Skate your way into skinny jeans

Picture this: deep-fried turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato pie, all of which you find yourself eating repeatedly throughout the holiday season. By New Years it's time to stuff the extra pounds of weight you gained into your old pre-holiday jeans. Now, you're left with the ultimatum of whether to buy new jeans or work relentlessly to lose the extra poundage. It is common for people to go through this situation countless times before deciding whether to gorge themselves as every holiday comes along, or stick to salads to avoid gaining the extra weight. However, there has been a rise in activities that people can engage in to stay fit during these fattening times.

With the economy slowly getting out of its crunch, people are looking for cheaper, or even better free, things to do around town to stay in shape. Santa Monica College student Itzel Duenas, who attends school full time while working a part-time job, often finds that doing little, everyday active things help her keep off the pounds in the long run.

"This time around I've tried to eat less instead of stuffing my face and I get a lot of activity from walking my dogs and hiking whenever I find the time between work and school," Duenas said.

Duenas, who enjoys ice-skating, manages to find time to skate with her friends at the seasonal Santa Monica outdoor skating rink that annually appears every holiday season.

"I'm always trying to go ice skating, it doesn't matter what time of the day it is I'm ready to hit the ice!" said Duenas.

Now for some, ice skating may not be the first fun holiday activity that comes to mind, and fortunately in Santa Monica the sky is the limit on things to do to stay trim. From biking down the side of the beach, to hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Monica holds numerous outdoor activities for everyone this holiday season.

Although a lot of weight loss can be achieved by constantly working out, there are other ways to lose the extra pounds as well. For SMC student Vanessa Estrada, who is an avid vegetarian, spending a lot of time practicing yoga right in her own home and eating the right foods are the best ways to energize her body.

"Just this past Thanksgiving I managed to pull off cooking an entire vegetarian dinner, it was delicious," Estrada said.

So it just goes to show that even if you've found yourself reaching for that extra slice of pie or taking home multiple plates of leftovers, it is never okay to give up hope because there is always a way to stop yourself from going up a dress size since there are so many fun and festive activities to do this time of year.