5 tips on how I balance partying with a healthy lifestyle
If you follow me on Snap Chat/IG stories, you might remember me stirring up a bit of controversy this past summer. I (angrily) addressed some party shamers who eluted to the fact that because I'm a health nut, I shouldn't be out nearly as often as I was.
Let's let that sink in.
Apparently, because I inspire others to lead a healthy lifestyle, I'm supposed to stay at home and cuddle with wheatgrass shots until I fall asleep every night...
*inserts eye roll*
As a 31 year old, single and fun loving gal who takes impeccable care of herself, I was LIVID. I was traveling Europe this summer for 8 weeks and was living it up trying to see the nightlife in every.single.city. It was easily the best time of my life so to have people negatively address me was extremely hard. Don't get me wrong, I usually ignore the negativity... but I'm human, and the backlash hurt. The platform I've built has been amazing, but it's also hard being constantly ridiculed by trolls who have nothing better to do with their lives than to put other people down. And while I try not to address them, when I'm questioned about my commitment to my passion, I get vocal. And that's what I did.
So naturally, I went on a few rants and many supporters came through with positivity and encouragement (thank you to those that did!). But it did make me question, is there an opportunity for dialogue on this topic? I think so!
Like the mature intellect I try to be, I thought it was time to address how I juggle being healthy while remaining young, single, and [very] social. I'm an extrovert at heart so I love a good party, and I also love focusing on my health. It's something I've been able to balance for 10 years, let me share with you how!
Tip #1: Create Boundaries
My first tip encourages you to set boundaries for yourself in order to create that balance. Many people think that having fun and being healthy are mutually exclusive and I completely disagree. I think if you lead a healthy lifestyle, naturally you will feel more confident, outgoing, and adventurous and should go out and enjoy that feeling. Being healthy allows you to be an active participant in your life. If that means going out with friends, then go!
So the question remains, how much is too much?
This will largely depend on the individual and where they are in life. I personally limit partying and drinking to once per week (anything beyond that feels excessive). I have no dependents, I run my own business, and I can afford to have a night where I let loose. It fits my lifestyle.
If you have a family, your situation will obviously differ. But I'm a firm believer that no matter where you are in life, getting dolled up and having fun with friends needs to be incorporated into your routine. Fun can vary for many people... but however you define it, it should be a part of your life.
It is important to ensure your party parameters are aligned to your goals. If you have a long weight loss journey ahead of you, a night of social activities may throw you off path. If this is the case, be honest with yourself and scale back.
Balance is about creating boundaries that you can realistically stick to, whilst allowing yourself to indulge from time to time. This will vary for everyone depending on where they are in life, but regardless of what it is, HAVE FUN!
Tip #2 - enjoy the *right* drinks
I'll start off by saying, alcohol [overall] is not great for your health. So when I refer to the *right* drinks I just mean if you're going to drink, select the option that best aligns to your fitness goals. If you are on a weight loss journey, I suggest you stay away from sugary drinks and beer. My go-to drinks include sparkling wine (90 calories) or straight liquor chased with a sugar free mixer like soda water (65 calories). Between every drink, I also try to have a glass of water. Alcohol is a diuretic so pairing with water will help aid in dehydration!
Let's also remember... having fun does not have to equal binge drinking. It's common for me to to have a night out with my girls, have no liquor, get to bed at a decent hour, and be up in the morning to lead the healthy lifestyle I love so much. So if you don't feel the urge to drink, don't! Go out and have a good time sans alcohol.
Another suggestion would be to take regular long term breaks from consuming alcohol. Sometimes I'll give my system a few months off as a bit of a detox and reset. It's a great exercise and I highly suggest it!
Drink of choice: sparkling wine
Tip #3 - Dance the night away
Did you know that the average person can burn up to 500 calories per hour while dancing? Dancing is a great way to get some low-impact cardio in. Let's not forget to mention that dancing is also great for the soul. It improves your overall happiness, brings loved ones together, and is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. I've yet to meet a person who doesn't love dancing, so getting out and hitting the dance floor should be in everyone's routine. Period.
Instead of dinner and wine with the girls, get out there and move! This doesn't have to mean going to busy night clubs, either (which I personally loathe). Grab your friends and head to a salsa night out, or head to a more intimate lounge with a dance floor. Overall, if you can combine fun with being active that's a win-win in my book!
Tip #4 - party with like-minded people
If you want to find a balance between being social and being healthy, the worst possible thing you can do is surround yourself with people who are not aligned. We all have those friends that take it too far... every...single...time. Sadly, these habits are easy to spread so I often turn down invites from people who I know rage too hard. I suggest going out with friends that want to have fun, but also want to be an adult about it.
Nothing like good girlfriends
Tip #5 - Ditch the late night eating (and bring snacks)
This is where the real discipline comes in. When partying, inevitably there comes that point in the night where someone says "should we get something to eat?"
It took a while for me to become comfortable with saying no. But to be honest, nothing good comes from a late night binge so I just don't do it. For me, it's firm no so I can stay committed to my health goals. While I believe everyone should enjoy treats from time to time, late night binging is usually after you've eaten all of your meals for the day and is just excessive.
To help avoid this, perhaps have fruit, nuts, or a bar in your purse. Sounds crazy, but I actually do it! That way, if people chose to have late night pizza, I can say no and still have something to nibble on. You're up later, so without doubt hunger will kick in. You can help to curb that with light snacks. In the past, I've been known to stop by a nearby 7-11 and purchase a pack of almonds after a night out #teamzeroshame
Like I said, this requires the most discipline. However, if you do it once, it becomes easier each time. You can be out and not indulge to a point where it takes you far off track!
We live in a day and age where we get health inspiration from what we see on people's perfectly curated Instagram feeds. Because of this, we are at war with ourselves and often think we *should* live life a certain way... and we seldom allow time for letting loose. We forget that we are all human and deserve balance.
Now don't get me wrong, it's normal to want to have strict focus on your health. But I encourage you to think bigger picture. In the end, we're more likely to remember the fun night out we shared with our friends versus our time 'killing it in the gym'. Life is far too short to take yourself too seriously. You can be committed and party as well. Having been at this lifestyle consistently for a decade, I promise you, leaning to the side of extremes simply isn't worth it.