By Brittany Drozd – Providence, RI
Picture this: You’ve worked really hard since January to work out regularly, cut out sugar and carbs, and make your needs to get healthy and improve your life a priority.
Fast forward to July: You’re at happy hour on a Tuesday drinking beer and sharing nachos with friends. You’ll end up staying out late and feeling terrible for work tomorrow. You’ll soon forget the pain and repeat the cycle on Thursday, Saturday, and so on.
What happened???!! You were doing so well with your health and goals!
Even those with the best of habits and intentions succumb to the stronghold of summer. Its long, warm nights, laughter, and relaxation… Wait, what am I saying?! You’ve worked so hard to get this healthy. Are you really going to let it all go now?
You wouldn’t be reading RI Fit Magazine if you weren’t interested in your health and wellness. Summer can sneak up on you and attack your wellness goals and all the progress you’ve made without much notice. Before you know it, you could be back where you started–at your old weight, with your poor diet and inconsistent exercise.
Avoid this regression by making a plan for summer success! Know your obstacles and determine action steps to overcome them ahead of time.
Here are some common obstacles that you’ll encounter this summer, and ways to overcome them in order to maintain your health and wellness:
You vs. Time with Friends
Who wouldn’t want to see more of their friends and family this time of year, whether it’s at a BBQ, the beach, or doing something active? The key here is quality over quantity. If you say yes to everything, you will end up exhausted and overwhelmed. Ask yourself, “How does this outing serve me? Is this something that makes me happy?”
You vs. the Gym
Not getting to the gym because you’re spending too much time hanging out with friends? Get a sweat buddy! Tell someone your fitness goals for the summer and make a commitment to keep each other accountable. Find a time to exercise together, because you’re more likely to keep that appointment with them.
You vs. Food
Make a list of the foods you can have all the time, for example fruits and vegetables; food you can have once daily, such as dairy or breads; and foods that you never want to be eating, like super sugary foods or bagels. Make these three lists based on your diet and goals ahead of time in order to avoid nutrition sabotage on a weekend getaway.
You vs. Beer
Who doesn’t like a Summer Shandy when the sun is out on a Sunday afternoon? The key to this one is moderation. When we tell ourselves “no” to something, it can make us want it more. Figure out the number of drinks you want to have based on your wellness goals and set that limit before you start drinking. Always make sure you have a designated driver too!
You vs. Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important wellness indicators that everyone forgets about. If you’re not getting good sleep, then your work, relationships, and fitness will likely suffer too. Set a curfew for yourself! Determine an amount of time that you require for adequate rest–aim for at least 7 hours. Starting from the time you need to be at work the following day, count backwards to the time that you’d need to be in bed to get your adequate sleep. This is your curfew time!
Brittany Drozd, LCSW helps success-oriented individuals in transition by offering them strategies, tools, and support to stop living for everyone else so they can live the life they really want with greater clarity, direction and fulfillment. Brittany helps clients reach their best selves by exploring all aspects of their lives, including exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness. Visit http://www.brittanydrozd.com for info on how to work with Brittany. Brittany Drozd is a licensed psychotherapist and practices in Providence, RI.