It’s possible, you know. It’s possible for you to have an incredible summer without throwing all of your fitness and nutrition hard work out the window.
I’ve been talking to a lot of my friends lately about summer and our goal, mine included, was to get as fit as possible, eat as well as possibly until June 30th and then “take the summer off”. I mean, I would never NOT workout, that’s just ingrained in me from childhood. But, I still plan on loosening up my food regimen and I’m definitely lightening up on my drink intake rules.
But, here’s the problem with personalities like mine. If we give an inch to ourselves, we run a mile…and that mile is filled with wine stops, chips, peanut butter cups, s’mores and a bucket of excuses as to why it’s okay to binge for two months.
“I work hard all year.”
“I’m tired and my body needs a break.”
“I’m just going to have one.”
“It’s too hot out.”
“I need something cool to drink.”
“Oh, are those chips, I never have chips…NOMNOMNOM.”
And so on…
Summer is often a time when we lengthen our leash and permit ourselves to overindulge and get a little more sedentary.
No, not everyone. Lots of people use the summer to go on hikes, or bike rides, etc…and that’s amazing. We do that in our family, too. But, we also camp a lot, we like cold beverages, we adore campfires and all the goodies that go along with our campfires (hello peanut butter cup s’mores, I love you). And, by the end of summer, I’m wearing my “I give up dresses” (think mumu), I have little energy and I generally feel shitty about myself.
But, it’s time to remember that there can balance in the summer. Yes, while we do tend to have treats and more drinks than we typically do over the other 10 months of the year, there is a way to find the balance between “treating yourself” and “overindulging”…for months on end.
- Commit to a certain number of workouts per week. Write it down and tell somebody for accountability purposes. I recommend at least 3 sessions of, minimally, 30 minutes per session.
- Try something new. Summer is a great time to get outside and try new active ways of using your body.
- Get up and get it done. Summer is hot, hot, hot in most places and the “it’s too hot” excuse is rampant in July & August. So, get up and get moving first thing in the morning. Get it done. Then hydrate and jump in the lake.
- Have an accountability group. Sometimes all you need is a friend, or a group of friends, to help you stay accountable. There’s something about receiving a text from a friend who is already done her workout juuuuuust when you were thinking of not doing it. Friends help friends stay fit.
- Prepare. You know summer is riddled with dips, chips and other bonfire goodies, so prepare. Cut up your vegetables and have them ready to go for quick snacks. Same with your fruit. Prepare healthy snacks and take them with you on your vacation.
- Try to eat every 2-3 hours, but also have 2-3 hours where you’re not putting something in your pie hole. Summers get busy and for many of us we’re so busy taking care of others, we forget to eat or we just don’t get a chance. So, make sure you have healthy granola bars, apples and peanut, almonds, etc. at the ready so when your two-hour gap of no eating is up, you have something healthy to grab in a pinch.
- Substitute snacks. There are many recipes out there for healthy muffins, granola, pasta, etc that can be made healthy by removing sugar, decreasing salt and switching out ingredients. For example, switch to Greek Yogurt instead of your sour cream. Seriously…it’s good. There are ways to change unhealthy snacks and make them more healthy. They may not be considered a “health food”, but they’re certainly better than the full-fat junk you’ve been dreaming about.
- Take it easy. You’re allowed to have a few days of silliness and calories. But, you’ll notice a difference in your energy and take that cue from your body to get back on track. Have the chips. Have the marshmallows. And then don’t. You don’t need them for two months in a row. Find the balance between treating yourself and going off the rails.
- Moderation is key. You knew I was going to say that, right? Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you need a margarita or a beer. It really doesn’t. There are many non-alcoholic versions of your fav boozy drinks.
- Watch the sugar intake. While bellinis and lime slushy drinks are amazing, they’re also PACKED with sugar, particularly if you get the pre-packaged stuff. So, if you’re going to start up your margarita maker (best Mother’s Day gift EVER), try some from-scratch recipes and use fresh fruit and ice. Put it in a fancy glass and bicketty-bam…a cold, fru-fru drink just for you.
- Water. Drink it. For every drink you consume, have an 8 oz glass of cold, refreshing, hydrating WATER. Put some carbon dioxide in there if you want bubbles, or throw in some frozen berries for an icy, yummy treat. You really can spice up your water. I mean…it’s still water, so it’s not super sexy, but it’s healthy and your body will thank you for it all summer long.
- Swap out the beer and coolers. Go for hard alcohols like vodka or gin to combat the calorie-packed, sugar-coma-inducing drinks you typically lean towards.
Listen…summer is supposed to be fun and silly and filled with goodness. But, that doesn’t mean you should let yourself go crazy. Balance is everything. I’m not promoting drinking in this article by any means, but I know it happens. And, I want you to think about the choices you make throughout the summer so I don’t have to pick you up off the floor and go through sugar withdrawals in September.
Take care of yourself over the summer. Your body deserves that. But balance is everything. Overindulge a few days, sure, but then treat yourself to water, fruit, salads and goodness. Balance, baby. Find your body balance this summer.
If you’re looking for balance, I created Sip & Sweat. It’s a weekly email you’ll receive ALL about balance. I provide weekly recipes for summer cocktails (that’s one side of the coin) AND a workout you can do each week (the other, more balanced side of the coin) to combat your boozy side. So…if you haven’t joined Sip & Sweat:
Have a great summer, Mamas! I’m here if you need me. Always!