If you are a New Yorker like me, you know that living in Manhattan means LOTS of activities all the time. It's the city that never sleeps! It's super exciting to be where all the action is, but it can certainly be overwhelming. Most of these activities involve yummy (but maybe not so nutritious) foods or unique new cocktails, which can be challenging for those trying to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle.
I continuously found myself in situations where I scheduled plans Monday-Friday and then through the weekend... including workouts and nights out. It's exhausting! But I quickly realized I had to put myself first. I'm still always down for a glass of vino or tapas with friends, but I have no problem excusing myself early because I have to workout early or get to sleep on time.
LISTEN UP PEOPLE: you don't have to choose between being healthy or being social. You CAN do both. Here's a few ways how:
- If you are going to have a drink, limit yourself to 1-2. This doesn't make you uncool or boring, it just means you care about your health first and foremost. Drink water in between each drink and throughout the night. If you feel the need to hold onto a cup, get a sparkling water with lime. I promise you, no one will know! And if anyone asks you if you want a drink, OR if they ask the worst question ever -- "WHY aren't you drinking" -- just tell them you don't want to. THAT'S OK. Which leads me into my next tip...
- Don't be afraid to say "no" to other people. You are not required to stay out until 3am with your friends or eat/drink ANYTHING you don't want to, just because they are doing it! If they pressure you, tease, or make you feel bad about it, then I'd say it's time to have a conversation with them. Your friends should respect and support your decisions, and if they don't - try and find friends that share the same interests as you so you can continue to thrive!
- Schedule your workouts ahead of time. You'll know how to work your schedule or duck out of late nights if you have your workouts planned in advance. Everyone hates those pesky no-show fees, am I right?
- Speak up. You can't expect ANYONE to read your mind. If you're not feeling up for something, say something, and more times than not, it's going to be OK. For example, if you want to eat at home before you meet your friends out for a drink so you don't over indulge, be honest about it so you can make the plan work for you. Again, if your friends support you, it shouldn't be an issue.
- Your workouts and meals can be social, too. Invite a friend over for a home-cooked meal, suggest that new healthy eatery you'd like to try, or skip typical happy hour and meet a friend at 7am for a class! You'll be shocked at how much faster you jump out of bed when you have a friendly face waiting for you. AND, most gyms and boutique studios have referral programs, so it's a win-win!
But whatever you do...
- Don't over schedule yourself. Believe me, it's hard. I am a people-pleaser through and through and I am working on this CONSTANTLY. Make sure you build in "me" time into your week, or plan nights/a few hours to yourself to do whatever the heck you want. For me, it's working out, laying around in a robe and relaxing, or doing a face mask.
See, that doesn't sound so bad now does it? Give some of the tricks a try and let me know how they work out for you. You CAN have it all, and when you figure out the right balance, you will love it!