(If you're in a hurry and want to get right to the 5 tips click here to jump ahead.)
I remember the excitement I felt after my husband proposed. We spent a wonderful weekend in Chicago, celebrating with nice steak dinners and wine; something we enjoyed doing together often but this was extra special. Let’s just say we didn’t hold back on stuffing our faces!
My husband had hired a photographer to take pictures at our engagement, and I was so excited to receive the photos capturing the moment of surprise and excitement! Then we received the photos…it was a true awakening.
If you have read a little bit about My Story, I mentioned that I spent a period of time being a "social butterfly" and enjoying the single life while I was in graduate school. I enjoyed drinks with friends at restaurants and bars, and a lot of socializing was spent over food. When I started dating my husband, the socializing didn’t end. We were always going out with friends, eating and drinking. If we weren’t out with friends, we were spending time together, and that time was spent over big dinners (I am a steak dinner kind of gal), bottles of wine, pints of ice cream and just really enjoying being the foodies.
It wasn’t until seeing our engagement photos that it hit me. My happy relationships were making me fat! We all know that if you have a falling out with a significant other or someone you care about, you get sad and sometimes fill that void with food. But I was happy!
Not only had I gained a lot of weight, but I just looked tired and unhealthy overall. I didn’t want to look at my wedding photos and have that same “oh my” feeling. It was time to make a change! Not a change of sacrificing the experiences I loved with the people I cared about, but just being aware and forming balance in my life.
How did I stay happy minus the fat? Balance.
Here are 5 tips to Balancing Your Social Life and Relationships with a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Restrict wine, cocktails, and other adult beverages to two days a week/weekend festivities.
My husband and I were having wine with dinner almost every night. To make a change, we agreed to restrict our intake. We decided let’s leave drinks for Friday and Saturday evenings, and refrain from adult beverages the rest of the week.
Reflect on what you normally consume each day of the week. Try to cut down where you enjoy the “bad” things you love to 20% of your time and try to be good the other 80%.
2. Make sure to plan ahead, make a grocery list
If there was no food in the house, it was time to order pizza delivery. To avoid this, I started designating a day and time to go grocery shopping. Prior to this time, I would make a list on my phone (check out the Wunderlist app) so I knew I would have enough food for the week and would be less tempted to eat out. Just be sure to choose a day and time that works for you!
If you stick with eating at home for the majority of the week, and let yourself dine out occasionally or on the weekend when social activities tend to happen (80/20 balance), you'll start to make improvements.
3. Get plenty of sleep
My sleep schedule was not regular at all. I would find myself tired every day at work. So what would I do to stay awake? Go get a coffee and a delicious chocolate chip cookie. And doing that just made me crave more bad foods! So I started going to bed at a regular time each night during the work week so I would get 8 hours of rested sleep. Sometimes this meant getting into bed at 9 to be asleep by 10 or 10:30.
It is remarkable how sleep or the lack thereof can affect our bodies. Evidence supports that lack of sleep leads to gained pounds, even in some cases obesity and type 2 diabetes. Check out this one of many articles explaining why.
4. Drink lots of water
I am my mother’s daughter, she hates drinking water and so do I. Weird right? I sometimes found myself going all day without having anything to drink, or I wasn’t drinking water but other not-so-healthy things.
To change this, I made sure to take at least 2 water bottles to work every day and make a conscious effort to sip on them throughout the day. If I knew I would be dining out and having some cocktails on the weekend, I would try to hydrate well before doing so. This definitely helped me feel less hungry! Your cells need that H2O just as much as food fuel.
5. Find a partner in crime
Making a change is always easier if you have someone you can rely on to keep you accountable. Luckily my husband was on board to make changes together. I encourage anyone to find a significant other, spouse, friend, or co-worker to talk to and say “hey, I’m making a change, make a change with me.”
If you don’t have anyone to turn to, join Teambeachbody to find a coach or buddy to engage with online. It is free, and you will find that all the people there are looking to make healthy changes just like you. You can also contact me, I am here for you!