmas food.

Christmas Eve (December 24)

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I bought an organic chicken from Trader Joe’s last week and decided to make it for Christmas. Does this look like something that would make Martha Stewart jealous?
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This was the first ever thing I’ve made in the crockpot. Kinda proud of this accomplishment.
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I was also in charge of making the Mormon Moonshine (aka Green Slush) for our Family Christmas Brunch. This is a family traditional favorite.
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The secret ingredient to any Christmas food? Sugar of course. And, if you’re wondering how many cups of sugar went into this bucket of slush … that would be 12 cups. TWELVE CUPS! Hello diabeetus!
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The finishing touch to the Mormon Moonshine … pineapple juice (more sugar!!!)
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My Grandma making Greek Wedding Cookies there’s a fancy name for these cookies, but I know I’d butcher it if I tried to write it out (Kurmarkialus7us?)
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The key to these cookies is the dent you’ve got to make in the middle of the cookie. Otherwise, you ruin Christmas.
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The final product. Sexy Greek Wedding Cookies.
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Dave and I at the Empire Chinese Buffet here in Bountiful. This is a tradition we started last year when all of the siblings left us for their in-laws.
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The Chinese Food on Christmas Eve that was probably sitting there since last Christmas.
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The glistening over all of my food is called love.
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The dinner party of family and friends. Great company. And, if you’re wondering YES I am wearing a Jack O’ Lantern shirt.
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There’s something slightly addictive about crappy vanilla ice cream from Chinese Buffets. It’s slightly icy and the sprinkles are even more stale. Perfection?
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TWSS.
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After dinner my brother invited me us to his house for their Christmas program and games. You have to admit the angel stole the show!
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The “serious” parts.
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Another shot of the cutest angel.
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Matt holding the rope to the pinata as little Miss Sweet Cheeks hacks away.
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Watching my niece go after the pinata I’ve decided that I never want to pick a fight with her … EVER.
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Even my nephew has some aggression I don’t want to test.
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BROKEN PINATA!!! CHILDREN!!!
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Of all the candy in that pinata all that kid wanted was a ring pop. I am sorely disappointed.
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Our family has been reading from this book since 1977. We read it every Christmas Eve and sign it.
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The kids listening to Papou read the book as Nanna follows along.
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The best part of the whole book. It’s the one time of the year that all of the adults are tested on Santa’s eight-tiny reindeer’s names. Do you know them?
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Can you guess who provided that lovely artwork in the book?
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This was a game we played that really just made me feel like one of those patient dogs waiting to eat their dog treat.
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Making more bakkles with my Momma.
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The bakkels getting a nice hot scorching bath in some oil.
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mmmmm … these will always be Christmas to me. And, my Christmas 15.
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My letter to Santa. Need I add anything else to it?
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Can you see how excited I am about the Christmas snow? Ugh.

Christmas Day (December 25)

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And, of course in the morning I had to go mow the snow off the driveway (okay, I really didn’t mow it).
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I found out why there were no mice stirring on the night before Christmas …
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The congregation of family. Can you see the eagerness to open gifts?
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These two kids could hardly wait to open their gifts!
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I love this picture of Uncle Beno and Miss Koko. Who’s more excited here?
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I got the kid some TMNT and you can say he was EXTREMELY happy about it! I love this kid.
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Got some holiday cat shirts for my family …
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My Yia-Yia will look great in this shirt. And, to think this is her third cat shirt.
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Yes, this is genuine excitement for more Costco pants. MEN’S pants this go around.
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I love these girls. So much fun.
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My sister Jess working on her marzipan cake. Since my Aunt’s death nearly two years ago she has undertaken the family cake duty. She’s living up to her namesake and does an awesome job!
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YEAH TOAST! (jietost – goat cheese) and jule kage. This is by far my favorite Christmas dish. Have I mentioned that yet?
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The family famous Hansen Christmas Quiche.
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What would a Utah Mormon get together be without some sort of Jell-O? This is an Egg Nog Orange Jell-O that my Mom makes each year. It sounds gross, but actually it’s not that bad.
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These might be store bought, but they’re pretty looking through the camera viewfinder.
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The Mormon Moonshine. To make it more liquidity we add Sprite, but if you want to feel adventurous you can add Mountain Dew or even something stronger like Red Bull or a Rockstar.
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Dave came and sat on my feet. I like him, but even more when he’s not sitting on my feet.
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Dave sang “O, Holy Night” for us. He sang this at church on Sunday in his ward. He did awesome and really brought perspective and the Christmas spirit to those that heard.
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21st Century yule log.
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And, they’re down for the count.
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After eating our brunch, Dave and I headed over to his house to shovel his driveway. It was a great way to burn off some calories.
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A monkey and an eagle walk into a … sounds like the start of a really bad joke.
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Dave’s ugly sweater. Perfection.
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The deliciousness of Jess’ marzipan cake.
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My favorite Christmas gift … SELFIE STICK!!!
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Moments before I headed to bed for the night. There is nothing I love more than an empty and dark room with just the lights of the tree on. It’s so peaceful, quaint and breathtaking. I love Christmas.

Again, I hope your holiday was just as great as mine. There’s still a week left in the year. I am taking the last week to go over my goals for 2015 one last time and setting my course for next year straighter. I love this week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a time of reflection, renewal and rededication. Something we all should practice.

Anyways, Merry Christmas and you’ll hear from me at least once more before the calendar turns. I still have to share my resolutions and goals, right?

RIGHT!

Mama Duck’s Annual Holiday Waddle

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Not sure if we should talk about my awkwardness in this picture? I’ve got my butt stomach going on and it looks like I am choking on a hot dog. But, at least I don’t look like I am pooping my pants like Ty.

This has been a fun week of running and adventure. I love the last half of December for a number of reasons. One, is obviously Christmas and the other is because it’s usually spent with lots of family and friends. One thing that has become somewhat of an annual tradition (as annual as a two year event can be) is a run on the Saturday before Christmas in Orem hosted by my friend Susette. It’s a simple, small and fun run just on a small outdoor track close to the Orem Fitness Center.

This was the same event last year where Susette and Becky surprised me with one of the best and most heartfelt gifts I’ve ever gotten. They got me a medal rack for my race medals and if you couldn’t tell by the pictures it put me into tears. I didn’t blog about this last year, because I was going to wait until I put up the rack to post about the whole experience.

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Susette giving me my surprise last year!

Needless to say, it hasn’t gone up yet. This isn’t because I don’t like it or need it. Mainly because I haven’t had a good place to put it … yet. I could put it up in my room now, but if I am going to move out soon I’d rather wait and give it justice. Plus, I have some pictures and another rack I got from Camille that I will adding to it. My goal for January should be to find a good place I can put it.

Anyways … I digress. As usual.

I carpooled with the Gabicas down to Orem. But, instead of them picking me up in Bountiful. I actually rode the FrontRunner from Salt Lake to Orem with Jill and Addison on Friday after work. In Orem we were met by Mark at the station. We then hit up Costa Vida for dinner and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites over night. We celebrated Mark and Jill’s daughter Isabel’s birthday. Isabel if you recall was stillborn and one of main motivations and reasons Jill runs. It’s also the name sake for her blog.

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Pretty Princess party for Isabel!

This was Isabel’s 5th birthday and I felt so honored to be invited and able to be a part of the celebration. Addison helped plan most of the party. We went swimming in the hotel pool and also ate cake with Butterfinger topping whilst wearing Princess tiaras (and at breakfast the morning after) and eating on Princess plates. It was fun and a very touching moment.

On Saturday morning all four of us got to the park and partied. I was quickly reminded at how much I’ve missed being around Susette. She is one of the most energetic, nicest and kindest people I know. Our first race that we ran together was WAY back in May 2012 at the Corner Canyon Trail Run in Draper. We connected a couple weeks prior through another blog and quite honestly she’s one of the reasons I’m still running. She changed running for me. It became more social than just about running.

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My Christmas gift to Becky. She hates the name, but I refuse to call her by anything else.

And, the nature of this social was just that. It was social … with running involved. In fact, Jill and I were joking that we should just run to the social and then socialize without worrying about running while there and then run back home. One day I might try that … one day.

Along with meeting up we also all brought something to share with others. Of course I brought Rice Krispy Treats. I made some hot chocolate Rice Krispy Treats that I made with a couple packets of hot chocolate and whole marshmallows in the RK mix before it meets the melted marshmallows. People liked it, so I must have done something right?

But, the running was a lot of fun as well. I ended up running with someone for each half mile lap. I was able to run with Ty Ty, Becky and everyone in between. That’s one reason why I love running around on a track, you get to run with the fastest and slowest out there and just “be there” with them. That’s one reason why I love the New Years Run Resolution so much.

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The Hansen Brothers. Gotta love Ty Ty!

The run was perfect and just what I needed to end out this year with my group runs. I am also getting extremely closer to my 1200 mile goal for the year. I just need 10.3 miles to get that goal. I will have that goal by the end of this weekend. I am planning on running tomorrow and Christmas Eve. I should just crank it out and get it down with! I am just excited to reach that goal! It’s been a fun adventure of running this year.

Anyways … I am not sure if I’ll post this week or not. If not, Merry Christmas! And, we’ll see you next year … or until my next post!


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2014

2014 Training Miles – 559.85 miles
2014 Walking Miles – 169.4 miles
2014 Race Miles – 460.45 miles
2014 Total Miles – 1189.7 miles
 
Monthly Total Miles for 2014
January – 100.0 miles
February – 100.0 miles
March – 130.0 miles
April – 140.5 miles
May – 108.65 miles
June – 83.3 miles
July – 93.75 miles
August – 118.2 miles
September – 88.55 miles
October – 106.8 miles
November – 75.05 miles 
December – 56.5 miles
 
Miles to 2014 Goal (1200 miles) – 10.3 miles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqnjRsqV-BU&feature=youtu.be

Fartlek Friday LI: Christmas goes a fartleking through the snow (it’s not dirty I swear!)

ChristmasBanner‘Twas the Friday before Christmas and all through the house …

Wow, we’re just six days from Christmas and down to our second to last Friday of the year! I like the sound of that! This past year really has gone by quickly … too quickly. Sometimes I still feel like 2012 was just yesterday! But, that’s almost three years ago!

I think this is the part of the aging process that I hate. Time goes by WAY too quickly. I mean next year I will be turning 34 years old! Gosh, I remember when I was 28 like it was yesterday. I remember turning 30 and thinking how old I felt. Now I really do feel like I am old.

Okay, I’ve got to stop that talk before I get a quarter life crisis and end up making a purchase I would regret (ie-new car, skydiving tickets and/or a sudden move to Miami).

Anyways, back to reality here.

This time of the year really is my favorite. I love the holidays. I love Christmas, especially. Not, so much New Years. I actually really hate New Years Day. It is probably one of the most boring days of the year. Granted the past three years I’ve spent it running at the New Years Run Resolution, but after that … it’s just a blah holiday.

There’s football and that’s about it.

Anyways, on the opposite side Christmas is every to me. It’s about family, memories and the Savior. I absolutely love it, especially Christmas Day. The day is such a marathon of activities that it does seem like time slows down. A rarity for an aging geezer like myself.

Christmas is heaven to me.

Anyways, I hoped you’ve liked this past week. It was Christmas Week here on the bloggy blog. I’ve shared some awesome running gifts, the worst Christmas songs EVER and about how to save your fitness goals during the holidays. I hope there’s been value in them for you. I want to do more themed weeks like these throughout the year in 2015.

Please give me your feedback. It’s much appreciated and welcomed.

I am excited for tomorrow though! I am running down in Orem with my running peeps. Susette is hosting and Jill, Becky, Ty and MANY others will be there. I am really excited. We’re running on a little outdoor trail that we ran on last year. But, the venue doesn’t matter, it’s about the people I get to hang out with.

I LOVE MY RUNNING FAMILY! And, I am more than excited to be sharing my Saturday with them during this time of the year.

Anyways, I could keep on talking about Christmas, but there are other things that have caught my attention this past week. Which includes some of the following …

  • Sooooooo … I want something like this on my house in the future. But, at the same that’s just too much effort. Still, a need …
  • This is pretty useful knowledge about Christmas carols, if I was a drinking man I’d memorize these stories and use them in a bar trivia game.
  • Um, this kind of sums me up. Kinda scary if you ask me.
  • I am not a scientist, but I want some of these ornaments.
  • It’s hard for me to have much sympathy for Sony’s reaction to North Korea threats about releasing “The Dictator.” Sure, I agree that the pressure from the threats sets a new precedence in Hollywood and in America (can’t have the terrorists win, right?), but how did this green lit in the first place? The premise is interesting, but why make up a fictitious dictator instead?
  • And, then on top of that it looks like a dumb movie. I am not a fan of raunchy R-rated movies. Not my kind of humor.
  • Thank me later.
  • Um, I am not going to lie, I find these pictures of nuns overwhelmingly delightful.
  • This kind of kills Santa for me, doesn’t it for you? Commie Claus.
  • This is rather cute. Plus, babies with British accents is my new favorite thing.
  • Politically, I don’t know what’s going to change with the new relationship between the US and Cuba, but I’ll be honest … I thought Fidel Castro was already dead? Apparently not?
  • Here are a few things you might not know about Cuba. Fascinating, eh?
  • Now, I want a Cuban Sandwich.
  • Consider this my good deed of the day, things you should know about the flu (besides that it sucks).
  • Oh my heavens! I want to be a people pusher! I need that job! Just so I can put that on a resume. I can just picture a future interview now. “So, Joshua, you pushed people? Tell me about that …” I am sure I’d have a plethora of stories.
  • Oh, can I also be a Duckmaster? And, then there is a bed warmer? I would want to be an ice cream taster, but I am on a diet and I don’t want the diabeetus.
  • You wanna waste time? Read this. It’s the first words uttered by Simpsons characters. Not a bad way to spend your Friday afternoon, eh?
  • Here’s some more cool Simpsons’ stuff you can read. The Simpsons debuted on FOX 27 years ago this past Wednesday. WOW! 25 years! I remember back as a kid when The Simpsons was blacklisted in my house. The Simpsons don’t hold a candle to the inappropriateness of Family Guy these days.
  • This is pretty much full of awesome. Who doesn’t love a good 80’s music montage?
  • I don’t know why I get sucked into these kind of articles, but I find them interesting. Oh, here’s another good one.
  • Can we talk about how awesome this video is? Like, I want to do this sometime in my life. Just go steal a bunch of McDonald’s play balls and find the nearest escalator.
  • I wish I knew about this, because there are some people in my life that need this product.
  • This is a nice little reminder to me that there’s always a bigger story behind everything in life. I am glad to see that there’s a happy ending to the problem.
  • Yeah these are some sad looking Christmas trees. Not quite Charlie Brown sad though.
  • Why do these kind of articles have to be fascinating? I mean really?
  • These are funny, yet sad, but mostly hilarious. Actually, they’re a perfect Friday afternoon read.
  • I’m not sure what my thoughts are on this? But, I do know that there’s no way I can sit down for a two hour movie every day. Let alone each week.
  • Slightly irreverent, but most of these Christmas Fails are pretty funny..
  • I really can’t stand this guy. He’s in the news too much … for what? Then again I feel that same with most reality stars. What contribution have they given society? I could definitely ride this high horse for a while.
  • Did you know that I’ve never watched The Lord of the Rings? But, I’ve seen Frozen … WAAAAAAY … too many times. So, this is only partly funny to me. But, still funny nonetheless. I’m sure you’ll all love it.
  • This is all just food porn to me, except I did try a Waffle Taco this past year. But, I have to say this, this, this and this looks really gross. And, what’s the whole big deal with adding Doritos to foods? Please someone, riddle me that.
  • The only thing that really intrigues me on that list is that pretzel crust pizza. That actually sounds pretty good.
  • This seems like something you should know. You know just in case you find yourself on Jeopardy in a bar trivia game.
  • For my Jewish friends. If I have any?
  • Speaking of Jewish people. One thing I love about Neil Diamond is how as a Jewish man he is probably one of the TOP Christmas song artists. It’s doesn’t make sense at all … but it does.
  • I don’t even drink, but I’d fill up these flasks with water! Pretty creative, eh?
  • This is pretty cool.
  • I generally hate when BuzzFeed makes their posts into videos, but this one makes me laugh quite heartily.
  • These are making me laugh hysterically, probably too much! I so want that Danny DeVito cake! And, this will make you laugh. Thanks Obama … for the laugh!
  • I have to admit something here. I actually eat wrappers to cupcakes, muffins, etc. If it’s the paper kind, why not? So, these are just an informality.
  • Now you know something extremely random about me. Then again, I share a lot about myself so I am sure you know more than the fact that I love cupcake wrappers.
  • Anyways …

Welp, that’s it for me this week! I will be slowing down on the blogging the next couple of weeks. I will blog about my run happening tomorrow in Orem with my peeps on Sunday or Monday and then I will do some sort of Fartlek Friday post next Friday. It might not be a traditional post like you’ve grown accustomed to this past year, but it will be something. Heck, I might just show you what I got for Christmas.

Anyways, I will also have one post on the week of New Years talking about my 2015 goals, but that’s about it. My focus for the next couple of weeks is going to be family, family, family and Candy Crush.

Merry Christmas and HAPPY RUNNING!!!

Healthy Holiday Survival

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There’s one simple truth about the holidays. Everyone loves Santa, but no one wants to end up like Santa. The holiday 5, 10 or 15 is a true battle that almost all of us undertake every year.

Truthfully, it’s a hard fight. Between all of the parties, traditions and butter-rich food you’re busy running around shopping, socializing and spending time with family. It’s easy to get out of one’s routine that’s religiously adhered to between January to Thanksgiving.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s no reason why you should expect to gain weight during the holidays. Why can’t you adapt your routine to work for you and your schedule?

Now before you start giving a million reasons why you can’t, let me give you some simple habits and things you can do to avoid that belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Even if you just adopt one of these habits it will make a difference.

Just don’t give up, fighting for your health is a 12 month battle …

Gain the right mentality

This seems like a gimme, but fitness is just as much of a mental battle as it is physical. If you don’t want to do something, odds are … you won’t do it. If you don’t want to stay healthy during the holidays, then you’ve already lost. So what’s the point of trying, right?

So, to avoid this, start with the end in mind. What do you want to accomplish between now and January 1st? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to avoid certain foods? Maybe you want to exercise or run more? Whatever your end goal is, focus on that and let your decisions from here on out guide you to that outcome.

But, also be realistic. Give yourself some wiggle room. There will be days you might not be 100% to your goal, but that doesn’t derail the whole thing. Just get back on course and go for it.

Embrace your end goal and it will guide you.

Keep your routine as intact as possible

It’s kind of difficult to maintain your exact routine during the holidays. I always try, but never am able to do it. Between the parties, obligations and activities it’s just impossible, especially when Christmas or New Years is mid-week.

The worst thing you can do is freak out and just avoid the gym or healthy eating habits. Plan around them. Maybe you might have to skip a workout or change your daily food menu? You might have to change a workout from after work to before work or vice versa.

Just keep your end goal in mind and that will drive and motivate you to stick to it. Especially when unexpected things come up … as they always do. But, keep that schedule as normal as possible. It will be an anchor for you.

Don’t cancel workouts due to inclement weather

I felt like this could be included in the previous tip, but really this is a different beast. It’s the hardest thing in the world to get home from work or get up early in the morning and have it be snowing non-stop outside and finding the motivation to go to the gym or run. Sometimes it’s down near impossible.

But, there are things you can do to avoid this. Here are just a few tips …

  • Go to the gym straight from work. This is MUCH easier than coming home, bemoan the weather and then get dressed. Just change bring a gym bag to work with you and change before the gym. Easy, easy thing to do.
  • Workout at home with the assistance of equipment. It’s a myth that you need weights and other equipment to get a great workout. Here are some good examples and routines on the internet. Google a good workout for yourself and go equipment-less when you need to.
  • You can also climb your stairs for cardio or I suppose run in place. But, I won’t lie, I’d just rather jump on the dreadmill than climb stairs.
  • You can also buy some workout videos to do at home. Richard Simmons, The Biggest Loser and some workout dance videos are some great ones to workout to. Plus, these videos help mix it up some. That’s not a bad thing.

Just don’t cancel your workout, because something is better than nothing. And, you won’t get the same satisfaction from sitting on your couch in a Snuggie cuddling with your cat while watching Elf (though it would be close).

Eat at holiday parties

Yes, eat. Food isn’t the enemy of the holidays. The real enemy is the lack of planning around holiday parties and the dinners. And, there are many tricks and ways you can keep yourself from sabotaging your fitness goals.

Here’s a brief list of some of those things you can do …

  • Plan ahead. You should know what kind of food might be at your party, so allow yourself to eat some of those things you are anticipating to be there. Then, the rest of your food and calories around that. Put it into the equation and you will be fine. Just remember serving sizes and portions. That will kill you.
  • Also, if the party is at a restaurant just plan your order before ever arriving at the restaurant. I usually plan my meal a day or so ahead. Calories count people!
  • Make sure to drink water throughout the day to avoid overeating at the party. Avoid drinking sodas, even diet, the sodium and sugar will just make you hungry. So drink water!
  • Don’t go to the party hungry. Make sure you eat something light and satisfying before the party. This will help you avoid constantly snacking trying to get to that level of contentment. That’s the danger zone.
  • Don’t be afraid to decline food. But, if you must just ask for a sample size or doggy bag. It won’t hurt people’s feelings unless it’s your Aunt Edna and her world famous pie.

Planning ahead and counting your calories before you consume them will help you stay on track to your end goal. Plus, it becomes somewhat of a game. The more you do it, the more fun it is, which means you’ll just stay on track better!

Set personal boundaries and rules on food

This expounds on what was said above. At parties, set boundaries on what you’re going to eat. Set guidelines on food and snacks that will keep you on track to your end goal.

Personally, I have many little boundaries and rules on my food, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year. But, it’s exceptionally difficult during the holidays when you add yule log, sugar cookies and fruit cake to the equation.

You know what your goals are and you should know what it will take to get there. Sooooo … set those boundaries and rules and you will be fine (meaning, you won’t fall of the wagon with a box of donuts).

Don’t demonize and fret over food

There is nothing I hate more than going to a party and hearing someone say, “I know that I should be eating this, but … ” or “I can’t eat that, because it’s blah, blah, blah …” It really irks me for many reasons. For one, it’s rude to the host and two, no one wants to hear it.

Trust me, no one does.

But, even mentally don’t demonize it. We let ourselves get so emotionally connected to our food sometimes that it nearly becomes a family member. Stop looking at food as Aunt Potato Salad and Uncle Rhubarb Pie and look at it as just … food.

I can get go into more depth here, but if it’s not on your diet don’t eat it or just eat a sample size of it. Don’t fret over it because it’s a tradition or that your mother used to make it. You also don’t have to make it. Whoever said you had to make your Grandma’s pumpkin pie in order for you to remember Grandma?

You still have the memories, right? So there you go, you can remember her with those memories.

Plus, memories are calorie-free, so there’s that.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day

I’ve stated this above, but it begs to be repeated. Just drink your water throughout the day. Drink according to your goals. That might mean you’re drinking up to 96oz. a day or less than that. It’s all up to your fitness goals.

But, the one thing is to avoid soda and other drinks. Basically, don’t drink your calories. But, more than that avoid soda all together. It will just make you hungrier with all the sodium and sugar … or fake sugar for that matter. But, the calories add up in all the egg nog, cranberry fritz drinks, etc. Just avoid them.

Water will always be your friend and treat you well.

Surround yourself with awesome people

This shouldn’t be a problem during the holidays. Hopefully not. But, tell people your goal and don’t be shy about it. The more you tell people the more they will also help you stay on track. They’ll keep you honest at parties, be congitive of your dietary goals if they’re hosting and they might even join you at the gym or on a run.

So, don’t be shy, share your goal and surround yourself with positively awesome people. That way you can go into the new year with synergy and purpose.

These are just a few tips and things you can do to survive the holidays. I am sure there are MANY other tips and tricks one can do, so please add to the conversation and add your own tips in the comments below! I’d love to hear them and I am sure others would be too!

Anyways, Merry Christmas and I hope these will help you roll into 2015 without actually … literally … rolling into the new year.

Yeah, so … SEE YOU TOMORROW!