If you’re a lot like me, Summer is the best time of the year! The warm sun on your face, waking up to the sun shining through your bedroom window, going out for ice cream, beach days, cookouts…what can get any better than that. With all the summer fun, may bring some extra unwanted guilt.
Someone reminded me that life is short and we need to embrace life and live every day to the fullest. We shouldn’t be in the diet mindset 24/7
Summer events such as weddings, cookouts, parties etc. can bring most of us some guilt because we usually stuff our faces and stray from our diets because you know there’s going to be a lot of food and probably some beer/drinks, so you just think “eh whatever it’s summer”. Some of the fitness accounts I follow on instagram will recommend bringing your own prepped food to a cookout to stay on track. Honestly, this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard of (unless you’re training for a physique/body building show), it’s called balance. If you want a burger, have a burger! You don’t have to go to events thinking whatever it’s just one day, find a balance and be smart about it!
Typically when you go to a cookout there will be a few healthy options. Look at all your options, maybe get fruit salad and some potato salad instead of all three types of potato salad and the mac n’ cheese. It’s all about balance and we shouldn’t let ourselves feel guilty for wanting to splurge a little.
Another thing I struggle with is you don’t have to eat everything on your plate. My eyes tend to be bigger than my stomach when I go to events, and I catch myself saying “oh my gosh, I’m so full but this is soooo good” I’m probably not the only one saying this? Am I right?! Eat until your satisfied, and you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel. You don’t feel like you over did it, or feel so bloated that you need to lie down like a beached whale. It’s these little things that will help us and go a long way!
Another big part of the summer balance is making sure we also get our exercise in. Sometimes we get caught up in all the fun summer events that we forget about exercising. I’m not saying that you should be hitting the gym every morning, but living in Maine we have a short window of nice weather. Go for that walk and soak up the sun, or go swimming or go for a hike, even bring a family member or friend. The opportunities are endless.
Now you might be thinking that this is going to ruin your diet. If you are trying to lose weight, that’s wonderful!! It’s not easy to lose weight and it’s a lot of work to get where you want to be. So I’m not saying that during summer you should throw your diet out the window, but what I am saying is that don’t let your diet take over your life. For me, I eat pretty healthy during the week as I’m in the work/life routine, but on the weekends, if my friends invite me out to eat and have a couple drinks…I’m all for it! These are memories that I’m going to be making and I don’t want my guilt to get in the way, so I just don’t over do it.
Another point that I wanted to touch on is that I also think it’s also important to make sure you have a realistic mental image of what you look like because sometimes this can get lost in our heads since we look at ourselves in the mirror every day. About 9 months ago, I had this image in my head that I needed to lose this extra fat and will maintain a extremely strict diet until I met my goal. What I didn’t realize is that 1. I didn’t need to lose weight and 2. this diet was not realistic. I have always told people when they go on a diet to make sure that it’s realistic to your life style. Others might disagree with me, but I don’t believe in the Keto diet or the atkins diet or any diet that makes you cut out foods because you have to honestly ask yourself; “is this a permanent change that I want to make?” If it’s not, then you’re not going to get the results you are looking for. I absolutely love carbs, so I would never cut them out of my diet because I’m going to crave and miss them. Find a balance!
This summer I have really embraced this concept of finding a balance, I stopped being so strict on what I was eating, I was fueling my body, I was eating based on how I felt. I have been much happier releasing the guilt and not letting it get to my head. I’ll admit it before summer started, I was beating myself up for gaining 8-10 pounds within the past 9 months from changing my lifestyle. I was getting stressed because Summer was around the corner and I was just not feeling good about myself. I didn’t realize that having that balance and living my life actually benefited me!
The picture on the right is present day.. 8-10 pounds heavier but I feel healthier and look healthier and I’m actually very happy with my progress lately! Remember the scale is just a number and shouldn’t be the only tool you base your progress and emotions off of .
My advice to you is… EMBRACE summer because it doesn’t last long
so find your balance.